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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Sweat Factory

It's been an amazingly HOT summer here in Austin, Texas.

So far, we've had 79 days of 100+ degrees  (an all-time record);
                            23 days at 105+ degrees (also a record);
                            27 consecutive days over 100 degrees (yep, a record).

But I am really proud of our dojo members.  Our training space is not air conditioned, so we affectionately call it "The Sweat Factory."  Last summer, which was obviously "cooler" than this summer, we brought a thermometer to the dojo.  Not once did the temperature inside fall below 100F.  It can be brutal, but purifying.  We take a perverse pride in being able to train hard inside the oven.

Soon, however, it will be winter once again and we'll all be complaining about the cold gis and colder floor in which you seek out a shaft of sunlight to stand in to thaw out.  Such is life in a dojo.  Over time, we just accept the temperature as it is, knowing that as we train we will become immersed in it and hot and cold become secondary to what we are working on.

Sweat is just sweat.  Cold is a state of mind.

See what I mean:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grading - May 12, 2011 at St. Edward's University

Summer Update


·         My surgery appears to have gone fine.  It will be one week tomorrow, and my advice is to NOT tear up your shoulder if at all possible.  It hurts.  I will be on very limited duty for the next month or so and will be treating my training as rehab for the summer.  However, like any good karateka, I still have three good appendages that will require training while rehabbing the fourth appendage.  I appreciate the help of everyone - those who are helping out in the Dojo as well as those who have dropped by, brought dinner, etc.  Dojo is truly a family.

·         The club vote was  to have T & TH trainings at the Alumni Gym throughout the summer, and only utilizing the home dojo for Saturday classes, advanced training, and private lessons.  We are blessed to have such a great facility as our training home.  In keeping with the Japanese tradition, Alumni is hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  Just like every good dojo.  The vote was also for class to start at 5:30 pm and go until 7:30 or thereabouts.  Some members have been hard pressed to make the 5:15 start because of work commitments.  However, I'm sure many of you will utilize the gym for self-practice from 5 - 5:30 pm.  I encourage that.

·         Congratulations to our new student Captain - Aaron Luckevich, and Co-Captain - Ismael Moreno.  I know you guys will be a formidable team.  Thanks also to Jacinto Zambrano for serving as captain during the Spring Semester.

·         My hope this year is that we can begin to grow the participation of faculty and staff members as well as students.  I would like to ask Chris Gallegos, who works in Advancement, to be our liaison with faculty/staff.

·         Congratulations to all who graded on the 12th.  Karen Mulligan - 4th Kyu; Ismael Moreno - 5th Kyu; Chris Gallegos, Aaron Luckevich, Austin Duncan, Jacob Pajda, Whitney Carpenter - 6th Kyu.  Nice to see all those new green belts in the dojo.

·         Mark your calendars for the USA - JKFGojuKai training and grading in Los Angeles this November 11, 12, 13.    I believe Ramon Veras Sensei will be having his annual training in Houston sometime in June.  I will keep you posted.

My best regards,


James Pounds, Head Instructor
SeiwaKai of Texas and St. Edward's University Karate Club
Member - Japan Karate Federation Goju-Kai

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Great Master

This photo of Tasaki Hanshi is my favorite.  Even as an older man, his kicks were so fluid and still blindingly fast.  You can see the relaxation in his entire body.  I've seen that foot lash out in a kin geri to the groin of a young yudansha who was not paying proper attention when Hanshi was explaining something to the group.  Wham!  So fast, yet with enough kime so as not to really hurt the fool...just enough to let him know his inattention was out of order.  It was so fast as to almost be invisible.  That was in his seventies.