Saturday, November 18, 2006

My Teachers

Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

Here's a picture of me with my teachers at the Labor Day special training. Sensei Paris Janos is on my right and Sensei Steve Harless is on my left.

Labor Day Weekend - Shinzato Sensei

Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

Now we come to the Labor Day weekend special training in Panama City, FL.

Shinzato Sensei and a bunch of his students from Okinawa came to the US and toured 3 cities beginning with PC.

It was an amazing experience and I was so happy to share it with my students.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

July Special Training 2006 - 1

July Special Training 2006 - 1
Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

We had our 2nd special training in July. Unfortunately, no one was able to make it from out of town this time, but we still had an excellent training.

Here we are working on Suji No Kon, a Yamane Ryu bo kata. We practice bo kata as a basic exercise because it is an excellent compliment to the empty hand kata and also assists the new student with learning the Intricacies of body dynamics so crucial to our style of karate.

Notice the TV in the background. Besides the wall of mirrors, this was probably the 2nd most important piece of training equipment in the Dojo. We spent many evenings after class watching performances of different Sensei doing the kata and techniques we were practicing during class...No Dojo should be without a TV/VCR/DVD player.

Hachi Kyu Test - May 17, 2006

Hachi Kyu Test May 17, 2006
Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

We had our first promotions for new students in May. Everyone did great despite the pressure and we even had a special guest from Virginia, Wesley Beard!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

April Special Training - Tai Chi

Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

As a cool down, Bill Mitman worked with us on some Tai Chi. It was a welcome activity after several hours of non-stop karate!

April Special Training - Hal Doing the Koshi Twist

Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

Here's a picture of Sensei Hal Clarendon twisting his koshi around very tightly before letting go with a powerful technique.

Sensei Hal loves Fukyugata Ichi and spent considerable time at the April special training working with us on this kata and his interpretations of koshi motion within it.

Visit Sensei Hal's website

April Special Training - Naihanchi

Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

This is a picture of Sensei Steve Harless and two Tallahassee Karate Club regulars performing Naihanchi Shodan during the April special training.

I was great training with Sensei Steve again on the finer points of Naihanchi.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

First Special Training

Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

We had our fist special training in April 2006.

Special trainings have always been defining moments in my martial arts experience. They are times for people to get together for an intensive and unique training experience.

For this particular training we were fortunate to have several guest instructors:

Sensei Steve Harless, my first Kishaba Juku instructor, worked with us on Naihanchi. Sensei Hal Clarendon, one of Sensei Steve's senior students, worked with us on Fukyugata Ichi. And Bill Mitman, a long time friend and martial arts training partner, worked with us on Tai Chi.

This is a picture of Sensei Steve demonstrating a technique with me.

I posted a longer entry about special trainings on Charles Goodin's blog. Check it out at:

Special Training Post

February 2006

February 2006
Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

Here's our first group picture taken after a good hard workout!

By February we were into a regular training routine and several students were well on their way to Hachi-kyu!

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Floor

Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

Getting used to training on the vinyl floor was interesting. Unlike a wood surface or carpet, sliding was difficult. It was definitely more comfortable for knees and feet than the concrete of the garage.

It is always enjoyable to teach brand new beginners and we spent most classes working hard on basics, Fukyugata Ichi and Naihanchi Shodan.

A couple long time black belts from years gone by joined the group and we found some times to practice advanced kata, too.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


In Front of the Dojo
Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

Officially we started having karate class at North Florida Aikikai the first week in January, 2006. Unofficially, we started sometime in December. For the first 3-4 classes it was just myself and a single student.

It was a wonderful feeling to be training in a dojo again instead of the garage! The NFA dojo was like a dream! There was so much room to move around and because it had such a high ceiling, I could even practice Bo again without fear of breaking the lights!

Gradually a few people started joining class and by the time of our first Special Training in April, we had about 8 people training with us.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The First Year Intro

Tomorrow I hope to write a little bit about our first year training as Tallahassee Karate Club...Check back tomorrow to see if I actually got around to it :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Training Again!

DSC_9025, originally uploaded by lucasbv.

After the fire in September closed down our host Dojo, North Florida Aikikai, we've had very few workouts. Finally the waiting's over and we're training again!

We started last night at a temporary location and hopefully we'll be fully back in swing at a new, bigger NFA dojo on the Northwest side of Tallahassee starting in mid-december.

Love those Zebra mats! So easy to slide the feet...

Labor Day Weekend - Big Group Picture

KJ2006_Group1, originally uploaded by lucasbv.

This picture shows everyone (except those taking pictures) lined up for the big group picture at this year's special training even in Panama City, Florida.

A large contingent of us from Tallahassee Karate Club traveled to Panama City for an amazing weekend of training and socializing with Shinzato Sensei and his fellow Okinawans.

Special thanks to Sensei's Paris and Nancy Janos for hosting the event, Sensei George Donahue and everyone else who made this event possible!

May we have many, many more of these!!!