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Many martial arts businesses are run by instructors who learned from American instructors who never studied outside of their state, let alone traveled across the globe to train with karate masters in Asia. Chiefland’s new True Path Karate Rendokan will be the first in our area taught by a life-long student of Okinawas’s Grand Master (10th degree) Eizo Shimabuku.
John Lohde received the first of his black belts 35 years ago in the Okinawan village of Aza-Kin-Kin-San. Since then, he has taught across the country for at-risk and multi-lingual kids, adults and those into tournament competition in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Nevada and California. He also served as a certified defensive tactics instructor for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Recently, Lohde visited his Okinawan instructor for the fourth time since being awarded his first degree black belt in 1978. Lohde was one of a handful of senior students selected to demonstrate kata, a training technique, for an important island celebration. When recalling the event, Lohde said, “An American demonstrating Okinawan karate to Okinawan karate masters, in Okinawa. Not too much pressure!”
Lohde went on to say, “It made the papers, but none of us could read the Japanese print.”
Lohde’s traditional class will emphasize basic and advanced techniques, history, kata (forms), self-motivation, respect for self and others. While Lohde emphasizes real life self-defense and personal development in his classes he says, “Ttournament competition can be fun and is appealing to some students. Our students usually do very well in competitions.” In the past his students have won many first place trophies. “But more importantly,” he explains, “I saw them attain a strong self-image gained from real life accomplishments – not high scores on digital games.”
True Path Karate, located next to the Print Shop in the Chiefland Shopping Center, will be open for anyone interested in classes or to observe any Tuesday or Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The youth classes begin at 6 p.m. with adult classes at 7 p.m.
Tuition waivers are available to some students that meet specific criteria. To learn more about this opportunity for you and/or your student, go to www.naturecoastkarate or call 221-0048 for more information on student discounts, scholarships and seniors’ Movement & Locomotion classes.