KDA Today Spring 2011
Karate Do Academy, Westlake and Bay Village
karatedo.net "The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its
participants." ~ Gichin Funakoshi
Martial Arts Is For a Life Time
Sensei Jim has said many times that unlike
baseball or soccer, martial arts can be practiced for
the rest of your life. The following indicates the
truth in the statement.
Sensei Sandy and I take private lessons with
Shihan Joe Panaccione, a 9th degree red belt and
founder of Universal Martial Arts Federation. Some
of you may have had the opportunity to meet Shihan
Joe, since he's been a repeat guest instructor during
Shugyo. Shihan invited us to attend an event on
March 26th, at the Shaolin Center in North Olmsted.
Sifu Frank Versagi's promotion to 6th degree black
sash in Kung Fu was being held that day. Shihan was
one of the judges at the demonstration. During the
intermission, the other judges presented Shihan Joe
with an award for participating in the martial arts for
50 years. From left to right in the above picture and
using their proper titles, Hanshi Joe Panaccione,
Shihan Bruno Raynes, Sifu William Duncan, Sifu
Tim Frashure, Shihan Frank Drellishak, and Sifu
Rikk Mayr. On a side note, these judges were all
holders of advanced rank in various systems and
students under Shihan Joe. During a question and
answer period, Shihan was asked about pursuing the
advanced belt ranks. He responded that he did pursue
his first degree black belt, but not the others. His
promotions occurred because his instructors felt he
earned it, not because he actively pursued
Whether a beginning student, intermediate, or
advanced degree, I would recommend adopting this
philosophy. Once you receive your belt rank, start
earning it by improving upon the required
techniques. Don't be in too big a hurry for the next
belt. As one of your instructors, we recognize when
students are ready for their next belt rank and when
you need to continue honing the skills of your
Congratulations to Shihan Joe for his involvement
in martial arts for 50 years and also to Sifu Frank
Versagi on his promotion to 6th degree black sash.
Train Hard………. Sensei Randy
Pictured below are Sifu William Duncan, Hanshi
Joe Panaccione, Sifu Frank Versagi, Sifu Tim
Frashure, and Shihan Paul Kasayka.
My Martial Arts Journey.
Many of us have seen, in movies, the typical
journey of a martial artist. He/she starts harsh
training at a very young age, climbs several
mountains a day with his/her sensei, has a chopstick
battle at some point in their training, fights ninjas,
etc. My martial arts journey, on the other hand, is
rather simple. I, too, started when I was young and
first took up karate in Oman. Unfortunately, my
nomadic life didn't allow me to continue with the art
for very long, as my family moved right after I got
my red belt. (In the system in Oman, red came after
white). Since then, I've had a keen interest in karate,
but never really committed to it until about two
years ago, when I joined KDA. The art wasn't
difficult for me to pick up, since I had learned
something very similar back in Oman. Seeing that I
might be going away for college, I wanted to learn
as much as I can as soon as possible. One day, I do
hope I will receive my black belt, but until then, I
have a long way to go. I do wish to study different
styles of martial arts in the future. Either way,
martial arts are definitely a permanent part of my
Good Question: How can the same word uke mean both block and attacker?
If we think about the English word “block”,
synonyms such as “obstruct” and “stop” come to
mind. Comparing these with “attacker”, don’t they
seem to have the opposite meaning? Why is this?
The answer lies in the true purpose of the
technique. In martial arts systems such as aikido,
judo and jujutsu, the term uke is used to mean
attacker, but really refers to someone who receives
the technique from the tori, the "taker" or defender.
These terms, uke and tori are quite modern; during
Japan’Edo period and Meiji restoration, the terms
ukemi, ("receiving body")and torimi
(“taking/grabbing body") were commonly used.
You might recognize the former as the term for
For blocking, when you receive an attacking
move, whether it is a punch, kick or strike, what
you are really trying to do is
to deflect and redirect the energy of the attack so
that the opponent is temporarily thrown off balance
and placed in a more advantageous position for a
counter attack. So by “receiving” this attack you
can now send the blow on its way in a different
direction and then immediately deliver your counter
with appropriate timing for the most effect.
For the uke and tori series (attacker and
defender), the uke is the person on the receiving end
of a technique. It is somewhat ironic that the first
move the tori executes is a block (uke)! However,
the emphasis is on the counter attack rather than the
block, as the true purpose of the block is to place
the attacker (uke) in the most vulnerable (receptive)
position so that the tori can deliver a truly decisive
and counter attack and finishing blow.
