THE 2017 KARATE NERDS!
Its been a solid three months or so for the Okinawa Karate Nerds, and the training is just beginning! With lots of seminars, group trainings, and amazing food (to supplement said training), life in Okinawa thus far has been, to the agreement of all, a full on sensory rich and deeply fulfilling experience. Challenging, eye opening, and often enlightening, it is safe to say that all of the Karate Nerds agree that training in the birthplace of Karate is an experience unlike any other.
It is a fact, too, that each of the Karate Nerds has their own unique and creative way of expressing their experiences so far in Okinawa – for as every style of karate is both unique, as well as similar, every Karate Nerd has their own unique perspective on the matter. And each must be heard! For it all ultimately contributes immensley to the ongoing, and continuously evolving body of knowledge that is the study of Karate in the 21st century.
There is no right karate, only the right intention to learn. And every individuals vision of Karate – what it represents/means to them – truly serves to enrich the practice for all Karate-ka.
So! With that said, it is our pleasure to showcase the blogs of the 2017 Karate Nerds for the first time here! This is where you can follow the Karate Nerds amazing personal journeys, get to know what it is like to live and train Karate in Okinawa (should you be interested yourself), and just generally get super excited about the Karate lifestyle! There is no shortage of awesome tales to be told with this group, and it is our privilege to bring you their stories:
Ben Eayrs is a highly intelligent and prolific Karate Nerd from Scotland! He has been Studying Karate for what seems like a lifetime in terms of his knowledge and passion; he would also be the first to admit that his learning has just begun. Here in Okinawa, Ben has been studying RyuKyu Kobudo with Akamine Sensei, as well as Shorin-Ryu Karate and other styles as well. He is also very knowledgable about nutrition, loves anthropology, and enjoys a good pint! We wouldn’t want to have a deep Karate Nerd conversation without Ben – he’s just got that much good stuff to say! And we love it.
Francois Staring is a Shito-Ryu Karate-ka from Belgium, and an amazingly fit Karate Nerd. He began his study here in Okinawa under Onaga Sensei, and also studies Matayoshi Kobudo under Yogi Sensei several times a week at the Prefectural Budokan. Besides Francois’ fantastic good looks, and incredibly powerful physique, he is also a highly skilled fighter (relentless in fact), an amazing keyboard player (plays in a band back home) a super fun social dude, and very passionate and intelligent about global politics (a topic which also often comes up after a few pints). 🙂
Josh La Selva is a monster of a martial artist from Canada. He is studying RyuKyu Kobudo and Uechi Ryu Karate under Kinjo Sensei here in Okinawa, but practices many other styles as well. Josh was awarded his Shodan in Kobudo not long after his arrival here, and seemingly, spends a lot of his free time contemplating (and spinning intellectually stimulating webs) about martial arts. Josh is also an accomplished musician, and has aspirations to host his own martial arts podcast someday and create straight magic! (Isn’t that right Josh!?)
Maxwell Honey is an accomplished martial artist across many disciplines (if I do say so myself!). Here in Okinawa, Max is studying Uechi Ryu Karate with several prominent teachers, as well as Matayoshi Kobudo under Itokazu Sensei. He has also trained for 13 years in Birankai Aikido, as well as delved into Wing Chun Kung Fu, Tai Qi Quan, Capoeria, MMA, and JuJitsu. Aside from Martial Arts, Max is also a prolific writer, and Is very passionate about Human health and Shamanic medicines. Max doesn’t drink alcohol, but often his Herbal tinctures contain a high percentage of vodka! (Which he’s been told is clever coverup…)
Nicolas Perez is a Shorin-Ryu Karate practitioner with a contagious and genuine love for Karate. Coming all the way to Okinawa from Columbia, Nicolas is seemingly calm in the face of any adversity (or maybe he’s just that cool?). He is currently studying Karate under Maeshiro Sensei, and is doing Kobudo training as well. Often Nicolas will cross train in other styles, showing a unique propensity to picking up new skills very quickly! Also a great story teller, and a genuinely loving person, it might be safe to say that Nicolas’ Karate move of choice (unbeknownst to him!) is simply being himself! He is just that smooth and cool. Really.
Karrin Pitt is probably the bravest of the 2017 Karate Nerds! Having never left the USA before this – as well as being the only woman in a group of testosterone driven Karate dudes – this is truly a journey of a lifetime for Pitt. In Okinawa, she is studying RyuKyu Kobudo under Akamine Sensei with Ben Eayrs, and is now also studying Karate with Onaga Sensei, as well as with several other teachers. In addition, Pitt is a devout Crossfit Athlete, loves to write and blog about her adventures in life in general, is very computer savvy, and absolutely loves to dance! (which makes one of us) 🙂
Jose has been doing martial arts for most of his life. He has studied Tae Kwon Do for many years, and more recently has taken up Goju Ryu Karate, which he is now practicing under Hokama sensei here in Okinawa. He is proficient in the Korean Swordsmanship, and is also studying Batto Jutsu at the Prefectural Budokan. He is also a well established life coach and teacher! And spends a lot of time philosophizing, and learning about how to make the world a happier, and more inclusive place for human beings. (and he also, apparently, really loves cute puppies).
If there’s one Nerd who fits the bill of being both a total bad ass, AND a really nice and humble guy, it’d probably be David Kraus. David has been studying Karate for many years, and here in Okinawa is studying Goju Ryu Under Hokama Sensei. In addition, though, David is also studying Motobu Ryu, which is an ancient martial art from the time of the RyuKyu Kingdom in Okinawa! It’s been told also that David is quite stunning in his Kumite – perhaps a bit more reasonable than a certain someone – but fierce none the less. And If that’s not what a true Karate Nerd should be, then I don’t know what is
Written by Maxwell Honey