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Impressive Kata By 3 Little Girls

Last weekend, I gave an historic Karate photograph exhibit at Sensei Chuzo Kotaka's 48th All Hawaii State Karate-Do Championships at Manoa District Gym #2. See ikfhawaii.com. It was a very good opportunity to observe this tournament, which I believe is the largest in Hawaii.

Such a large tournament is a bit like being in an airport. There are announcements going on all the time. I don't know how everyone finds the right place to go, but they do.

Kotaka Sensei's family helped him, as did his students. On Friday, when the gym was being set up, Kotaka Sensei's students worked like a well disciplined army. Everyone knew exactly what to do, and did it.

The same was true the day of the tournament. It is like when you go to a really nice restaurant. Everything happens so smoothly that you are not aware of all the people working.

I was set up at the end of the gym, across from where the dignitaries were sitting. People were walking back and forth in front of my display. I had a table and chair and was near a ring where competitors did kobudo (mostly bo).

At one point, three cute little girls who studied Shotokan, came in front of my display and practiced kata. They were between the ages of 8 and 10. They were standing right in front of me, and would practice their kata perpendicular to the crowd. Thus, the people were walking back and forth and the little girls would practice their kata by moving out into the crowd and back.

It was the best! The girls would slightly adjust their timing so that they would not run into people, but they came very close. Many of the people walking were Karate students, but many others were parents and friends. They were not trying to avoid the little girls -- it was the girls who were avoiding them.

I enjoyed watching them immensely. I think that there should be an event for this. Have a mob of people walk all over a ring and have a competitor perform a kata without running into anyone!

I do not come from a tournament background. I have never competed in a single Karate tournament, and never intend to do so. While my way of doing Karate may differ somewhat, I respect the hard work and effort of all the competitors who came out for Kotaka Sensei's tournament. I am also very grateful to him for allowing me to display photos from the Hawaii Karate Museum.

I even got to see three of my good friends from the Hawaii Karate Kodanshakai: Sensei Joe Bunch, Sensei Lee Donohue, and Sensei Paul Ortino (who was visiting from Las Vegas). All three of these fine Sensei had students competing in the tournament.

Even now I smile when I think of those little girls practicing kata in a crowd.


Charles C. Goodin