What does Hawaii Shotokan mean to me?  By Cassie Romero


Hawaii Shotokan has been one of the biggest surprises of my life.  Karate is a sport that never interested me.  I remember peeking into the cafeteria at Noelani School, hearing all of the odd screams and shouts and thinking how mean the teachers looked and how nobody looked like they were having fun.

 At my age, I never considered being part of an organized sport or to be participating in ANY sport with my children.   We initially joined Karate because it was something that we could do together as a family.  It would keep the kids busy until we found a “real” sport to enroll the kids in.  Soon after we joined the club, Hawaii Shotokan had me under its spell.  After practice we stand as one; the razor sharp words of the Dojo Kun captures the essence of the club which is to seek perfection, develop your character, have discipline and respect, and to work hard.  These are principles to live by and worth making time for in our lives.

 For me personally, karate has pushed me physically and mentally.  My body lay dormant for over 25 years and the years of nonuse is evident with my lack of flexibility, poor strength, and ongoing injuries.  Despite these challenges, karate has made its way to my heart and more than ever, I want to keep moving forward.  I want to better myself, continue to improve, and to overcome my mental “disorders”.  I don’t want to be the best; I want to be the best that I can be.  I think that I am setting a good example for my children by showing them first hand that commitment and effort are key ingredients for success.  What started out as an activity for my family to keep busy is now something that I look forward to and I do for myself.  Truthfully, I don’t pay attention to what anybody in my family is doing during practice.  This is the one-hour of my day that is dedicated to me and only to me. 

This “me time” however has introduced me to wonderful families.  The club nurtures these relationships through picnics, parties, and club activities. We practice together and encourage and support each other.  There are no egos here (at least among the women); we genuinely want each individual to reach his or her personal goals.  We have bonded because we value the philosophy and practices of Hawaii Shotokan led by our beloved Sensei and his faithful senpais.  Hawaii Shotokan has been a surprising gift that has enhanced the lives of my family and me.  It has made us stronger, brought us closer, and has blessed us with life-long friendships.  I can say for certain that karate is one of the best things that I have ever done for myself.  Osu!


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