Name Changes: A Japanese Tradition

Over the years, I have noticed that Okinawan and Japanese people historically change their names – a lot. Usually their last name or surname evolves. But there are also nicknames bestowed that seem to take the place of given names. About 60 percent down on this Wikipedia listing, under “Historical Names” and “Professional Names” you…

Read More

Martial Arts in Movies vs. Real Life

Many people are first introduced to martial arts in movies. For me, Hollywood played a part in sparking my interest when I started karate. On-screen stories often successfully portray karate’s traditional values like perseverance in The Last Samurai. In addition, many stories of respect, good moral character, even honesty and restraint come out of martial…

Read More

3 Tips on Japanese for English-Speakers

In traditional Okinawan karate, we promote the culture that created our art. Language is an influential part of culture. The Japanese language remains the most enduringly difficult part of my martial arts training. Like a thorn in my side, it occasionally causes agonizing discomfort. Yet it’s survivable. And I don’t even notice it or think…

Read More

Romaji for Japanese Words

Romaji is simply the use of roman characters (such as the English alphabet) to write pronunciations of Japanese words. The Japanese language is a part of the traditional culture that we represent and promote at our dojo. As a custom, the Japanese language is written in a complicated mixture of the complex kanji (adapted from…

Read More

Adult Karate Students Appreciate…

The adult karate students are an important part of any dojo. They may be a smaller demographic than youth, but they bring life experience and wisdom to the table. Adults set an example for younger students whether they realize it or not. And mature students get a lot out of their participation. Here are the…

Read More

Kintsukoroi and Friendship

Kintsukoroi, also called kintsugi, is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery. Kintsukoroi means “golden repair.” The process creates a unique and even more beautiful piece than the original. Gold veins show that the pottery has a story, and resilience is part of its story. This is a good symbol for perseverance as in Dojo…

Read More

Kids’ Movies with Martial Arts Lessons

There are a lot of movies with martial arts made for kids. Here, I will focus on the more popular, higher-rated ones and the martial arts lessons they promote. Note: I am talking about the word lesson as in the moral of the story, or the take-away. I am not comparing watching a movie to…

Read More

Welcome to our Dojo

We once had a guest from India visit our dojo. He was here for work and said that stopping in and watching a class was the best part of his U. S. trip. He is probably the person who has come to us from the farthest away. We had guests from Finland who said they…

Read More

Reason to Wake up Daily

Do you have a reason to wake up in the morning? If not, now is the time to get one! The New Year is a great time to reflect on where we are, and what we’d like to do to improve upon that. Enter ikigai: it is just one of the many habits and lifestyle…

Read More

Participation Ability in Karate

Students and their parents appreciate the level of participation during class times at East Valley Martial Arts. This is true at many other dojos too. Everybody takes an active role and is expected to use their time on the mat to train. Students do not sit out on the bench during their class. DYNAMIC PARTICIPATION…

Read More