Johnpaul Williams receives his Seiwakai Gojuryu Karatedo Kyoshi (advanced teachers license).

2024 New Year Wishes

2024 New Year Wishes

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By Johnpaul Williams – January 3, 2024

Dear Members, Families, and Friends of Seiwakai Karate Silicon Valley,

Vassie Naidoo Shihan (LA) Alexandra Alan (MP) Takahashi Satoru, Johnpaul Williams, Shiho Azuma Williams and Sanjit Mandal. USA representatives with Takahashi Shihan in Japan

Vassie Naidoo Shihan (LA) Alexandra Alan (MP) Takahashi Satoru (JP), Johnpaul Williams (MP), Shiho Azuma Williams (MP) and Sanjit Mandal (TV). USA representatives in Japan 2023.

As we step into the future with great anticipation, Happy New Year, 謹賀新年 (Kinga Shin-nen)! Wishing you a joyous and prosperous 2024 (Reiwa 6) filled with good health and growth.

I trust that all members of Seiwakai Karate Silicon Valley, Seiwakai International, and the Japan Karatedō Federation Gōjūkai (JKF Gōjūkai) will greet the New Year in good health. This year holds exciting opportunities, notably our participation in the 50th Taikai and international gasshuku in Naha, Okinawa – a significant milestone for our karate community.

Reflecting on our journey, 2023 marked the 25th anniversary of our club’s inception, tracing its roots from San Jose to Daly City, Burlingame and ultimately finding our current home in Menlo Park here in Silicon Valley. Heartfelt gratitude to all past and present participants for steadfastly supporting Seiwakai Karate Silicon Valley, Seiwakai International, and the Japan Karatedō Federation Gōjūkai (JKF Gōjūkai).

This year, we eagerly anticipate our pilgrimage to Okinawa, where we’ll pay respects at the graves of Goju-Ryū founder Chōjun Miyagi Sensei, his primary teacher Kanryō Higaonna, his senior students Eiichi Miyazato, Meitoku Yagi, and others. This sacred journey extends beyond our dojo, honoring the memory of those who came before us.

The JKF Gōjūkai 50th Taikai and international gasshuku in Naha, Okinawa, beckons. Beyond a competitive event, it serves as a familial gathering dedicated to the teachings of founder Chōjun Miyagi Sensei. The aim is to enhance skills through international karate exchange, fostering deep friendships, understanding, and the pursuit of peace and comfort.

2024 August 7 to 13 Seiwakai International Gasshuku Daisen (Omagari), Akita Japan
2024 August 15 to 18 JKF Gojukai Taikai Naha Okinawa Japan

With karate achieving Olympic recognition, enthusiasts worldwide intensify their training efforts, reaffirming their commitment to traditional Budo roots. Whether seeking health, self-discipline, or mental training, the journey involves a gradual review and advancement of one’s practice. Karate transcends exercise, fostering friendships within the dojo and beyond borders.

The essence and techniques of karate naturally cultivate both the mind and core, instilling self-defense techniques. Mindfulness of self-defense enhances attention, concentration, awareness, and compassion.

While each practitioner may have unique reasons for embracing karate, perseverance is key. Immediate results are rare in any sport, martial art, or endeavor. Positive change comes when one discovers it within themself. With that, please endeavor to continue training in passive time to experience the benefits it may bring you.

The life force of Goju-Ryū Karatedō emanates from the breath.

Strengthening daily breathing empowers individuals to navigate life’s challenges and difficulties. This year we will re-enforce our focus for breath training in all of our training from warm-up exercises and strength training to Kata and Kumite.

As we step into 2024, let’s embrace the following resolutions:

  • Be Mindfulness and Cultivate Vigilance: Be present in each movement, allowing mindfulness to guide your actions. Stay vigilant, embracing the essence of Goju-Ryū, where awareness and readiness are the foundations of strength.
  • Prioritize our and others Personal Safety: Safeguard your physical and mental health through thoughtful training, proper techniques, and a holistic approach to self-care. Your safety is the bedrock upon which your karate endeavors flourish.
  • Be Informed and Prepared to Instill Harmony: Seek harmony within yourself and with those around you. Be well-informed about your training, goals, and the principles of karate. Preparation is the key to success.
  • Cultivate a Sense of Calm: Embrace a serene core amid the dynamic nature of karate. Develop a sense of inner calm that allows you to navigate challenges with composure.
  • Contemplate Tranquility: Take moments of introspection to contemplate peace within yourself. Seek tranquility in the quiet corners of your practice and daily life.
  • Express a Genuine Wish for Peace: Extend your aspirations beyond personal growth. Express a sincere wish for peace, not only in your own life but also in the lives of those around you.

May these expanded resolutions guide you on your path in 2024, fostering a deeper connection to the principles of karate and enriching your personal and collective experiences.

Warmest wishes,

Johnpaul Williams

Seiwakai Karate Silicon Valley