|Steven R. Wilson||Ventura, Calif||Okinawan Goju Ryufirstname.lastname@example.org||Wednesday, February 02, 2000 6:45 PM|
Hoosain arrived here in Ventura Sunday night right after the Super Bowl. When I pulled into the depot I found him glued to the cargo area of the bus where they store passengers bags. Having had his bags lost once, it was obvious Hoosain wasn't going to allow that to occur again...
My wife had made a dinner for Hoosain and I, of chicken, dressing, broccoli, and bread. Hoosain politely informed us he was eating as a vegetarian on this journey, as due to his faith, he eats Kosher. So from then on he pretty much had to fend for himself. I told him he was welcome to anything in my house and to help himself. Hoosain had no problem with this and just got what he wanted, when he wanted it. HE LOVES SWEETS!
The first night we visited and watched Ashihara Karate Video tapes that Hoosain brought with him and was kind enough to share with me. Periodically we rose from our chairs and exchanged short demonstrative perspectives, principles, and comparisons (I'm an Okinawan Goju stylist).
The next morning I left work at noon so I could spend more time with Hoosain. I arrived home at 12:30 P.M. and found Hoosain reading and responding to e-mails. He had two computers going, mine and his laptop. He shared with me various e-mails he received sending him encouragement and some e-mails from his students telling him to "Get Back Home." At 5:30 P.M. Hoosain was still on the computer writing away. He averaged around 7 or more hours per day working and communicating on the PC (sounds like a job doesn't it?).
We began training at 6:00 P.M. After warm-ups, I taught various stages and levels of Kakie (Goju's pushing hands). I then taught in-close blocking, evading, and counter techniques. This went on until 8:20 P.M. I then turned the class over to Hoosain. He taught us the principles of Ashihara karate and demonstrated various levels of kata. He then taught Tobi Ushiro Geri (jumping back kick). So, I jumped in and tried his method numerous times. The point of his method was to achieve greater distance. It was fun a beneficial. Try doing Tobi Ushiro Geri when you are 6'4" and weigh 240! He then taught moving, stepping and turning. Concluding his instruction I had my students demonstrate some specialized kumite. The one I had them share with Hoosain is "terrain training" where the students do free sparring with the lights off. Then I turn the lights back on, then off, then on, then off. They must learn to use sensory skills and to protect and adjust to the changes in their vision. Hoosain seemed to enjoy it, or he just thought we were nuts! Class ended at 9:40 P.M. and I felt we all had a better understanding of one another and our systems, although one class is never enough.
MY VIEWS OF ASHIHARA KARATE
I feel the art resembles Kyokushinkai, as in that it is easy to tell where their roots stem from. I don't know the art well enough and didn't see Hoosain do enough to thoroughly evaluate it. However, to me it was clear that they are fluid in movement, keep their hands up well, focus more on high kicking than most Japanese/Asian arts do, utilize angles, train to remain relaxed, and are good at keeping upright and not breaking their centre.
I feel their kata are unique and that they teach fluidity
and are applicable to certain types of kumite. I feel that in traditional
Okinawan/Japanese kata, the contrast of fast/slow, hard/soft, controlled
breathing, changes in rhythm, and differing points and levels of kime (focus)
are an important part of the elements that challenge us, teach us, and
develop the ability to control our bodies, breathing, movement, and power.
In my view, Ashihara kata is done in a relaxed manner that utilizes a continuous
fluid flow of movement that don't utilize the above principles. I feel
that kata such as Sanchin or Tensho would help teach students how and when
to "root", and deeper concepts of breathing (breath is life, energy, serenity,
and many other things). To me, the kata resembled a blend of Kenpo/Tae
Kwon Do (soft, relaxed movement, absence of kime) type of similarities.
Not that this is at all bad, but very different from traditional principles
of Okinawan/Japanese principles. I also feel that the "type" of full contact
kumite they practice make them more susceptible to being hit in the face
as they do not practice protecting their face. They are "excellent" at
blocking kicks though, even high kicks to the head.
