James White with son CJ

By James White


I love HSK!  It is a wonderful and supportive community that my family and I are proud to be a part of.  At one time, my whole family of five trained. After about 4 months as a beginner, in February of 2017, I had to have major surgery (stomach removal) due to cancer.


When I told Sensei and the Senpais about my impending surgery, and that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to return, Sensei said, “You will always have a place to train, and an entire dojo ‘pulling for you’.” Well, three and a half months after that surgery and having low energy, I started to train again.  I promised my wife that my return to karate was on a trial basis.  The support I received from everyone at the dojo was amazing!  I KNOW that it made a huge difference in my recovery.


A year and a half after my surgery, I have passed three belt exams and signed the intent form to take the next exam for my 6th kyu. As training has become harder and taken more effort, I am still unsure how far I can continue, especially with my other physical challenges.


Taking karate in my mid-forties has made a tremendous difference in my life, and I am truly grateful. It has been such a fun experience to train with my 10-year-old son CJ. One of my proudest moments as a father was when we were both yellow belts and faced off for kihon in the HSK tourney. I lost!  I wanted to win, but I couldn’t believe how happy I was to lose!


I work a lot and don’t always get to spend as much time with my family as I would like. However, even those few minutes riding to and from training with CJ builds a bond between us.  He sees me struggle with my new “normal” of being stomach-less and/or gutting it out through physical pains. I know these times together will give him experiences that he will one day look back upon and be glad he spent them with me, which is not always the case with a 10-year-old boy – ha, ha, ha!!


I try to set a good example for him with persistence, and for my two girls who both did the summer beginners program. Speaking of my daughters, my oldest has autism and she was so wonderfully embraced by everyone. I am so very proud to be a member of this caring community!  OSU!!!


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