Kansas City 50th Anniversary Celebration – October 28 – 30, 2016
Seventy-seven past and present members gathered for a weekend of practices and parties.
The weekend kicked off with a Friday evening pot luck dinner for black belts at Linda and Mike Lyon Home. About 25 attended and it was especially great for younger members to become acquainted with some of the old warriors who’d been away from practice for many years.
Saturday kicked off at 10am with a two-hour practice led by Kansas City Shotokan Karate Club founder and senior instructor, Jon Beltram, godan.
President of SKA’s Black Belt Council, godan John Teramoto led a two hour practice at 2pm which stressed kihon, breathing, alignment.
Saturday evening, we enjoyed cocktails and an Italian dinner at Oakwood Country Club. Entertainment provided by Kokyo Taiko of Lincoln, Nebraska, featuring shodan Lien Phan
David Altman’s banquet remarks:
It truly warms my heart to see all of you here. I mean this. You’re my best friends. We are here to celebrate our practice, to Celebrate 50 years of Shotokan Ohshima Karate-Do in Kansas City. This martial arts practice is not learned through books or YouTube videos or movies (although I have to admit there are times when I rewind and fast forward through movie scenes to learn a technique or throw).
Our Karate practice has been handed down and taught to us by Mr. Tsutomu Ohshima. This senior-junior relationship is vital in our practice. We would not have met Sensei if it were not for our seniors. A Karate-ka has 3 lives, his/ her senior’s life, his/her junior’s life and their own life.
Dr. Jon Beltram started his martial arts training in 1959 and has been leading Shotokan Ohshima Karate-do in KC for 50 years, since 1966. Sensei sent two of his juniors to Kansas City, Mr. Ohara and Mr. Okabe. This was the start of Kansas City Shotokan. I started Karate practice with Jon Beltram in 1976.
After 40 years of practice, I am as surprised as you are. We cannot forget why we practice, not for rank, not for glory. We practice to perfect our character, so that we can improve our lives and the lives of those we love, and for the lives of society that we may affect. This is what has been passed down to me from my teacher and this is what Mr. Ohshima wants for us.
You know Master Funakoshi said, “The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants”.
Sensei has also given us the beautiful word polishing. It means to look at our self with strict eyes, try to recognize our weaknesses, to eliminate them and courageously step forward. To never ever give up. To never ever give up. I have heard this tenet since I started practice with Jon Beltram.
Then I recently read an article about Winston Churchill and he used to tell his troops to never, ever, ever give up.
I thought to myself, “That man stole that saying from my teacher!” I think the actual quote from Mr. Churchill was:
Never, never, never give up.
I want to finish up by saying thank you to all of you for first taking time out of your beautiful lives to celebrate 50 years of Shotokan Ohshima Karate-do in Kansas City with us. Second, I want to thank our spouses, our partners for being so supportive of our practice. I can’t thank you enough.
I want to thank our Seniors: Dr. Jon Beltram, godan with 50 years of leadership of KC Shotokan; Dr. John Teramoto, godan and BBC president; Mr. Michael Schuler, godan; Dr. Jim Kaplafka, yodan; Donnie Duncun, yodan; Carl Johnson, yodan; Mike Lyon, yodan; Greg Barstow, sandan; Dr. David Mills, sandan; Colonel Mike Bedinger, nidan; and Earl Rand, nidan.
I would like to present a gift of thanks to our teacher Dr. Jon Beltram. He is the epitome of “never, never, never give up.” Remember, in life we are all faced with different challenges and adversities good and bad. What makes you who you are is how you overcome those challenges.
I wrote Ohshima Sensei a while back and asked if he would create a calligraphy for our celebration. It means will or intention. On behalf of Mr. Ohshima, I’d like to present his calligraphy to Dr. Jon Beltram for his leadership and dedication to continuing Shotokan Ohshima Karate-Do in KC for 50 years.
Sunday morning from 9 to 11, David Altman led practice focused on taking care of the body through long Yoga-based stretching and strengthening, and using good sense while practicing.
After David Altman’s Sunday morning practice, lots of people said their goodbyes. The rest enjoyed the Sunday dim sum brunch at Bo Ling’s Chinese Restaurant.