This is my second go at a martial arts blog–my first foray into blogging was while I was between karate dojo and training in judo, and I just fell out of the habit of posting. This, I am hoping, will be more insightful and more regular now that I am back in a karate dojo.
I started training in the summer of 2006 after I graduated from High School in Tremont, IL at the Academy of Okinawan Karate in Morton, IL. My sensei at that dojo was Kevin Skoien, a Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) under Shihan Joseph Walker (who oversees all three branches of the Academy of Okinawan Karate), and after training with him for about half a year he ended up relocating to the Chicago area and Shihan appointed a new sensei to the Morton dojo. That sensei was Joey Johnston, who was a Nidan when assigned but shortly thereafter tested for and earned the rank of Sandan, and I trained under him and Shihan Joseph Walker at the Peoria, IL dojo for about two years. During that time, I earned the rank of Sankyu (3rd Degree Brown Belt) and was Sensei Johnston’s Assistant Instructor at the Morton dojo, and I earned the rank of Gokyu (Green Belt) in Judo under Shihan Walker, and I was looking forward to continuing on my path until a job opportunity took me to Phoenix, AZ in 2008.
The move to Arizona put a halt to my formal training for several months, as there were no karate dojo that I could afford that were within a reasonable distance of my home that I could make it to on time after work. After a while I got restless just running kata around the apartment and at work so I decided to seek out other martial arts in the area. I took one free Aikido class and decided that it was definitely not for me, but throwing people again wasn’t so bad so I eventually found a good judo dojo in Mesa, AZ. Two years of training with Sensei Rivera taught me a lot, but it was never my first love in the martial arts and I ended up moving closer to work which took me further from the dojo, and it eventually reached a point where I could no longer make it to any of the classes.
Another few months of having no dojo went by and I got fed up with practicing in the apartment by myself again, so I did some searching. I eventually found a very knowledgeable Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Shorinkan) sensei named Richard Poage in Scottsdale, AZ just 15 minutes away from work and my home. Once my work schedule settled down and Sensei Poage opened Peaceful Warrior Martial Arts I began going to classes regularly, and I definitely missed it. Currently there are only two karate classes per week that I am able to attend (as opposed to the approximately 12 per week that I attended in Illinois) but it is definitely great to be back in a karate dojo and learning the art that first captured my spirit.
Now I am off to the dojo, and I will be trying to come up with good posts for this blog every time I go to class. Thanks for stopping by!