Newsletter of Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP
Introducing our 2017-2019 Strategic Plan
3.31.2017 by Ryan Libel
The Thousand Waves Board of Directors and I are pleased to have adopted a strategic plan for the organization that will guide us from 2017-2019. Our strategic planning committee began its work in the middle of last year, evaluating our outcomes from the 2014-2016 plan and developing new goal areas. The board approved the plan at its last meeting. It has a dual focus: maintaining Thousand Waves’ strong foundation and positively impacting the community.
The foundational part of the plan includes nurturing leadership for our karate program and continuing to provide scholarships for all who need them. We will also focus on communicating the depth and importance of our far-reaching work to our members and other constituents in an effort to continue to inspire your generosity. Since much of the work we do is only possible due to the support of charitable contributions, it’s vital to prioritize the growth of those funds.
In addition to the many ways our existing programs positively impact communities, our new plan focuses on growing the capacity of our Violence Prevention & Self-Defense program to work with partner organizations across the city. We want to increase our ability to do the kind of programs that benefit participants most. An emerging body of social science indicates that our types of programs have the greatest impact when they are delivered in multiple sessions over time. Developing the organizational relationships required to do longer-term programming takes time and resources, as does training the instructors needed to carry out the work. The capacity-building work is already underway, as VP & SD program head Amy Jones is hard at work training a cohort of seven new instructors!
Thank you for being a part of the Thousand Waves community. It continues to be an honor to work with our organization’s board and staff leadership, all of whom are deeply committed to doing what it takes to ensure Thousand Waves’ ongoing success.
Senpai Ryan Libel is the Executive Director of Thousand Waves, and a 3rd Degree Black Belt.
Special Tributes Presented at Annual Meeting
3.31.2017 by Thousand Waves
At our Annual Meeting in January, we were proud to present Sensei Rebecca Angevine with a special art piece for her years of dedicated service to our Adapted Seido Karate Program. Sei Shihan Nancy wrote a moving tribute to Sensei Rebecca, which she read to the assembled membership. The tribute itself was designed by Thousand Waves parent and supporter Kari Wanagat. Please join us in appreciating Sensei Rebecca for her vision and stewardship of the ASK program during its first 12 years.
During the meeting, we also presented a Thousand Waves Peacemaker Award to Amy Jones, our Violence Prevention Program Manager. Jun Shihan Sarah Ludden was inspired to nominate Amy for her work. The award reads, “For your courage, commitment and hard work as Manager of Violence Prevention, empowering us to stand up to violence, communicate respectfully, resolve conflicts peacefully and fight for our personal and collective safety. Thank you for the countless waves of peace you have set in motion.”
Spirit Challenge Has Begun!
3.31.2017 by Thousand Waves
Our annual Spirit Challenge Fundraiser is underway! Our members and supporters – from our littlest kicks to our training adults – are hard at work raising money to ensure that we can continue our important, mission-driven work all year long. During this six-week-long fundraising drive we are striving to raise $125,000 by encouraging our friends, colleagues, and loved ones to make tax deductible donations.
For more information about how to get involved, click here – you can make a donation, or start fundraising yourself! Raise or donate $100 and you get a t-shirt and the opportunity to participate in a week of challenge events. The fundraiser rewards go up from there.
Funds raised go to support our impactful Violence Prevention/Self-Defense programs, which we deliver all over the city. They also support our scholarship fund – which distributes over $40,000 in tuition assistance annually, and our Adapted Seido Karate program for children with disabilities. Thank you for doing your part!
Thousand Waves Offers Free Workshops on Self-Defense and Bystander Intervention
3.31.2017 by Amy Jones
Since late last year, Thousand Waves has been periodically offering 3-hour “Bystander Intervention and Self-Defense for Prevention of Identity-Based Violence” workshops. So far, we have offered three – one in December, another in January, and most recently we offered it on March 26th.
Students practice using assertive speech and body language to present themselves as strong when interacting with strangers, acquaintances, and people they know well. “The same techniques of assertiveness that are effective self-defense are also effective when used on behalf of someone else,” says TW founder Nancy Lanoue. “The techniques are simple, but not easy – especially for those who have been socialized to be more passive. But with practice, anyone can learn them.”
In cases of identity-based harassment, students are coached to first consider the environment and their own safety, and to consider various options for intervening – by calling authorities, allying with the intended target, or directly confronting the attacker.
Alongside role play practice using verbal assertiveness to interrupt harassment and prevent physical violence, workshop participants also practice delivering physical strikes designed to be effective against larger, stronger assailants. The techniques use what Thousand Waves calls “natural weapons” – the heels of the palm and the foot, the side of the fist – that are easy to learn and naturally strong; students are trained to target vulnerable areas on an assailant’s body. “Taking out the knee creates mechanical compliance,” says Becky Kidd, a TW self-defense instructor, by way of example. “If you injure the knee, they’re not running after you. They can’t.”
Thousand Waves was moved to offer this workshop, and to offer it for free, because of an increase in inquiries following the November 9th election. People are concerned. They want to know what to do if they witness someone being targeted for harassment. According to this Southern Poverty Law Center report, more than 400 incidents of hate-based harassment occurred in the weeks following the election.
Thousand Waves has recently released its 2017 calendar of self-defense trainings. While there are no more workshops with a Bystander Intervention focus currently scheduled, there could be more. We’re taking it workshop by workshop. We will continue to offer these workshops as long as demand stays high.
Senpai Amy Jones is the TW Violence Prevention & Self-Defense Program Manager and a 3rd Degree Black Belt.