However, they are not used to defending fast hand combinations to the face. In the end, I feel the path of Ashihara karate will lead the practitioner to the same place it leads all of us. It has some unique features, some very practical and sensible principles, develops spirit, health, and character.
In my view, if it incorporated breathing and the principles of kime either in forms or training drills, the art would be more complete. Not a slam, just my humble opinion not having ever practised it.
MY VIEWS OF HOOSAIN
He is a quiet, dedicated, sincere person. He is well educated, well rounded, and has many talents. Some of these include computer technology, communication, and business skills. He has put a lot of time and effort in to his organization and his art. He has overcome many obstacles. He is able to "agree to disagree" and not change his feelings about someone. He has learned a lot about people and a lot about different styles. I love to research, question, delve, discuss, and debate. Hoosain was right with me. We feel the same about more things than we differ. He is an easy house guest. Give him tea or coffee, fruit, peanut butter, Pepsi, sweets and most importantly a computer jack and he is one happy camper. He also has a great sense of humor although it was not initially obvious to me. But before his visit ended we had many a good laugh together. I now consider him my friend.
PS: Hey Hoosain, so where is LA?
|Yuen, Allen||Ontario, Canada||Allen.Yuen@moh.gov.on.ca||Thursday, February 03, 2000 10:02 AM|
I have been following your exploits on the Cyberdojo, and must say I think you are doing a wonderful thing spreading your knowledge around.
Kingston Ontario Canada
|Andy Rutledge||Houston, Texas||Goju Ryuemail@example.com||Fri, 4 Feb 2000 08:51:50 -0600|
On another note, I have been enjoying your "man in the street" reports from all places near and far. Whether it was your intention or not, it seems that your one man crusade is making quite a difference in the karate world here in North America. Yours is a perfect illustration of how one person can have a significant impact on the "community." You are truly an inspirational individual.
Perhaps you have mentioned it before, but what was your reason for beginning this trek across the world?
Regards and respect,
|Eddy Schumacher||St. George, Utah||Seidokan Karate and Kobudofirstname.lastname@example.org||Sun, 06 Feb 2000 13:41:32 -0800|
I guess I'm next to post the praises of the young traveller, Hoosain Narker. What an absolutely genuine man. An unobtrusive houseguest, wonderful martial artist, and all 'round decent human. It was great to witness and have explained firsthand some of his Sabaki concepts and experience a taste of his Ashihara Karate. And unlike some of you martial sadists, I let the man sleep! :-) Although I can't say the same for my children. They hounded him to play games or wrestle, or play fight or go here and come there non-stop. I'll be surprised after this if he ever wants to settle down with a family. :-)
It was great to have a companion as I tought private lessons, beginner children, and the Youth Rehab program class. (Made me miss the days, Randy!) He went with the flow and blended right in, pitching in to share his karate with my students on the spur of the moment when invited. We exchanged ideas on everything Karate, from politics and personalities, to techniques and training, but still had time to watch a little Sammo Law and Walker, Texas Ranger.
If all my martial artists were so open and humble, what a world it would be.
|Eddy Schumacher||St. George, Utah||Seidokanemail@example.com||Monday, February 07, 2000 10:20 AM|
|Illona McKinzie||Hesperia, Calif||Positive Karate||MissIllona@aol.com||Tuesday, February 08, 2000 4:14 AM|
Got an email last week that he would be in the area and on the 4:05 p.m. bus and could I have someone pick him up? ACK ! I raced around trying to figure out who I could send over there to bring him back to our dojo ... and then settled on an old girlfriend that would keep him entertained (so to speak ... she talks a mile a minute ... LOL) ... most everyone else was down the hill working and wouldn't be back in town till way after 6:00 p.m.
