Friday, August 26, 2005

Adventures in Finding a Karate School

The biggest worry I had about moving to the Knoxville area had to do with finding an appropriate martial arts class. I am a karate fiend and I don't know what I'd do without my karate fix. The thing was, searching on the web myself, all I could find was Isshin-ryu karate. Now, Isshin-ryu is a legitimate style of karate, but it is completely unrelated to shito ryu, the style I've been studying here in Illinois. So I would basically have to start over, which I wasn't too interested in doing.

So I asked my karate teacher to help me find out where I could study down there. He has a lot of connections across the country, so he sent out an e-mail on a mailing list asking if anybody knew of anything in the Knoxville area. One person responded back and said there might be somebody teaching goju ryu down there. Sure enough, I googled for "goju ryu karate knoxville" and found a listing for a goju ryu school there.

Goju ryu is related to shito ryu, although not as closely related as the shorin ryu they offer at Los Alamos would have been. But it's still related enough that I should be able to step in and catch up quickly. I already know three kata that they learn in their system (as well as twenty more that they don't do!) so it won't be as disastrous of a transition as it could have otherwise been.

The nice thing about studying shito ryu is that our style has a lot of kata. Most systems require that you learn one new kata per belt level, whereas shito ryu requires a minimum of three kata per level. Ni kyu (2nd brown belt), for which I'm studying right now, requires five kata. So in some ways, I think that earning a brown belt in shito ryu is more of a challenge than earning a brown belt in most other systems. I'm glad to have studied shito ryu first, instead of having to catch up with all those kata.

I can't express enough what a relief it was to find that there probably exists a karate class for me! That was my main concern about moving to Tennessee. I still have to call and make sure that it's right, but it's good to know that there's a chance to keep up with karate after I move.

1 comment:

Laura said...

YAY for Karate goodness!!