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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28847
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:15 am    Post subject: [KF 500k] Member Interview: sensei8 Reply with quote

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sensei8 (View Profile)
KarateForums.com Sempai
Joined: February 23, 2008
Posts: 5,969
KarateForums.com Awards: Member of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011), Staff Member of the Year (2012) and Article of the Year (2010, 2012).

Interview

Where are you from?

Owasso, Oklahoma; a northern suburb of Tulsa, with a means population of approximately just over 28,000. My family, Linda, Nathan and Krystal, and I have lived in Oklahoma ever since January 1999. I was born in Fort Worth, Texas on October 18, 1957. My family then moved to Van Nuys, California in 1958. I then moved to Dallas, Texas in 1994 to care for my ailing mom. I then moved, shortly after my mom passed away, to Owasso.

Why did you get started in the Martial Arts?

Originally to learn how to defend myself. It all started while I was in the 2nd grade in Canoga Park, California, a part of the San Fernando Valley that's just north of Hollywood. Every single day, while at school, I was bullied by a small group of 6th graders, who would beat me up and steal my lunch money and/or anything else that I might have that they valued. I'd go home after school as fast as my feet would carry me, and I'd raid the refrigerator; this caused my mom to ask many questions, in which I finally yielded to. So, on my birthday, October 18, 1964, my mom enrolled me into a local karate school. The beginning of my martial arts journey.

Why have you continued to practice them?

At first, it was for preservation, pure and simple. Then, the martial arts became a substance of reaching attainable goals via earning rank. After some time, the martial arts, by its own sheer preponderance became the Do, the way, in my life. Whenever the Do became the verisimilitude in my life, as a 17 year old junior black belt (JBB), I knew without any shadow of doubt, that the martial arts was what I was going to do for the rest of my life. And it has been just that; the way of my life!

The unquenchable thirst for that knowledge keeps me to this day on my martial arts journey. What's next? That search drives me day in and day out to discover that which has alluded me until it's found, then researched over and over and over, so on and so forth, in that, perfection of that said technique(s), and then some; no end; Shu-Ha-Ri.

Please briefly describe the styles of the Martial Arts that you have taken.
  • Shindokan Saitou-ryu: 1964 to present. Shindokan is an Okinawan martial art that's Shuri-te and Okinawa-te based; 85% hands and 15% feet, whereas, Tuite, as well as Tegumi, is deeply interwoven into the very conscious fibers of Shindokan. Founded by Fuyuhiko Saito Soke, Judan, in 1950. Yoshinobu Takahashi Dai-Soke, Judan, was my Sensei
  • Tae Kwon Do: 1973-1974 under GM Young Ik Suh, who was the President of the American Taekwondo Association during the time I was enrolled. One of the most amazing GMs in tae kwon do, past, present and future
What is your grade or level?
  • Shindokan Saitou-ryu karate-do: Kudan (9th dan)
  • Shindokan Saitou-ryu kobudo: Hachidan (8th dan)
  • Shindokan Shogo title: Hanshi (Teacher of Teachers)
  • Tae kwon do: 6th gup (green belt)
Do you teach?

Yes! I started teaching as a JBB in 1970 under the guidance of Dai-Soke. I opened my own dojo, Kyuodan Dojo, in 1977 in Van Nuys, CA, as a Sandan (3rd dan). As the student enrollment increased, the Kyuodan Dojo relocated several times to accommodate my ever increasing student body; my student body has leveled to be in the neighborhood of around 375, all dependent with the competitive sports that my children students were involved in, whether it be baseball, football, soccer and/or basketball. I've closed, and then opened the Kyuodan Dojo whenever I moved to Texas as well as Oklahoma.

I've also been quite fortunate to hold the position the Chief Instructor (CI) of the Shindokan Hombu, even though it was only briefly. In that short time I was also the CI and Kaicho simultaneously, an interesting juggle, to say the least, however briefly before being elected to the Kaicho position solely.

What are your first memories from training?

Shugyo: "suck it up!"

We, human beings, aren't made to do the martial arts, in that, we must train every part of our body to do what's not natural. In the course of our martial arts training, we'll endure more than we can ever imagine. But it's that which is within us that conquers the pain that we experience day in and day out. However, the rewards of shugyo are well worth it all!

Dai-Soke was a taskmaster to the nth degree. He required perfection from his students and he took us to depths that were quite unimagined by his students; rank didn't earn patience with him. No! From a students very first day, they were challenged in ways that weren't without peaceful means. His floor was sacred to him, and if you, no matter who you thought that you were/are, violated his floor, you were going to face great reprehension from him. He was patient, but his patience had its limits, especially if you've violated his floor! There was no equal on his floor!