He got to our dojo before the first class of the day ... was curious to see how many bags he had and was surprised that he had so few (tho, they looked very heavy and he must be in grand shape to be lugging these around alot!).
Today was Wednesday so we had an Orange thru Black Belt
class for kids and Hoosain helped out in this class (to the delight
of all the kids there ... he was alot of fun). It was a kicking week
so we were doing alot of spin kicks and he stopped his group to show them
a few pointers and then pretty soon that class was finished and then the
sparring class for the kids was upon us.
Hoosain had the class warm up by not letting them know that they were warming up (doing various fun push-ups and sit-ups) so they did twice as many as they usually would do and with no complaints. I must say that Hoosain has a great way with kids and they with him. Most of the ones that he worked with that day came back the next day he was here just so they could work with him again. He was a big hit with them.
The Ground Technique Class was very interesting as Hoosain taught us some moves on the ground there also. He is very knowledgeable about body mechanics and is quick to compliment others on doing a good job. I had a new teen girl (very shy) come in at this time and I put her with 3 other teen girls to relax her and Hoosain came over and helped them out for a while and she was really relaxed around him. In fact, everyone seemed very relaxed (but respectful) around him. Must be his aura. :-)
Two of my adults will always remember Hoosain because of his demonstration of Bruce Lee's one inch punch ... LOL ! He didn't even use full power and was still blowing them backwards.
I let Hoosain sleep in the next day (he seemed to need it) as I went about my daily chores of doing bills and paperwork. We went out to eat at an India type restaurant (interesting variety of food there) ... and talked business for awhile. I have taken his suggestion of dropping this one company that I have been with since 1995 so I can utilize the money in other areas of my business here. And I am studying the other things we discussed like keeping the sign lit up outside for advertising reasons and some others.
He is a smart man who has gone far in such a short amount of time ... it would be plain silly of me not to listen to him. He is great at making goals and then going out and achieving them ... something I am going to be doing more of in my life now.
The next day in classes we let him do his email on his computer (he gets over 50 some emails a day!) while we did our Sumo Wrestling for the kids' class and then on to the forms class (he got a bo out and was working with that ... the kids for some strange reason were really on their best behavior with him there ...).
In the adult class I got to introduce Hoosain to our movements we have here with double escrima sticks and then on to our nunchuku form.
Before he left for the bus that night he got all the students gathered around his computer so he could show us all what South Africa looked like ... from the shore to his dojo. From his students ... to his family (including his cool car!). He gathered the teens around the computer and showed them pictures of his students and then gave them addresses of some of his students so my students could be penpals with them. They are excited by the prospect of talking to martial artists across the ocean ! Someone who is just as excited to be training in the martial arts as them.
Then everyone went home ... we gathered his things together ... and off to the bus depot we went. Why do they put bus depots in the worst parts of the town? Sheesh ! Here are new people coming into town and guess what they get to see first ?!! Amazing anyone even gets OFF the bus ! But having spent 4 months roaming all around the states and Canada ... I guess Hoosain is used to it by now ...
I thought it was funny that the bus stop man wanted to get more money out of Hoosain because he said his pack was heavier than 60 lbs ... he could tell by just lifting it up that it was tooooooo heavy. Hoosain just smiled and picked it up and they went inside and weighed it .... 60 lbs exactly! LOL Hoosain has got this down to a science, I tell you ! LOL
I must say that I was sad to see him leave. He was a breath of fresh air on my little school and my students really, really liked him a lot. And so did I. He will be missed. But not forgotten.
Take care, Hoosain, wherever you may be right now!
|Lance R. Barnes||Kingman, AZ||Ashihara Karatefirstname.lastname@example.org||Thu, 10 Feb 2000 13:15:27 -0800|
It was again a pleasure to have my instructor, Hoosain Narker, over to my house. He assisted in getting me better organized with my school and showed me how to better run my buisness. He also directed me in providing honorary Black Belts to local individuals who have done a lot to assist child care and youth development in the town of Kingman.
