I am a Sandan in Okinawa Kenpo Karate and Okinawa Kenpo Kobudo of the Heilman, Odo, Nakamura lineage. I have been training for twelve years and teaching for seven. I have also been studying Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu (Miura line) for three years.
The martial arts have long been a way of life for me, and I have gone through many different phases of my training (as most martial artists do). I went to tournaments for awhile and collected some shiny plastic. I learned high ranking kata, assuming they had super death-touch secrets that I needed to unlock (unlike those silly ‘beginner katas’). I watched Bruce Lee movies in awe and admiration…and the list goes on.
That’s all fun stuff, but eventually (thankfully) I found a better balance in my training. I have come into contact with some amazing teachers and continue to grow and learn so as to live up to their standard of excellence. Training has become a personal journey for me through which I endeavor to carve away all the imperfections in my technique, spirit, and character (which is why they call the martial arts a lifetime occupation!)
I decided to write reviews in the martial arts due to my academic background. I graduated from Penn State University with a BA in Professional Writing. Over the years I have published in several different venues, such as Blur (Creative Nonfiction anthology), Penn State Collegian Newspaper, Nolde Forest Outreach (public relations package), Woven With Words (published book), and hopefully in the near future, Masters Magazine. Writing about the martial arts has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, so I decided to put that energy to good use and offer up some reviews.
I work in writing and marketing full-time at Classic Wines, an online resource for wine ratings, wine prices, and wine reviews.
Likes: reading & writing (but not so much rithmatic), feeling that ahh-ha! moment in the martial arts, comedy shows on tv, browsing youtube.
Dislikes: puffy chested martial artists of any style, closed minds, dishonesty, reality tv, stories that end with ‘you had to be there.’
On a final note, for those who are curious and hung in there through my bio, I chose the name “Ikigai” because it is a term that I consider significant. It roughly means ‘that which makes your life worth living,’ but it’s a very slippery and thought-inducing concept. Look into it if you’ve got a slow day at the office or something; use that google all the kids talk about these days.
Email Ikigai 108.