A literal linguistic translation of a technique
can lead to much ambiguity in the meaning and
application of a technique by its practitioners. It is
therefore very important that we do our best to
understand not only Karate techniques, but also the
terminology and the culture behind the
techniques. In this way, we can better preserve the
legacy of our respective arts and also improve our
own understanding of and ability in the art. –SR
Physical Conditioning for
Optimum Performance and Health In the martial arts, conditioning is vital to your
martial arts performance. All students, regardless of
all other factors, need to do physical conditioning
outside of class. Depending on the student's age and
physical health, the conditioning will vary. For
younger students, games of tag or footraces are fun
ways to exercise. For young adults, high school
sports or college intramural sports provide
enjoyable activities for physical exercise and a
break from academics. For adults, it's healthy to
work out at your office gym or join a class at your
local recreation center.
I often do a selection of these activities depending
on time restraints and energy levels. I enjoy mixing
up my workout routine. During weekdays when
time is limited, I'll usually do fewer miles but at a
higher pace or resistance level. If I have more time,
I enjoy doing hill routines on the bike and treadmill.
This may seem like an intimidating workout;
remember I've been working out regularly since
• Biking ~ 8-15 miles, 4 minute miles,
moderate to high resistance level
• Running ~1-5 miles
• Jump Rope ~15 minutes, moderate pace
• Weight lifting with hand weights
• Core exercises
• P90X dvds
Work Out Tips
Work out when you feel like working out... and
sometimes when you don't. It's important to have a
routine for working out. Find the best time that fits
with your schedule and energy levels. I personally
prefer late at night during the school year and
immediately after work during summers. Having an
allotted time is the best way to motivate yourself to
workout. Occasionally, I'm just not in the mood to
work out. Unless I'm sick, I'll usually go to the gym.
Not every workout needs to be a stellar workout.
Easy days are definitely allowed and recommended
to give your body a rest.
Always bring a water bottle and stay well-hydrated
before, during, and after your workout. If you plan
on working out later in the day, stay hydrated
throughout the day to have the best workout
possible. Being well-hydrated is good for your
general health and feeling good.
Stretch before, after, and during cardio. After I'm
halfway done with biking, I'll take a minute to
stretch out anything that's feeling tight. It's
important to stay in tune with your body throughout
your workout. Push yourself but know when you
should back off the throttle.
If you prefer a lower impact and sweat-free
workout, try swimming. It's a great way to get
cardio and endurance training into your
workout routine. The only downside is
swimming requires a large lap pool, while
sidewalks are always available for running.
Find something to motivate you during your
workouts. I have music playlists for specific
workouts. Other people prefer listening to
books on tape, watching TV, or people watching in
the gym. Finding something to engage your mind
while working out will lead to longer workouts.
Don't smoke. Smoking ruins your endurance and
limits the amount of cardio your body can
withstand. It's also unhealthy for your health outside
of the martial arts world.
Keep track of your workouts, mileage, and goals
reached. I have a spreadsheet where I have the date
and miles biked and run recorded. I also keep track
of my running times to gauge improvements in my
mile time. It's encouraging to see my times
decrease. In the world of running, shaving even 10
seconds off your mile time is a huge victory.
Most importantly, eat healthy. By eating healthy
foods, you're giving your body the fuel it needs to
function and perform well. If you're hungry after a
workout, opt for healthy snacks like bananas,
peanut butter, yogurt, or grilled chicken. Fast food
options may be tempting after the gym, but it's
usually best to avoid fast food. Out of personal
taste, I don't consume pop, donuts, fried foods, fast
food, or sweet desserts. I don't purposely cut these
items out; I just don't like the taste of them.
Growing up with a diabetic has given me a great
love of sugar-free cherry pie; any desserts with real
sugar are often too sweet for me.
Summer is a great time to start working on your
personal physical conditioning goals. Get outside
and enjoy the summer weather. Good luck!
Bob’s Corner: June 2011 Congratulations to all who have been
promoted since the last newsletter. Don’t
look toward the requirements of your
next belt rank, but concentrate on earning
the belt you’ve been awarded.
How To Get Up Without Using Your
If knocked down in a fight, it's
important to be able to roll back up without the use
of your hands. If I get back up by rolling over with
my knees and palms on the ground, this would give
the assailant an opportunity to continue the attack
(ie...strikes to the back, side, and head). Rolling
back up without using my hands will permit me to
block or strike the assailant as I get back on my feet.
Find a padded area large enough to work on
getting up. It may be a matted workout area,
carpeted room, or even your back yard. I'm going to
divide the technique into separate pieces for you to
practice. Just practice the technique specified in
each step and we'll put them all together in the end.
Step 1: Sitting on the floor, just practice going from
the sitting position to your back and return to the
seated position. You're need to curve your back
outward to permit a smooth transition from sitting to
laying on the floor and back up. Try not to have
your legs pointing at the ceiling when rolling back.
You don't want to provide the assailant an
opportunity to grab your foot or shin and drag you.
Step 2: Sit on the floor with both legs straight out.