Shihan Sensei Hoosain ran my three locations and gave me some hands on assistance in doing various exercises and games for the students. They thourghly enjoyed themselves. A few of them got his e-mail address and plan on doing some letter writting. Hopefully they will connect up with his students and discover that there are others out there that have the same desires as they do in the martial arts.
Hoosain helped me to understand the benefit of using what is already in my town, like the newspaper, for getting my school and name out to the people of the town. Remarkably enough while I was out tending to some buisness that could have been a bureaucratic nightmare, one of my students parents turned out to be an employee of the buisness and got me through with minimum difficulty.
My last class runs out of a very nice fittness center that is part of our local hospital. Shihan Hoosain ran the class and really got the students going. He got them to sit ups and push ups and look forward to doing them again. Hoosain exspecially impressed them with the statment "my baby can do these."
It was a pleasure to have Hoosain here again. I was very impressed with how concerned he was that he get to everybody here in North America. I know that he has been away from home for a long time. Eventhough he has his own studio and family to tend to he has prolonged his visit to see as many people as he can before he goes home.
Have a save journey Hoosain
|Dr Z Hendricks||Geneva, Ill.||email@example.com||Friday, February 11, 2000 3:36 PM|
I was just surrounded by a dozen nunchaka-wielding blackbelts and threatened by them if I refused to take the goodies that they had brought to Chicago for their master to pick up. Needless to say I couldn't walk away from a challenge like that, now could I? I surprised myself by seeing how much I had remembered ;-)
The last guy was the toughest though, I was pretty tired at that point, and I have the bruises to prove it. I walked away from the crumpled bunch with the goodies and shall do my best to fit everything into my luggage. When will you be in my neck of the woods??
|Tom Ross||New York||Shorinjiryu Kenzenkai||Midael2@cs.com||Wed, 16 Feb 2000 23:43:30 EST|
I had the privilege yesterday of meeting a truly wonderful gentleman and IMO an excellent Karateka ,I'm sure those of you from South Africa already know I'm speaking of Hoosain Narker. Receiving an E mail from Hoosain the day before that he would be arriving in NYC at 11:00 at the bus terminal , I did my best to arrive there a bit early to greet him (a half hour to be exact). Well, before you know it 11:00 O'clock rolled by and no Hoosain, then 11:15 , 11:20 well you get the picture, I was starting to get worried! Buses came and went but no Hoosain! Walking around the terminal I heard a Blurb over the Public address which sounded like someone with a mouth full of marbles pronouncing my name. Reporting to the information booth they told me that a man had been asking for me But they didn't know where he went!
Well, it wasn't long before I came across a man who appeared to me to be a world traveller and low and behold ,I found him! Who would have guessed that one of the few times in history a greyhound bus got to it's destination extra early :-)
Figuring on heavy traffic, I decided we'd be better off
take the local train and it was NOT one of my better decisions , Hoosain
arrived with some rather cumbersome luggage with Broken wheels no less
! After a grueling weight lifting workout (I'm talking about Hoosain insisting
on and carrying most of the baggage to the train) , we chatted away happy
to have found one another. So much so in fact (It took Hoosain to notice
we'd missed our destination!!) Feeling terribly embarrassed about the whole
thing, we exited at the next available station but couldn't re-enter going
back in the direction we wished, due to construction in progress at the
station. Now I was feeling really terrible for my guest as we came to realize
we had about a quarter of a mile walk (luggage and all) to reach the ferry
terminal (Our destination). Hoosain however wiped his brow and with a determined
smile said "These are the things which only strengthen our resolve"! Being
extremely motivated we now set about with new purpose towards our destination
arriving in short order and proud that Hoosain not only carried the Baggage,
But me as well
I regret to inform my South African Martial brothers, we are doing our best to extend Hoosain Sensei's stay, so I suggest that those of you who have the opportunity to train with this wonder full man to do so, as he has much to offer! That is of course if we can't convince him to stay:-)
I will post my progress in that area shortly ;-)
Shodan Shorinjiryu Kenzenkai Dojo
|Keith Olivares||New Yorkfirstname.lastname@example.org||Thu, 17 Feb 2000 06:46:41 -0800|
ARRGGHH! I missed it! Oh well, I guess I have to wait for the next time you're in town. I hope you have a safe and wonderful trip!
