Newsletter of Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP
Spirit Challenge a Huge Success
6.9.2017 by Thousand Waves
We are thrilled to report that our annual fundraising event – Spirit Challenge 2017 – was a success in every way! More members and families than ever before supported our mission driven work by raising funds for our organization – 227 households participated. Together, we raised over $129,000, surpassing our $125,000 goal. Thank you!
Fundraisers were rewarded with a week of Challenge events from May 1 – 6. During the events, many students broke their first boards, some sparred for endurance, and others tested their fitness limits. Sei Shihan Nancy provided her first yoga class and Jun Shihan Sarah brought us curricular material from Kajukenbo, her first martial art, including Nunchaku and Punch Attack Defenses. Sensei Katherine, Sensei Tom, Sensei Alan, Senpai Jordan, Senpai Sam, and Senpai Tabitha also led events. Other rewards for fundraisers included a carnival party for our youngest members, sleepovers for our youth and teen members, and an unbelievable dinner party for those bringing in $1250+.
A special thanks to the many volunteers – from adult members to board members to parents – who came together to make the event a success. Thousand Waves is so fortunate to have such a supportive community; we would not be the organization we are without your dedicated support.
Finally, we hope you will join us in thanking our Spirit Challenge sponsors by considering them as you seek services of the type they offer.
Photos by, in order of appearance: Vaughn Bullock, Katherine Nichols, Mark Hubert, Cindy Leagler, Mark Hubert, Maria Paz-Shariff, Jo-Ann Finkelstein, Marti Mendoza-Schommer, Cyrus Sethna, Tim Goodall, Vaughn Bullock, Rowan McIntyre. Thank you to all the Spirit Challenge photographers!
Thousand Waves Urges You to Support Our Spirit Challenge Fundraiser Sponsors
6.9.2017 by Thousand Waves
We believe absolutely in the work that Thousand Waves does to build a stronger, healthier, more tolerant, engaged and safer community. We, at Picture Day, hope that as you better yourself, your family and your community, that we can help you celebrate that empowerment with beautiful family portraits, professional head shots, photography to document your life events, photo booth rental, wedding, mitzvah, quinceañera or any photography that you might need. Spirit Challenge participants, don’t forget to take advantage of your $50 picture credit. 773-276-4588. Picture-day.com
You too can join the ranks of satisfied Thousand Waves supporters who have used Greenlawn Landscaping’s services. Mention Thousand Waves and get a FREE Landscaping Design Consulation! 773-463-0445. Greenlawnchicago.com
As a supporter of Thousand Waves, you already know how important it is to feel grounded, empowered, and safe. If you or someone you know is struggling to feel grounded, empowered, and safe, therapy might be helpful. I specialize in working with people who have had adverse life experiences, and with TGNC teens and young adults. Want to know more? 773-683-1235. reeseminshew.com
2017 has been a busy year so far with the self-defense program at Thousand Waves! In addition to training new instructors, we’ve hosted three twelve-hour courses and five onsite single-session workshops.
But what has really been keeping us busy is the outreach work we’ve been doing. I’m writing this on Thursday, May 25th – I’ve just returned from doing a short session for the staff at Kaplan University, and in an hour or so, I’m headed to Outer Space (that’s really its name – it’s a dance studio) to do a private program. Yesterday I was at Power Home Remodeling, and on Sunday we hosted a private group here at the Center after doing our onsite workshop. Last Friday I was at DePaul University doing a program for their McNair Scholars. Whew! No wonder I’m tired – that’s 6 workshops in the last 6 days!
We’ve been doing a lot of programs in the educational sector this year, including our new Dinner & Defense offering (which combines a self-defense workshop with a meal, because we know college students are hungry!). In addition to the McNair Scholars, we also did a program for DePaul’s Student Activities Board, the Illinois College of Optometrists, and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Earlier this year, we were working with younger folks, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy, West Leyden High School, and Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School. And by the time you read this, we’ll have added Namaste Charter School to that list.
We continue to work with partners in the nonprofit sector, too, including Big Brothers Big Sisters and Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture. We were especially happy to do a short program for women in the drop in center at Sarah’s Circle, an agency that provides support services to women experiencing homelessness.
Altogether, we’ve served more than 800 people this year in 36 programs and 78 individual sessions, for a total of almost 2,500 contact hours!
