By Jeffrey Sandangsal
I started Uechi Ryu karate in the fall of 2002. I studied that type of karate with America's Youth Organization over the past years. Today, I'm the only student participating from 2002. I never quit. I love Uechi Ryu karate. I have gone to many tournaments. I have won many times and have lost too. I have earned many trophies for my efforts. I have gone to many special events with Uechi Ryu karate. There have been sleepovers, parades, and summer camps. I joined the demonstration team in 2005 and went to a tournament. I learned how to break two boards with my elbow and performed Kanshiwa Bunkai in front of an audience. I have been an actor in karate movies with Sensei Bill over the last few years. Uechi Ryu has kept me out of trouble.
There are many things that I have learned from Uechi Ryu Karate. I learned the story of the dramatic past of this syle of karate. I have learned six katas. Three are traditional katas and three are non-traditional katas. I have learned self-defense and some wrestling. I have learned to protect myself from a kidnapper. A few years ago I learn to break boards with my bare hands with Sensei Bil. He also taught me three kumites: Uke Kumite, Kanshiwa Bunkai , and Kyu Kumite. In the last few years, I have learned two weapon forms. They are with the bo staff and the nunchucks. I really like these weapons.
I think I should be promoted because I have a goal. I want to be a junior black belt. I chose Uechi Ryu Karate over baseball, soccer, football, and cub scouts. Recently, I have helped Sensei Bill with his classes. I am learning Japanese tradition and the role of being a leader and Sempei in class. My uncle tells me that acting as a black belt student affects all parts of my life. I promise to do well in school. I promise to be a gentleman. I promise to do my chores at home. I promise to dress nicely and always be thoughtful of others. I promise to not be a bully and to solve problems with peace and communication. Sensei Bill has taught me a creed, which I try to follow. . .
" As a Martial Artist, I will practice Modesty, Courtesy, Integrity, Compassion, Gratitude, Self Control, Perseverance, and an Indomitable Spirit".
Note: Jeffrey is a Junior Black Belt (age 14) training with Sensei Bill Corriveau in Garden Grove, CA. Billl Corriveau is one of many affiliated instructors with Okikukai West. Due to his spirit, skill, dedication and training, Jeffrey is the only minor that has earned a junior black belt in Southern California under Okikukai West (www.okikukai.org). Jeffrey sets a high standard.
From my own perspective, Jeffrey has reminded me of ideals to which I feel we should all aspire.
Mr Corriveau's web site is: http://gardengroveokikukaidojo.web.officelive.com/default.aspx His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org