Testimonials from Some of Our Students

Max – 7 kyu

“Karate has helped both of my sons tremendously. Their physical ability exceeds most children of their age. The greatest improvement is increased concentration and the ability to focus on tasks at hand. It is obvious the benefits of karate extend into all facets of their lives; from school work achievements to personal self confidence.”

Mr. Heise – 2 kyu

“I started training in JKA karate as a college freshman at the University of North Dakota in 1972. My first teacher was a green belt. The nearest sensei was a 4th dan in Minneapolis and our college club would fly him into town to train and test us once or twice a year. I trained 2 to 5 times a week for four years and passed my shodan exam in January 1976. I stopped training from 1978 to 1980 while on board ship in the Navy because guys kept trying to pick fights with me, since I didn’t have my officer’s insignia on my gi. I gained 15 pounds and lost a lot of my flexibility. I resumed training in 1980 at the University of North Dakota and became one of two head instructors of the college club. It seemed to take forever to get back in shape but I passed my nidan test in Minneapolis in 1984. I moved to Salt Lake in 1985 to teach in the business school at Westminster College. My old green belt instructor, who was now a sandan, was here and another old friend who was a nidan. We trained 3 days a week with 5 other JKA shodans in the dance studio on campus. Then, in 1988, I got married and stopped training. What a mistake!! My sensei and I drifted apart as well. I always threatened to begin training again as my weight crept up to 200 pounds and my health began to deteriorate.

In July 2008 I had my first physical in five or six years and found out I had Type II diabetes and high blood pressure. I also had a lot of joint pain from old injuries. What a reality check! I started jogging and went on a diet to decrease my blood sugar, but jogging has always been boring to me. I had been a member of the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center for two years and saw the shotokan flyer with Sensei Marius. I had been curious about the class but never followed through with a visit until I found out about my health problems. I watched the class from the window over a raquetball court and recognized the basic techniques and katas I used to know. I watched sensei teach, watched his technique and was impressed. One of the things that drew me to karate in the first place was that the teacher was also the best practioner, unlike most sports where the coach can no longer perform. Sensei Marius gave me a chance to have regular instruction from the highest dan rank in my karate career. Watching the class got me excited about trying to train again so I decided to give karate another try at 54 years of age. My ego didn’t like wearing a white belt, but I wasn’t really practicing for rank. I just wanted to get healthy again doing something I enjoyed 20 years before. I thought my body would remember the techniques, and that I only needed to get into better condition. I was wrong. I started training in September and for the first three months after each workout I was usually stiff before I got to my car to drive home. My flexibility was virtually gone and I couldn’t kick above my thigh on any of the kicks except the front kick. Sensei was very patient and encouraging, so I started additional training on my own two times a week to improve my techniques. I became comfortable with the other students in the class and they were helpful as well. There were not any overblown egos, which is a good reflection on Sensei. Within 2 months, most of my joint pain was gone, my blood sugar was close to normal, and I started to remember the katas. My weight aslo dropped to 180 pounds, which is what I weighed when I was 22 years old! It was great. I believe it was November when Sensei told me to prepare to test in January and so I trained even more often, but the test was still the most exhausting test I have experienced. Now I am a shotokan 2nd kyu, but more important, I am healthy now and have re-connected to an art I hope to practice well into old age. Thank you Sensei Marius.”

Ken Meland – 2 kyu