If you know of an educational institution, nonprofit, or company with staff or clients that would benefit from self-defense training, shoot me an email (email@example.com) to learn how to set something up.
Senpai Amy Jones is the TW Violence Prevention & Self-Defense Program Manager and a 3rd Degree Black Belt.
Camp Kokoro to Offer Enrichment Activities
6.9.2017 by Jordan Garcia
Our annual summer camp, Camp Kokoro is going through some changes this year. I hope to take what I learned from this past April’s Spring Break Camp and bring the best parts to this summer’s Camp Kokoro.
This year’s Spring Break Camp provided a more personal and deeper understanding of Seido Karate and Thousand Waves history for those that attended. Leading up to the camp I pondered how to provide a fun, unique, and martial arts-enriching experience. I realized there are so many things that we see in the dojo and just walk past on our way to class. The entire history of every Thousand Waves black belt is easily accessible to everyone and I doubted 50% of the kids could find it. So we spent each of the six days doing a different enrichment activity: a scavenger hunt learning about all the things hanging up around the dojo; created a Monopoly game incorporating the aspects of Seido and Thousand Waves history; created game pieces out of clay resembling martial arts paraphernalia; looked up videos showing the differences between Seido and other martial arts; watched videos of Kaicho before and after he founded Seido; and learned the story of Bodhi Dharma and created our own little Bodhi dolls.
Learning and engaging with the children as they deepened their friendships and learned more about their martial arts history was a wonderful experience that I hope to bring to Camp Kokoro this summer.
Senpai Jordan Garcia is TW’s Camp Director and a 3rd Degree Black Belt.
Come and Play Go
6.9.2017 by Sam Boyer
Go is a strategy game for two players. It was first played in China three thousand years ago, and is one of the most popular board games in Asia.
Go has very simple rules, but very complex strategy and tactics. Mathematicians have calculated that there are more possible Go board configurations than there are atoms in the universe!
So please come, and take time to play a few games of Go on some Sunday afternoons, right here at Thousand Waves. Adults and Teens twelve and up are welcome.
Sessions will typically be from 4 to 6 PM. Tutorials will be offered for those new to the game, and a friendly atmosphere will always be provided for us to play and connect with one-another. Sometimes, tea will be served. You are always encouraged to bring your own tea. If you have your own board and stones, you are encouraged to bring those too, but some simple boards will be here for you to borrow as well.
If you would like to join us, keep an eye out for emails and flyers posted throughout the dojo starting the latter half of June. We hope you’ll enjoy learning and playing the wonderful game of Go!
Senpai Sam Boyer is the Adapted Seido Karate Program Coordinator and a 3rd Degree Black Belt.
6.9.2017 by Thousand Waves
Michael Washington is an Advanced Yellow Belt training member.
Briefly, how did you come to train in Seido Karate at Thousand Waves?
I worked at an office west on Belmont for years, driving by and seeing the dojo, and telling myself that I wanted to join. I never studied a marital art but always wanted to. When I started a multi-year training program at work in September 2015, I also used it as my way to stop putting off beginning my training here at TW.
What is one thing you’d like to change about the world?
I’d like for people to stop and wait after they asked someone, “How are you?” Listening to what’s said could change the world. Obviously I have a lot of faith in humanity, but it’s a change I’d love to make. I’d also require dessert to be first at every meal.
What is one thing you do well?
I keep commitments.
What is one thing you do not do so well?
I don’t relax, though I’ve heard of this concept, especially around the dojo! Clearly I need to make a commitment around relaxing. Osu.
Who from history do you admire, and why?
This is a hard question because I’m a minister and chaplain and people, including me, expect my answers to be from that part of my world. My answer, though, is Frank Yerby. Mr. Yerby was a novelist and writing teacher at Fisk University. I met him through his novels. I found his stories to be wonderfully relevant even though they were published six to seven decades ago. I admire that he worked with his hands, he taught, and he wrote fiction. It seems he died while in a self-imposed exile. I think Mr. Yerby represents to me all the people worth admiring, worth reading, and worth soaking up who we, simply, forget. There are others I admire, but he’s my way into that long list.
Other than Chicago, where have you most enjoyed spending time?
I enjoy Portland, Oregon for myself or for me and Dawn, my wife. My family has enjoyed Charlotte, North Carolina together.
What quotation have you found inspiring or interesting?
