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Karate

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Marcus DeValantino student of Grandmaster Seikichi Odo

Kyoshi Marcus DeValentino was trained by Grandmaster Seikichi Odo. My instructor Shihan Rich Pelletier is Marcus's senior student. Visit Marcus's Web site for more information about Okinawa Kenpo Karate-Kobudo Shudokan.

Now that you're a black belt have you arrived?

Someone recently asked me, "Do you feel different now that you have you're black belt? Do you feel like you've arrived? Is it cool?" As I thought about the question I realized that I don't feel like I've arrived at all. In fact, I would liken my feelings to a person who is lining up to run a marathon, not like the runner who has finished the marathon. In martial arts, as with any art that one might seek to master (relationships, painting, photography, writing, hunting, etc), there is always more to learn and refine. We chase a goal that is unreachable, perfection. Yet we still seek it. I'm convinced that this is why people talk so much about enjoying the journey.

Black Belt

I earned my shodan (first dan) black belt in Okinawa Kenpo Karate-Kobudo Shudokan from Shihan Sensei Rich Pelletier (sixth dan) on Saturday (3/31/2007).

Blue, Green and Brown Belts

Glenda and I were both awarded our blue belts back in August of 2005. Glenda was 7 months pregnant and did great!

After a number of months away Glenda has returned to the dojo. Within three weeks she has refreshed all of her knowledge and is taking on new techniques in preparation for her green belt test.

I was awarded my green belt in January and then my brown belt in April. In our system, Okinawa Kenpo Kobudo, there are three levels of brown belt. I am currently brown 3, the lowest level. I will spend at least a year progressing through the brown belts before I can test for first degree black belt (first dan), hopefully at the 2007 annual testing.

Annual Testing

We had our annual testing yesterday. We didn't test for belts, but participated anyway. This completes a week of training with Kyoshi Marcus Devalentino (Sensei's instructor) who is now an 8th Dan. Sensei Pelletier was given the title of Shihan, which means teacher of teachers or masters. What a surprise! We have really enjoyed this past week and look forward to next year's visit from Kyoshi.

Purple Belts

Sensei promoted us to purple tonight! How cool is that?

Orange Belts

Well we've moved beyond our yellow belt and just received our orange belts. It's nice to be moving forward. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the belt system in our style of martial arts here's a primer.

White Belt - (lowest rank, where everyone begins)
Yellow Belt - 8th Kyu
Orange Belt - 7th Kyu (our current rank)
Purple Belt - 6th Kyu
Blue Belt - 5th Kyu
Green Belt - 4th Kyu
Brown 3 - 3rd Kyu
Brown 2 - 2nd Kyu
Brown 1 - 1st Kyu
Black - 1st Dan, Shodan
Black - 2nd Dan, Nidan
Black - 3rd Dan,
Black - 4th Dan,
Black - 5th Dan,
Black or Red/White Striped - 6th Dan (our instructors current rank)

Karate

Glenda and I have begun taking Okinawan Kenpo (empty hands) and Kobudo (weapons) at Pelletier's Karate Academy. I have never felt so clumsy in my life! We've been at it for a couple of weeks now and we really enjoy it. Even if we're lowly white belts.

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