|Sara Aoyama||Brattleboro, VT||BuDo Dojoemail@example.com||Thu, 17 Feb 2000 10:46:36 -0400|
>One question: Why didn't anyone answer my question
about the spirit of Budo?
> Was it a stupid question? But.....Sara said there weren't any stupid questions :-)
Nobody answered it????? Hmmmm..... I sure as heck can't answer it, but I'll repost a quote from the esteemed Hank Prohm who once offered up this definition of karate. Maybe it is relevant....
"Karate is a paradigm for exploring the physical and mental aspects of both the best and worst parts of the human psyche and, by recognizing, acknowledging and learning to control those negative elements within us, allows us to learn how to be better people. It also teaches us that those with power have an obligation to use that power for the good of society."
In addition, Hoosain Narker himself is the Spirit of Budo. I suggest you watch for his posts and read and enjoy them.:-)
|Robert Agar-Hutton||UK||Kyoshin Ryufirstname.lastname@example.org||Thu, 17 Feb 2000 17:14:34 +0000|
Hi Sara (and All),
>Hoosain Narker himself is the Spirit of Budo
As if Hoosain didn't already have enough baggage to carry with him - you have now anointed him with the label 'The Spirit of Budo' - WOW!!!!
Hoosain, don't sweat it my friend (We haven't met but I can't imagine that we would be anything but friends!) - You can still belch, break wind, make mistakes and do all the other things 'real' human beings do too..
Mind you - if you go on in the manner you have been, I think you might be (AFAIK) the first non-Christian SAINT!!!!! :) :) :)
Having written the previous paragraph. I was going to delete it as I know that religious issues have got a bit 'heavy' of late - but then I thought STUFF IT - a small smile for those with a sense of humour - and a lesson in tolerance for those with no sense of humour!
Have fun, keep well, train hard.
|Tom Ross||New York||Shorinjiryu Kenzenkai||Midael2@cs.com||Sat, 19 Feb 2000 01:24:10 EST|
Since Hoosain has already touched on our difficulties at the airport and the fact that I wasn't able to get to introduce him to another martial artist I greatly respect, Shihan Christopher Caile of Seido karate do. I shall touch on the visit from my point of view and wish to reaffirm what a wonderful medium the Cyber Dojo is for making new friends and increasing ones ability to meet, train with and or communicate to, so many talented martial artists.
Arriving at my home Hoosain was immediately greated by both my Chow Chow and my wife's Maltese (I say Wife's Maltese, because being the overly macho type I wouldn't dare claim such a dog :-) Believe it or not the Maltese is the nasty one and I was concerned how he would respond to our new house guest.Well in approxiamately 30 seconds after arrival this viscious little gumball in white fur coat was putty in this strangers hands. So much so in fact I noticed in his post Hoosain failed to mention that he had an adoring fur coated fan sleeping at his feet! I won't mention (for the purpose of possible future blackmail opportunities:-) if pictures of this were taken :-) I'll just let him sweat it.