Blood, sweat and tears; these are badges that I wear proudly, as so does any dedicated martial artist. These are the first memories I remember from training.

Dai-Soke was tough, but Soke, well, Dai-Soke paled to Soke in this regard; the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

What has been the highlight of your training?

My students! My students highlight every crevice of my martial arts training. Without my students, I don't exist. Without my students, there's no reason to train. Without my students, there's only darkness. But my students have shown me the light, and to them, I owe them everything.

No, it's not the ranks or the titles or any other platitude and the like that I've earned. No, it's not the many open karate tournament grand championships that I've garnered. No, it's not being the CI of the Kyuodan Dojo or the Shindokan Hombu or being the Kaicho of the Shindokan Hombu. No, it's not anything and/or everything that might've dotted my martial arts journey's map, as those prescribed by others, because my journey is mine, and my students, over the 40 years that I've been teaching Shindokan, are my highlights; each and every one of them!

What do you do when you're not training?

Spend a lot of time with my family; as often as I can! I love to do whatever my family wants to do!

I have a mean chess game, and I love to play chess with whomever and wherever. Chess is a rewarding challenge away from Shindokan. It tasks me in ways that Shindokan can't because it's not physical; no, it's mental. That mental game is alive, both in chess and in Shindokan: study your opponent, study yourself, make a plan, and then carry that plan out!

I love fish. I read any wide gamut of subjects. I love most all sports, and in that, I love bowling. I don't have a bad bowling game either; I carry a bowling average of 193. I love to go boating, and I love water skiing with a passion. I love to challenge myself both physically as well as mentally, so, in that, whatever it might be, it must challenge me. I love to do it, whatever it is, whenever I'm not training in the martial arts.

What do you do for a living?

I'm the CI of the Kyuodan Dojo as well as the current Kaicho of the Shindokan Hombu.

Who are or were your martial arts heroes?

My students are my heroes, first and foremost! Not just my immediate students, but the entire Shindokan student body; and that's approximately 10,000 students of all ranks throughout the Shindokan network.

Had you asked me whom I respected as martial artists beyond my students, then that's a different story. I've respected a multitude of martial artists in and out of the Shindokan circle, to many too list, I suppose.

Bruce Lee would be at the top of my list. After that, there's just too many for me to name. Some names, you might or might not recognize, and that's OK because, next year, I'll have been involved in the martial arts, namely Shindokan, for 50 years. So, I've met, and trained with, quite a lot of martial artists over those 50 years.

Of course, my Dai-Soke would even be over Bruce Lee in terms of whom I respect the most as a martial artist.

What are your favorite martial art films and/or shows?
  • Movie: Enter the Dragon
  • Show: Kung Fu
These are my most favorite. However, I've so many different favorites of both genres, too many to list.

Where do you see yourself going in the martial arts journey in the next few years?

Definitive places? None, that I can imagine at this time.

In a infinitive sense, I'll continue to steer Shindokan in the visions of my Soke and Dai-Soke as the current Kaicho of the Shindokan Hombu in the next few years, and in that, the improved betterment of each Shindokanist is my priority beyond any and all things, and in that, to eliminate any contentious intents that might seek to disrupt and/or destroy the Shindokan Hombu directly and/or indirectly. To bring the Shindokan hombu out of the stone-age to electronic media, the internet and the like, but that's not probable because none of the Hombu hierarchy, this includes me as well, can agree on anything concerning this subject.

In a martial artist sense, I'll continue to seek and/or discover that which is new and effective. As I learn, so do I become a proponent of that which is effective in and out of Shindokan. Knowledge is paramount to the overall betterment of my martial arts journey. Not only do I teach, I must learn first and foremost. Not for my sake, but for the sake of my immediate students as well as the entire Shindokan student body.

Eventually, my martial arts journey will reach its zenith, both physically as well as mentally, but until then, my martial arts journey will continue until the end of my life. A few years is so restrictive, imho, therefore, I must look in long term definitions. I'm not an insentient being, and in that, I care very deeply about the martial arts; my life, without the martial arts, without Shindokan, I'm incomplete - insufficient!

My martial arts journey might be construed by those who know me the best as disciplined, and in that, including a powerful work ethic, knowledge, guts and compassion.

Do you remember how you found KarateForums.com? Why did you join?