3.31.2017 by Sam Boyer
At the start of this year, I had the honor of taking over coordination of the Adapted Seido Karate (ASK) program from Sensei Rebecca Angevine. With the support of Sensei Tom West as head instructor, and Senpai Denise Coleman’s continuing administrative assistance, the ASK program is continuing to provide quality instruction and motivation through an amazing roster of volunteers to our students. The students of ASK cope with a broad range of challenges, from Down syndrome to autism to cerebral palsy, and more. And they are very, very good at karate.
Anyone who volunteers at ASK can tell you that these students really mean business. They are dealing with a host of physical and mental challenges, can only train once a week for 5 weeks in a stretch before needing to take 2-3 weeks off, and yet they not only learn their syllabus material but also show genuinely good karate, every time. It sometimes makes me feel really insecure.
Yes, you read that right. I’m a little insecure when I see how seriously my ASK students take their karate.
Because, unlike them, sometimes I take my practice for granted.
There are many days where the last thing I want to do is show up to the dojo. I always rationalize it to myself as, “I can always go train tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be right now, because right now I’m exhausted from my day and really want to stay here on the couch and keep catching up on Lost (I’ve never kept my fingers too close to the pulse of the zeitgeist, as you can see).”
Likewise, there are Sundays where I don’t want to spend my afternoon teaching. It would be kinda nice if my students were just like me, and maybe wanted to do something else and not show up for class so I could take the afternoon off.
But, every Sunday, they’re always there. Always ready, and waiting to practice. Because they know that there’s no such thing as “I can go tomorrow.” For them, it’s now or never. If they miss the wrong Sunday, they may not get to practice for a month. If a surgery goes wrong, or a new therapist decides they need more sessions, there may never be karate again.
They know there’s only one chance to practice: now!
My own students understand the martial concept of “one strike, one chance” better than I do. They live their lives that way. Now can you see why I’m a little insecure?
Yet, I can’t help but be properly humbled and grateful. No matter how unhappy I might have started, at the end of every Sunday ASK session I feel on top of the world. My student’s pure love and gratitude for their one chance to study karate is infectious in the best way, and reminds me again and again not to take my own practice for granted. I’m sure everyone who has had the opportunity to teach or volunteer at ASK has felt the same thing.
Their lesson inspires me, and maybe it could help you too reader, if you ever feel like I do on cold winter evenings or after long hard days. The next time you’re feeling that siren’s song of the couch instead of training at the dojo, think about these incredible students, who know:
There’s only ever one chance.
Senpai Sam Boyer is the Adapted Seido Karate Program Coordinator and a 2nd Degree Black Belt.
3.31.2017 by Thousand Waves
Jonathan Murphy is an Advanced Green Belt training member.
Briefly, how did you come to train in Seido Karate at Thousand Waves?
In 2014, I read a disturbing story about a group of teenage boys who viciously assaulted another boy on a school bus. When interviewed, the bus driver stated that he was scared and didn’t know what to do. After reading this story, I decided that I didn’t want to feel that same sense of powerlessness in the face of violence or abuse. Through my military experience, I learned that the best way to pick up a new skill is through practice… lots and lots of practice. TW stood out among the many training sites in Chicago because of its unique peacemaking philosophy as well as its wonderful, inspirational history.
What is one thing you’d like to change about the world?
While one change is unlikely to dramatically change our world, obligatory public service for all US citizens (regardless of income level) would likely get us on track towards greater appreciation for similarities.
What is one thing you do well?
Establish and achieve goals.
What is one thing you do not do so well?
Take time to relax and appreciate the beautiful people and setting around me.
Who from history do you admire, and why?
While no historic figure is ever truly perfect, I admire selfless people. In my life, the best exemplars of selflessness have been teachers. Their commitment to helping others learn requires patience, discipline, and grit among other things.
Other than Chicago, where have you most enjoyed spending time?
At the end of 2015, my parents retired and relocated from Michigan to Colorado to join my sister and her family. Now that my entire family lives in Colorado, I spend a lot of time traveling to the Front Range. I really enjoy spending time with them.
What quotation have you found inspiring or interesting?
“The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation,” Bertand Russell.
What foods do you like best?
Anything spicy! Growing up, I hated my mom’s cooking, because it was too spicy. Her friends used to call her chicken curry, “Crying Curry.” Now, I cannot get enough of it! Specifically, I love Mexican salsa, Indian vegetable curries, and anything with a chili-garlic combination. The hotter, the better!
What is a book that has been significant to you? Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, had a meaningful impact on my life when I first read it. Since then, it consistently floats across my mind when I struggle to find meaning and purpose in my life. The book reminds me that even the best of us struggle with earthly, physical distractions.
What are your musical favorites?
I enjoy guitarists that integrate different genre, such as Jose Gonzales or Ben Howard. Also, I grew up listening to John Coltrane whose genius has never ceased to amaze me.
“Thousand Waves Member Spotlight: Ten Questions for…” is a regular feature of Kiai! In the next issue, Michael Washington will answer these same ten questions.
Portrait with Kaicho
3.31.2017 by Katherine Nichols
If you go to New York City, be sure to visit Honbu, the World Seido Karate headquarters. If you bring your gi, you can take a karate class while you’re there. If you are lucky, you can pose for a photo with Kaicho, like Senpai Takato and Senpai Kumiko, and their parents Trisha and brown belt Kenji.
Congratulations to our January & March 2017 Promotees
3.31.2017 by Thousand Waves
Our students have been busy learning their material and testing for their next belt level – it's been
a busy couple of months. Congratulations to all of our dedicated students who achieved a new rank.
To 2nd Kyu
To 3rd Kyu
Advanced Green Belt
To 4th Kyu
To 5th Kyu
Advanced Yellow Belt
To 6th Kyu
To 8th Kyu