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Congratulations To 50 Year Old Shodan

In the latest issue of the Hawaii Pacific Press (No. 480, November 15, 2007), there is an article about Walter Miyanari, who at the age of 50, just received his shodan. He trains under Sensei Kevin Funakoshi (son of Sensei Kenneth Funakoshi) in Mililani. The dojo is part of the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association. Mr. Miyanari started training in 2001 with his daughter.

Mr. Miyanari and I are about the same age. I can already feel many of the aches and pains of being 50. But I started martial arts training when I was only 7 or 8, and Karate training in high school. Nothing hurts when you are a teenager, and if you receive an injury, it normally heals very quickly.

Mr. Miyanari must have started training when he was about 44. It must have been a real challenge. Developing flexibility must have been a challenge. Even remembering the kata can be difficult. Children can remember kata easily. It already takes me weeks or months to learn new patterns correctly (luckily, I already know most of the patterns in my system and am running on memory!).

I felt very happy reading about Mr. Miyanari's accomplishment. It is remarkable. Mr. Miyanari has done something great, and so have his Sensei and the seniors in the dojo.

I am not impressed when I hear about a 50 year old being awarded a 9th or 10th dan. But to earn a shodan at that age, that is really something!

My compliments to Mr. Miyanari, Sensei Kevin Funakoshi, and Sensei Kenneth Funakoshi.

By the way, Sensei Kenneth Funakoshi was kind enough to send me a journal for his association's 9th world championships that were held last month in Crawley, England. What an accomplishment for a Hawaii Sensei! Funakoshi Sensei has students and dojo around the world.


Charles C. Goodin