While I was a moderator for Black Belt Magazine, Brian (bushido_man96) and I started developing our friendship through, and in that, Brian had recommended KarateForums.com to me via a PM. As a moderator, I became quite disenchanted with the administrators because they weren't available to guide and/or mentor us, so, I went and checked out KarateForums.com, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I joined KarateForums.com mainly because I needed an outlet away from the Shindokan circle because one ideology and/or methodology isn't enough for me. I love Shindokan, please don't misunderstand me. I can talk with other Shindokanists anytime I want to, however, I need to talk and train with other martial artists because there's always another side of the coin.

Why did you stay?

To exchange ideologies and/or methodologies and the like with other martial artists. KF has a wide plethora of martial artists; the fruit was, and still is, literally seeping off the vine. No matter ones rank, a martial artist's opinion is very valuable in one way or another, and in that, their advice shouldn't be discarded just because they're a kyu ranked martial artist.

I stay with KF for the same reason as why I stay with Shindokan, and the martial arts... WHAT'S NEXT? What's going to increase my martial arts betterment just over that next hill and/or mountain that I'm fortunate enough to discover. What's next?!?! Don't want to miss it!

You've been a member since February 23, 2008. During this time, how has KarateForums.com changed in your eyes, if at all?

That's the beauty of KF: it's consistent across the board. KF knows that it must reinvent itself quite often to stave off its competitors. I've visited quite a few of venues like KF, but to be frank and honest, I've not ever seen one as quite "together" as KF.

Is KF perfect? No! If it was, I would've left it along time ago. Patrick has developed KF into a force to be reckoned with, and as I'm always saying 'the proof is on the floor.' That exists abundantly here at KF!!

How did becoming a staff member change how you viewed the site?

My viewing of the site, before and now, hasn't been altered and/or changed even the slightest since becoming a part of the KF staff. Before I'm a KF staff member, I'm a KF member first and foremost, and while I've been given this awesome honor, the site still remains steadfastly above and beyond other similar sites as well as those sites that aren't similar to KF.

I have access to other areas as a KF Sempai which have not been created to boast ones ego, but only to allow KF Sempais to uphold the continuity that defines KF, and in that, these areas allow us to fulfill our duties as well as supporting the rules and regulations as set forth by Patrick.

In my eyes, I see KF as the vehicle that serves as a positive means to effect positive change in the venue of which we partake of willingly. KF respects the one consistency that can't be ignored: change, in that, it's evident for its success. Change is inevitable and, if one's not willing to embrace that, then that which is now, will die quickly.

How, if at all, have you used KarateForums.com in your classes or training?

In my classes, there have been many great jewels. There is a KF article titled Personal Safety and the 5 Stages of Violent Crime, by Heidi (ninjanurse). After having read this wonderful article of hers, I asked for her permission for me to use it at one of our many seminars that we conduct at our Hombu during our 2012 annual testing cycle. It was a smashing success with every student as well as with the instructors in attendance. Over the many years that I've been a KF member, many KF articles and/or KF threads have given birth to the core of many things that I've used during classes because, and let's be serious for a moment, KF hosts a large scope of knowledgeable martial artists of all ranks and/or experience, and only a self-absorbed instructor wouldn't use the ideas and the like, no matter the author of said ideology/methodology, to propel their students' martial arts betterment. I've always given the creator of said ideas the credit due, because it's deserved and warranted to do so, and I do this not for any other reason than the simple fact that I don't know everything.

Same goes for the training ideologies and methodologies that I've learned over the many years here at KF. Everyone is capable of teaching and/or sharing something valuable to any martial artist - in that, I'm no exception. If after I've experienced said training advice and/or ideology and/or methodology for myself, and it pans out credible and effective, I'll share it with whomever I decide, and whatever they do with it after that, well, that's up to that martial artist.

The pool of experience here at KF is a virtual pod of nutrients, like a virtual dojo. KF is laden with many, many treasures from its member pool that I've borrowed to accentuate not only my personal martial arts betterment, but also for all Shindokan students betterment as well. To them all, I thank you for allowing me to exchange martial arts ideologies and/or methodologies with you one and all martial artists.

Are there any members here who have had a particular influences or impact on you?

Brian, a.k.a. bushido_man96. He's not only been a friend to me within the martial arts world, but outside of the martial arts as well. Words will pale to explain, and/or describe how important his friendship has been to me over these many years. We've been fortunate enough to have exchanged ideologies and methodologies together over one weekend a few years ago. I miss him and I miss training with him as well. I value him above all outside of the Shindokan circle; he's proven himself across the board as an effective proponent in and out of the Shindokan circle as well as in and out of the martial arts world. Thank you Brian, thank you so very much! Thank you for allowing me to call you my friend!