This is hard, but I’ll answer it from something that’s currently resonating by a theologian named Howard Thurman. As a writer of his time, his language was not gender inclusive, so pardon that. He said, “Men tend to hold on when there seems to be no point in holding on, because they find that they must. It is often at such a point that the spirit in man and the spirit of God blend into one creative illumination.”
What foods do you like best?
I eat anything cooked with love, which means I’m fond of soul food, something I experience especially in Southern, Mexican, Thai, and Indian, a personal favorite, though I’ve been away from it because I like it too much. Also, oddly, I’m a spice wimp. I have a special place in my stomach for desserts if I was ambiguous in my second answer above.
What is a book that has been significant to you?
I believe it’s always the last book I read. My last two books were a set of essays, Letters to My Daughter (Maya Angelou) and a memoir, Things I’ve Been Silent About (Azar Nafisi). I’m currently reading Rachel Noemi Remen’s collection of essays, My Grandfather’s Blessings and a book about trauma and healing by Bessel Van Der Kolk, The Body Keeps The Score. TW folk would love all these books in my humble opinion. They’re all different but very good reading.
What are your musical favorites?
A: I grew up with gospel, classical, and jazz. I listen to country when I write. Frequently played are India Arie, Donna and Layla Hathway, PJ Morton, all the usual jazz greats like Mr. Myles and Brother Coltrane. Rascal Flatts. I already can’t understand my seven year old’s musical preferences. I have hope for him though.
“Thousand Waves Member Spotlight: Ten Questions for…” is a regular feature of Kiai! In the next issue, Jackie Seijo will answer these same ten questions.
Testing for Senior Black Belt
6.9.2017 by Sally Wigginton with Pat Kane
On March 29, 2017 Senpai (now Sensei) Pat Kane and I headed to New York to test at Honbu in front of Kaicho and Nidaime for 4th and 5th degree black belt. The test really began in November with the invitation from Jun Shihan and Sei Shihan. It’s always a big decision to make: Can we really feel confident enough in the entire color belt and black belt curriculum to represent our school and our teachers well? Is this a good time in our lives to take on the steady and committed training necessary? And for both us, the answer was a resounding yes!
What I learned in the preparation is something we all know – the more you train, the more you learn (and remember!). Balance, of course, is the key. I didn’t over train – but I was consistent. And I needed every minute I was on the training floor to remember and deepen my understanding of the curriculum. And then there are the flash cards, and in my case, voice memos that I listen to on my commute to work – “Advanced Self-Defense #5, offense only!” – I would hear come over my car speakers. I would visualize the moves and then practice them at the red lights! We also were so fortunate to have Sei Shihan and then Jun Shihan join her for our pre-tests. This was an incredible gift of two hours on three different occasions for them to test us on our material and then give us feedback. It allowed us to hone in on the work we needed.
At Honbu, we arrived on Wednesday and took many classes over the next several days, which also felt like part of the test. Eyes closed – offense only – katas done ura, with a special eye on each of us who were testing. (Honbu students who were promoting to 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree black belt finished their tests that same weekend, too.) The spirit of the classes was great, a buzz of energy as all of us testing for advanced black belts from Chicago, Berkley, Upstate New York, Australia, England and Italy descended upon Honbu. We also were able to take a very special meditation class with Kaicho where he poignantly recounted his recent serious car accident and the lessons he learned from it. Sixteen of us (eight men and eight women) participated in the overnight test for 4th, 5th and 6th degree black belt, which officially began at 5:00 PM on Saturday. We worked out vigorously, listened to each other’s oral presentations, sparred and tried our best to nap starting around midnight – then were up again in the wee hours to do more kata. At the end of a silent, sunrise meditation, we were presented with our new embroidered gi (which show our new titles) and our treasured belts. Overall, the preparation and test were wonderful, challenging and special experiences for which we are both extremely grateful. Gassho and Osu!
Kyoshi Sally Wigginton is a 5th degree black belt and Sensei Pat Kane is a 4th degree black belt.
Congratulations to our Spring 2017 Promotees
6.9.2017 by Thousand Waves
Four new Second Degree Black Belts and five new Third Degree Black Belts were promoted on June 2, during Gasshuku, a special weekend training camp in Upstate New York. Promoted to Nidan were Senpais Barry Moltz, Becky Kidd, Michele Curley and Michael Kurshan-Emmer. New Sandan are Senpais Bill Louis, Matt Birnholz, Sam Boyer, Pamela Robert and Sayira Khokhar.