SENSEI DON'S BLOG

Master Itosu
Ten Precepts of Karate Master Anko Itosu

In October 1908, master Anko Itosu wrote a letter entitled, “Ten Precepts (Tode Jukun) of Karate,” to explain the importance of karatedo to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of War in Japan. A translation of that letter reads: Ten Precepts of Karate Karate did not develop from Buddhism or Confucianism. In the past the Shorin- ryu school and the Shorei-ryu school were brought to Okinawa from China. Both of these schools have strong points, which I will now mention before there are too many changes: 1. Karate is not merely practiced for your own benefit; it can be used to protect one’s family or master. It is not intended to be used against a single assailant but instead as a way of avoiding a fight should one be confronted by a villain or ruffian.
2. The purpose of karate is to make the muscles and bones hard as rock and to use the hands and legs as spears. If children were to begin training in Tang Te[1] while in elementary school, then they will be well suited for military service. Remember the words attributed to the Duke of Wellington after he defeated Napoleon: “The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.”
3. Karate cannot be quickly learned. Like a slow moving bull, it eventually travels a thousand miles. If one trains diligently every day, then in three or four years one will come to understand karate. Those who train in this fashion will discover karate.
4. In karate, training of the hands and feet are important, so one must be thoroughly trained on the makiwara.[2] In order to do this, drop your shoulders, open your lungs, take hold of your strength, grip the floor with your feet, and sink your energy into your lower abdomen. Practice using each arm one to two hundred times each day.
5. When one practices the stances of Tang Te, be sure to keep your back straight, lower your shoulders, put strength in your legs, stand firmly, and drop your energy into your lower abdomen
6. Practice each of the techniques of karate repeatedly, the use of which is passed by word of mouth. Learn the explanations well, and decide when and in what manner to apply them when needed. Enter, counter, release is the rule of releasing hand (torite).
7. You must decide if karate is for your health or to aid your duty.
8. When you train, do so as if on the battlefield. Your eyes should glare, shoulders drop, and body harden. You should always train with intensity and spirit, and in this way you will naturally be ready.
9. One must not overtrain; this will cause you to lose the energy in your lower abdomen and will be harmful to your body. Your face and eyes will turn red. Train wisely.
10. In the past, masters of karate have enjoyed long lives. Karate aids in developing the bones and muscles. It helps the digestion as well as the circulation. If karate should be introduced beginning in the elementary schools, then we will produce many men each capable of defeating ten assailants. I further believe this can be done by having all students at the Okinawa Teachers’ College practice karate. In this way, after graduation, they can teach at the elementary schools at which they have been taught. I believe this will be a great benefit to our nation and our military. It is my hope you will seriously consider my suggestion.
Anko Itosu, October 1908 The letter above, was extremely important in the spread of karate at this time, an art that very few people practiced, was about to start it’s incredible spread accross the world.

Parent Connection
Connection

One of the most important things that you can do as a parent is establish a connection with your child. In fact, children need connection more than anything else. Here are a few ways that you can begin to build a great connection with your child:
Daily Interactions:
1. Make one-on-one connections with your child. Instead of asking a question from across the room, take an extra 15 seconds to walk to your child, get down on their level, maybe tap their shoulder or touch their arm, and ask the question. Chances are they will engage right away (instead of ignoring you) and answer you because you have made that personal connection.
2. Connect with your child as many times per day as possible. Every positive connection with your child means fewer disconnected or frustrating moments for both of you.
3. Begin positive connections when your child is young. The more positive connections you make early on, the better they will respond and communicate as they get older. Over time they will have a strong enough connection with you that you no longer need to be right in front of them for them to answer your question.
4. Reduce stressful interactions. Good connections reduce stress or cortisol, which is the stress hormone. If you get upset with your child, it makes them upset, too. By improving your connections daily, you begin to eliminate some of the obstacles in your communication with them which also eliminates stressful interactions Boost their Neurotransmitters!
You can “up” your child’s neurotransmitters to build a better parent-child connection, which means improving your relationship with your child by giving them positive reinforcement in a variety of ways that will allow them to thrive, feel happy, and be healthy.
1. Tell your child about something that is going to happen that is exciting, so they can look forward to it. This improves the neurotransmitter Dopamine which is the anticipation chemical.
2. Hug your child and let them know they are important. Oxytocin is the chemical that reacts through touching.
3. Give your child praise for good behavior or a job well done. This improves Serotonin which is about feeling satisfied.
4. Finally, give your child the chance to run and play or engage in a fun physical activity, especially when they are stressed or feel anxiety. Endorphins are engaged through active movement.
The last key bit of advice is to self-assess. How connected you think you are with your child right now? On a scale of 1 to 5 what grade would you give yourself? Put these tips into action and make a better connection with your child because the more you connect, the better.

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Seven Home Rules for Children

The following rules need to be memorized by all Youth.
1. Children shall greet their parents when they enter the house (“Hi Mom, Hi Dad!”) and tell their parents “Good-bye” when they leave.
2. Children will always be respectful of the Parents, Teachers, and Elders.
3. Children will be kind to their brothers and sisters.
4. Children will help keep the household, especially their own rooms, neat and clean, and will make their own beds every morning.
5. Children will keep their hair, body, and teeth clean daily.
6. Children will not interrupt adult conversations.
7. Children will do all their assigned schoolwork every day.

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Not All Martial Arts Schools Are The Same

Choosing the right martial arts school for yourself or your child can be a daunting task. There are several things to consider before signing up for classes. The first would be to choose a style. Do you want to learn jui-jitsu, aikido, kung-fu, Japanese/Okinawan karate or Korean karate? Do yourself a favor and research each style before deciding as each style has good and bad points about them. Research the school, the instructor and their associations. Now that you have decided on a couple of schools to choose from, go visit the school, talk to the instructor and ask about taking a free class. Don’t decide based on a phone call. Next to consider is price and whether there is a contract to sign. Are you being charged a low price initially and then the price jumps astronomically? Are you being asked to sign a long term contract? Are you being charged extra fees, such as registration fee, testing fees or annual membership fee? Do I need to invest in a lot of equipment? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you need to consider the value that the school has to offer and what your long term goals and investment will be. A high monthly fee doesn’t necessarily mean that the instruction is better. Extra fees can add up fast so make sure that the value is worthwhile. Remember, that signing a contract locks you into that contract even if you or your child gets sick, injured or wants to quit. Some schools that have contracts have a cancellation fee to let you out of the contract. Month-to-Month schools generally ask that you be respectful and let them know if your situation changes. Learning a martial art can be fun, exciting and rewarding. The possibilities are endless. Don’t let a wrong choice sour your view on the industry.

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Top 10 Reasons You Should Take Martial Arts

To learn honor and respect
To learn how to set and achieve goals
To gain confidence and boost self-esteem
To improve your mental and physical strength
To increase concentration and focus
To learn how to work as a team
To learn gratitude and be a better person
To learn how to listen effectively
To learn how to be a leader
To learn how to protect yourself