Can you share a memorable moment within the community where you received great advice or an experience that really affected you and your martial arts journey?

To Patrick, and each KF Sensei, I thank you for mentoring me here at KF all of these many years. Without you, I would have certainly been banned from KF, but you all saw something within me that was worth saving. I had had no prior experience within this type of media, and the little experience that I had, I had to learn on my own with no guidance from those who had that type of experience. I let my big fat mouth overload my big fat rear-end and spoke what came to my mind without ever thinking. Well, I was thinking... but I was quite wrong in my attitude and the like! I treated KF, at first, as though KF was mine to do with as I wanted to, and that KF was MY dojo, and I spoke freely without any ambiguity, in that, I spoke without being concerned with the negative ramifications that my ill spoken words were doing to my fellow KF members.

I WAS DEAD WRONG! No excuse can excuse my actions... I WAS WRONG! I owe Patrick and each KF Sensei my most deepest and most unabridged gratitude, and I sincerely appreciate all that you've all done for me, and in that, I will never forget each and every one of you for being that rock in my life. THANK YOU! That was then, now, I've been made anew!

Hopefully, through the guidance that I've received from Patrick and the KF Senseis over these many years, I can say that that part of my verbal destructiveness is history. I'm a taskmaster, and I don't apologize for it, however, being a taskmaster on the martial arts floor is one thing, but being a taskmaster on the KF floor, imho, is irresponsible and insensitive and uncalled for. If I've ever angered you and/or hurt you; I'm deeply sorry for that, and I ask for your forgiveness.
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28847
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for for sharing this with us, Bob. You have been a great contributor to this community and your posts have impacted many people. I am glad that we have you and that I have the chance to get to know you as a member of staff. I appreciate all of your support for this community and for me. It means a lot.

Whatever transpired in the past is in the past, though I appreciate you taking responsibility for it. To your credit, a lot of people in that position would have just kept doing the things they were doing - and would have been banned shortly thereafter. But you were able to listen, self-evaluate and make changes that allowed you to become a truly great contributor here. Thank you for that.

Patrick
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CredoTe
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Posts: 776
Location: Ohio, USA
Styles: Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-Ryu), Hung Gar (Hung Siu Lum)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely outstanding interview, Bob. What goes around, comes around: as you were mentored, thus you've mentored me... I don't think any additional words will do you justice and honor for that... So:


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DWx
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6455
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great interview and thanks for providing some insight into yourself and your MA journey Bob.
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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was an awesome interview Bob, and an insight into a martial artist that has made the living of Do his Life. Those who receive most respect are those who never ask for it. I, personally feel a warmth of the Budo Fire in your gut each time you make a call to kindle a spark that I'm sure we share in this path we never chose; I believe that when the student is ready, the master appears; and by this your light will go on past your days. Osu!
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tallgeese
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6879
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a great interview, sensei8! Thanks for giving this insight.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 30265
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great interview! Ah, I remember the days at BlackBeltMag.com!

Are there any members here who have had a particular influences or impact on you?

sensei8 wrote:
Brian, a.k.a. bushido_man96. He's not only been a friend to me within the martial arts world, but outside of the martial arts as well. Words will pale to explain, and/or describe how important his friendship has been to me over these many years. We've been fortunate enough to have exchanged ideologies and methodologies together over one weekend a few years ago. I miss him and I miss training with him as well. I value him above all outside of the Shindokan circle; he's proven himself across the board as an effective proponent in and out of the Shindokan circle as well as in and out of the martial arts world. Thank you Brian, thank you so very much! Thank you for allowing me to call you my friend!


Wow, I just don't really know what to say, except for thank you, Bob, for these kind words. They mean a lot to me. I'm glad we have been able to get to know each other so well, and I look forward to being able to train together again.
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lowereastside
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 31 Jan 2013
Posts: 211

Styles: kung fu

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:45 am    Post subject: [KF 500k] Member Interview: sensei8 Reply with quote

Great Interview Sensei8 - very insightful.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16494
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thank each one of you for your many kind words, they mean the world to me!!

THANK YOU ALL!!


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ninjanurse
KF VIP

Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 6154
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: TKD;Shotokan;JuJitsu;Tai Ji

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're awesome~!


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