I started taking karate about 13 years ago. Over the last 13 years, I have studied a number of different styles of Karate. I have also been studying Kendo off and on for about 11 years. The first was a mixture of Moto Bu Ryu, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, and Judo. I reached my fifth belt in that style (blue). The second style was Choi Le Fut Kung Fu. I studied this style for a little over two and a half years. I found this style to be too “soft” for my liking. I achieved my Green sash in this style (the third promotion).
My next style, Shorin Ryu, I have been studying for a little over four years. This style has been the most fun for me. The sense of personal accomplishment that come with learning a new kick or a new Kata, testing for a new belt, or helping to teach the kids is awesome. I have even tried my hand at a couple of tournaments.
I am the type of person that does not like to go to a gym and exercise, and when I am at karate, I just have to show up and have no choice but to participate. I have started at each school I have studied at the first level (white sash or belt).
My wife Andrea was the one who got me into Karate in the first place. She started at the same school I was in about 11 years ago. She has now achieved her purple belt. She enjoys taking our son, Ray to his lessons and hanging out with some of the other parents almost as much as working out.
My son, Ray, has been studying off and on for about seven of his ten years. He started with a special Tae Kwon Do teacher for special needs kids, then after our family moved to Oceanside, he started to study Choi Le Fut at the same school as me. He became bored with the lack of discipline (or rather we did) and (my wife and I) sought out a style and Dojo with greater discipline and a style that would keep him more interested and in line.
Ray just seemed to flourish under this style of training. He has been training in Shorin Ryu for about five years now. He has recently tested for his Brown White belt. He has done numerous tournaments, and even had three First places out of three divisions at one in Ensenada, Mexico.
Practicing karate has made a huge difference in Ray’s behavior and outlook towards life. He actually comes home and does his homework so he can go to his karate classes. He has learned discipline and has also learned what it means to win and loose (at tournaments) as a gentleman. He has also made some good friends. His school work has also improved. Ray has been training in Kendo with me for the last year or so. Training with Sensei Sal for the last five years (both at his Dojo and with others) has been a real treat for all of us. My family and I are really looking forward to learning more about the Shorinkan style and karate in general.