Karate club set to participate in national seminar in California

The St. Edward’s University Karate Club will travel to Santa Monica, Calif. to attend an annual training seminar hosted by some of the best sensei in the country. From Nov. 16-18, the club will attend the USA Goju-Ryu Karate-do Seiwakai Training Seminar.

According to the official website for Seiwakai International karate, there are dojos in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom, North and South America. In the United States, there are six dojos in Texas, California, Illinois, Hawaii, New York as well as in the Ohio and Michigan area.

As of now, there are approximately four people in the club. 

“These precepts don’t just apply to karate, they can be applied [anywhere] … it is a good way to keep me centered and balanced,” sophomore Samantha Parsons said. “You’re holding yourself to a standard that is not perfection, but is as close as you can get.”

The club is now student run. Parsons is technically considered the president of the club; however, the karate club adheres to the Japanese tradition of Sempai – Kohai otherwise known the senior-junior mentoring relationship.

The club’s adviser and head instructor is Sensei Jim Pounds who is ranked as a 6th degree black belt. He is also the head instructor of the Heijoshin Dojo and an adjunct professor of karate at St. Edward’s.

The seminar offers opportunities for students from all over the United States to grade to higher dans such as 2nd and 3rd degree black belts. As well as Seiwakai testing, students have the ability to attend training sessions instructed by the best sensei, including Pounds.

The seminar’s chief Including Sensei Pounds and his wife, Sensei Theresa Herrera-Pounds, about seven people who either are currently in the Karate Club or are recent alumni will attend the seminar.

One St. Edward’s student, senior Ismael Moreno, has the opportunity to grade. Currently, Moreno has a brown belt with two stripes and has the opportunity to grade to a 1st dan black belt pronounced as shodan.

“If everyone wants to look good, they will go 100 percent,” Moreno said. “They don’t tell you if you graded that day though. They tell you later.”

This is Moreno’s second time attending the conference. He began karate when he enrolled in the basic karate class offered at St. Edward’s.

Sensei Pounds has full discretion to grade students before they become black belts.

Though not all students will have the opportunity to grade to any degree as black belts, they are still excited to have opportunity to train with world-renowned senseis.

“I just want to go and have a little more respect for the Japanese culture,” Parsons said. “[This is] a great experience for me to remember for the rest of my life. I will be really inspiring.”

As of now, the club plans to enter in more tournaments.

“I am not only going to go and try to get my black belt,” Moreno said. “This seminar is also a great way to bring our club to the next level.”