Take your right leg, bend at the knee and place
your right ankle beneath the back of the left knee.
With your left leg straight, your legs should now
look like the figure four (ie..4). Practice rolling back
and ending in with your legs in a figure 4. I am right
handed and right legged (which leg do you favor
when playing kickball or soccer?) This is the leg
that should be bent. If you are left legged, just do
the reverse image of the figure 4 with the left leg
bent at the knee with the left ankle beneath the back
of the right knee and straight right leg.
Step 3: From the figure 4 position you'll push off
the ground with the shin/knee that is bent and at the
same time throw your hands forward. As you move
forward, the shin and foot of the bent leg will point
in the opposite direction you're moving. I'm moving
my body forward and coming off the ground at an
angle. It's important to get forward momentum
going, but don't worry if you had some issues getting
off the ground. We need to put all the steps together
to generate the forward momentum.
Step 4: Okay, put the steps together. Roll back,
roll forward in the figure 4, throwing your hands
forward, while pushing off the floor with you knee.
Imagine the rest of your body is trying to catch up to
your hands. Now practice, practice, practice.
Mistakes: A common mistake I've observed are
students coming straight up. If I squat down and just
stand back up, it's easy to knock me back down. If
you're leaning back as you come up, you're off
balance to begin with and may fall backwards before
your opponent has a chance to strike you. You need
to have your entire body travelling forward and
upward. Watch for the position of your feet. Don't
go from step 1 to a squat with feet on both sides of
the body. This prevents any forward motion. I've
also seen students who cross their ankles as they get
up. Again, you would be easy to knock backwards.
If additional questions or you can't get the technique
to work for you, ask one of the black belts for help.
Take Care.... -SR
From Sensei Jim......... " You must be deadly serious in training.
When I say that, I do not mean that you should be
reasonably diligent or moderately in earnest. I mean
that your opponent must always be present in your
mind, whether you sit or stand or walk or raise your
These word are the first rule of Karatedo by
Gichin Funakoshi. As a student of karate, you must
ask yourself ...Is this the way I train? During line
drills and when practicing kata is my opponent
present in my mind? Do I visualize an imaginary
opponent while performing te waza, uke waza, and
A light and detached attitude in the dojo also
reflects a disrespect for karatedo as an ancient ART,
as opposed to a game or sport. So many times, I
notice karate is referred to in conversation with
other passing interests and activities. In our western
culture it is often lumped in with other hobbies. To
a serious karateka, this is never so. They understand
they are learning a beautiful, but deadly art and
every moment they spent in the dojo reflects this
Karatedo then becomes a way of life in AND out of
So whether it be indoors at the dojo,
outdoors on the grass, at home, or at the
beach...train with the utmost seriousness and effort.
Respect your chosen livelong art, and as titled in
Forrest Morgan's book, "Live the Martial Way"
In KDA news... Our annual summer picnic will be
on July 2nd from 12 noon till about 4 PM. Along
with our Christmas party, the picnic is an
opportunity to socialize and spent time with our
fellow karateka that is not possible during regular
class time. Please make a special effort to be there.
Also in Portland, Oregon, Sensei Polivacek will be
testing his first blackbelt student on June 25th. His
name is Dan Hodnot, and Suji will be doing a
special interview with him for our summer issue.
Good luck Dan.
Have a great summer and see you in the dojo!!!!
KDA Promotions May 2011 Westlake Recreation Center
Blake – Orange Belt
Mary Therese - Orange Belt
Neil – Yellow Belt
Peter - Yellow Belt
Bay Village Youth Center
Geoffrey – Orange Belt
Patrick – Orange Belt
Isaac – Orange Belt
Andriana - Orange Belt
Andrew - Orange Belt
Andrew Z. - Green Belt
Jillian - Blue Belt
Note From Editor We are finally starting to go outside! Take a deep
breath of fresh air. Remember, it is getting hotter
and hotter outside so bring more water, tennis
shoes, and sun screen. Also remember that when
we are outside you don’t have to wear your gee
tops. A T-shirt is fine when we are outside but
always bring them in case we go inside
unexpectedly. Congratulations to those who got
promotions. Now that you have gotten your new
belt, work towards earning that belt just like how
Sensei Randy and many off your instructors have
told you over and over again. You should not just
forget all your lower belt requirements and move on
to your next belt requirements but you should
practice and try to perfect your lower belt
requirements. When you go to learn your upper belt
requirements you can apply your prior knowledge
to your new techniques and become better and
better. Well hope to see all of you at the summer
Greeshma (GA) – My Martial Arts Journey
Sensei Randy (SR) – Martial Arts Is For a
Life Time/ Good Question/
Sensei Kelsey (SK) – Physical Conditioning
Sensei Jim (SJ) – From Sensei Jim
Suji (SB) – Note From Editor