I will now divulge one of my ingenius city slicker tricks for obtaining knowledge from very knowledgable Karateka and that is "After Dinner, Ply them with plenty of quality Coffee"! Why?? Because we all know that to much coffee after dinner keeps us awake and with all those darn cable channels ,yet nothing on, Its just a matter of time til your talking Karate! :-) In fact before long we were weilding Bo and Sai in a rather cramped living room yet somehow managing not to smash the TV tube, break the Bay window or Gouge the paint off the ceiling! I was able to successfully soak up most of what this wondeful fellow threw my way until three AM two nights straight and I'm looking foward to more :-)
When it came time to take our newly adopted family member to the train station while walking out the door we could hear the shouting of children we'd thought long since asleep ,bellowing "Goodbye Hoosain, Hoosain Goodbye" a truly touching scene which I think was only topped by the final scene in the classic Allen Ladd western "Shane" :-)
Seriously however, Take care Hoosain and we'll see you soon!
|Jamieson Hamelin||Canadaemail@example.com||Sat, 19 Feb 2000 15:01:33 -0600|
> I am not sure what most people think of the subject,
but I feel that
> karateka are getting soft and the clubs are changing to suit the softer
> student, therefore, slowly over time (decades) the style gets softer.
All depends on the individual or the 'gearing' of the club. From what I can tell of following Hoosain's journey across the US, I would tend not to agree with you. Sounds like there are a lot of clubs out there that are doing right by their style and their people.
|Tom Ross||New York||ShorinjiRyu Kenzenkai||Midael2@cs.com||Mon, 21 Feb 2000 23:46:59 EST|
P.S. How's was Hoosain's visit? I met him in Oregon & was genuinely impressed with Ashihara Karate!
I had a most enjoyable time and look foward to his return trip when he will be with me for about a week. I must say this man is an excellent ambasador for Ashihara Karate! He also has some wonderful and unique methods of getting the hip into both Punching and Kicking techniques which I am working on getting down!I strongly advise anyone who gets the opportunity to train with this man to do so!
|Tony Martinez||Homestead, Fla.||Ashihara Karatefirstname.lastname@example.org||Tue, 22 Feb 2000 16:28:41 -0800|
Hoosain Narker, is here visiting for the first time since we met back in 1988. We have had some correspondence but it has been very limited over the years. I was glad to see that he has undertaken the task of trying to organize some of us less motivated individuals. We have been going thru some sabaki and comparing notes on the training that we have both received from Kancho Ashihara and from Kancho Ninomiya. Luck me I am still on track. We have been able to agree that we must offer our help to those who seek it. And maintain our integrity on this path that we have chosen.
Hoosain and I are from different worlds and come from different backgrounds, however we share the same love for the martial arts. The one thing that both us agree strongly on is duty, honor and integrity. It is most important for us to lead by example. Hoosain has convinced me to ally myself one more time with martial arts and forget the disappointments from the past, the disappointments were petty and not important, but it took Hoosain to make me aware of it.
He made me aware of my past and how I could in some small way assist younger and less fortunate karateka. I am former Military with eight years of Marine Corps Force Recon membership and 16 years of U S Air Force Service. Finally retired. I am now in the Corporate World and in Corporate Finance specializing in stock trading and bonds.
I have been reading thru the archives and have noticed that we have some members that have similar backgrounds as mine. I look forward to having much interaction with fellow budoka. Please feel free to e-mail me if I can assist.
|Bob Perry||Middletown, Ohio||TaeKwonDo||TkdBPerry@aol.com||Tue, 22 Feb 2000 22:25:17 EST|
I too am sorry that I haven't been writing as my work day has been 18 hours a day since last April.
You should just enjoy your travels and not worry about us. You have been a good example for all of us. We see you as Marco Polo of the Martial Arts and know you will put this experience to good end.
|Illona McKinzie||Hesperia, CA||Positive Karate||MissIllona@aol.com||Wed, 23 Feb 2000 20:07:20 EST|
You wrote .................
<< He also has some wonderful and unique methods of getting the hip into both Punching and Kicking techniques which I am working on getting down!I >>
Yes, we are working on doing this at our school also ... interesting on the reach he can get by just adjusting the hip and shoulder like that. I learned alot from his visit.
And I have long admired the Ashihara students ... so smooth and so calm. A minimum amount of effort for a maximum amount of power.
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