Special Event Pictures

Beach Trainings

Malibu Beach Workout 2015

  Malibu Beach Workout 2015  Left to Right: Lynn Aponte, James Augur, Leo Shortle, Vern Vaden, Ty Aponte, Robert Nunez, Keelan Aponte, and Max Chao-Haft

Malibu Beach Workout 2015
Left to Right: Lynn Aponte, James Augur, Leo Shortle, Vern Vaden, Ty Aponte, Robert Nunez, Keelan Aponte, and Max Chao-Haft

Winter Gasshuku - Claremont Loop Trail - January 2018

Workout in the Park - Memorial Park, Claremont - March 2018

Relay For Life - May 2018

On May 19, 2018 some members of the USKL dojo participated in the Claremont/La Verne Relay for Life organized by Paul and Jennifer Alverez (former senior USKL students).   We were part of Team Sultana/Walking Warriors and we gave a karate demonstration for the participants at the Relay.  We captivated the audience while demonstrating basics, progressives, kata, kumite waza, and sparring.  At the end of the demonstration we led a lap around the event track area to the tune of “Kung Fu Fighting” to send cancer the message that we plan to kick its butt. USKL demonstration participants included: Senseis Ty, Lynn Aponte (cancer survivor), James Augur, and Leo Shortle, and Laura St. Martin, Devin Voiles, Ivan La Rache and Ian Li. Sensei Christie Villa Kramer carried the baton around the track, cheer-led and took pictures. 

Spring Gasshuku - Big Bear Lake - May 2018

Special Training with Jeff Klein, DAC May 31, 2018

  Special Training with Sensei Jeff Klein on May 31, 2018  Left to Right: Sensei Ty, Gynneth St. Martin, Jeremy Oaken, Sensei Klein, Mark Oaken, Ariel Heyman, Sensei Heyman, Don Marolli; Ivan La Rache, (), (), Ian Li, Sensei Leo, and Dr. Dave Michelson

Special Training with Sensei Jeff Klein on May 31, 2018
Left to Right: Sensei Ty, Gynneth St. Martin, Jeremy Oaken, Sensei Klein, Mark Oaken, Ariel Heyman, Sensei Heyman, Don Marolli; Ivan La Rache, (), (), Ian Li, Sensei Leo, and Dr. Dave Michelson

On Thursday, May 31, Defense Arts Center was fortunate to host as guest instructor Sensei Jeff Klein.  

Sensei Klein is not only one of the most senior karateka still practicing in Shotokan Karate of America (SKA), but was a legendary tournament fighter throughout the 1970’s in both national and international venues, besting many of the toughest and most celebrated fighters in the world. Sense Klein received his Yodan ranking from Ohshima Sensei personally in 1976.   

Sensei Klein is one of those rare practitioners who are constantly evolving, polishing and improving their execution and understanding of karate and the martial arts.  In addition to an encyclopedic knowledge of the history and important players in Shotokan karate, as well as other disciplines, Sensei Klein is a deep and innovative thinker on the meaning and applications of kata and the ‘basic’ movements we all take for granted. For instance, Sensei Klein has long maintained that instead of kata being a fight against multiple, albeit very stupid or polite and patient opponents, during kata you are facing ONE opponent and constantly moving them around, pulling, pushing, grabbing, throwing, breaking joints and striking this one opponent throughout the kata. 

Sensei Klein began the class utilizing movement in place of the traditional warm-ups. Throughout the class, Sensei Klein focused on Shuto-uke (sword hand block) as it is one of the most ubiquitous movements in our katas, as well as one of the least understood and utilized movements in non-kata applications.  

We began by moving forward and backward with big and very loose and relaxed feeling in the basic fold up and execution of the block.  We practiced many applications of shuto-uke with and without partners. Sensei Klein emphasized that BOTH hands are fully functional during engagements, pushing, pulling, striking and manipulating one’s opponent in order to both unbalance the opponent and gain an advantageous position or angle. 

Sensei Klein emphasizes using both hands simultaneously in very realistic ways.  Although our basic techniques are extremely important as a foundation and training method in order to understand the connections, stances and mind/body awareness, our karate must evolve beyond the basic techniques and understandings and utilize more sophisticated and fluid movements and manipulations of distance, timing and angles with our opponents. 

We also practiced Heian Shodan, trying to employ our new understanding of using both hands, relaxed flowing movement and mentality, executing the kata both very slowly and very quickly, with continuous feeling. 

After practice, Sensei Klein treated us to his own history of karate training, interweaving his very interesting story with many wise insights. 

Klein 3.jpg

Later, a few of us, including Sensei Ty, Sensei Leo and Ariel Heyman went out for sushi wherein we were treated to some very captivating stories and observations regarding many of the most famous JKA legends, Sensei Klein’s ‘interaction’ with Bruce Lee, and other, perhaps, not for general consumption insider information about karate’s great Masters, fighters and iconic personalities. Extremely engaging and down to earth, Sense Klein is as fascinating and instructional off the practice floor as he is on it.  Hopefully, we can entice him into returning for another class before he moves back to New York.  

-- Sensei Tom Heyman (Yondan SKA)