Our Philosophy

Self-Defense is the preparation to minimize the possibility of assault. Many victims of assault are victims not because they lack the capacity to defend themselves but because they have been given absolutely no preparation to cope with this special kind of emergency. At “Al Lima’s Studio of Self – Defense” it is our commitment to prepare you for this kind of emergency. Using the highest standards of instruction with respect to your need as an individual, we will prepare you for the possibility of assault. We intend to teach you this Martial Art with out discrimination to anyone. Through hard work, dedication, effort and desire the knowledge you gain can greatly improve your chances of over coming the odds.

What is Karate?

Shihan Lima with SwordKarate is an ancient oriental method of self-defense. Although the term “karate” means empty ( Kara) hands (Te), Karate makes use of both the hands and the feet to defend against an attack. By use of karate techniques you can generate enough force in your own body to break boards and bricks. Once shrouded in mystery and secrecy, today these techniques are available to everyone. However the “secret” today, if there is one, is hard work and efforts.

Misconceptions and myths about karate are widespread. It is a myth that you have to toughen your hands to an iron-like degree to defend yourself. It is a myth that a Black Belt in Karate is a Master (more likely a long-time learner). It is a myth that karate is just a full contact sport, although it can be, and that to step into a dojo (gym) is to get into a fight.

Karate is universal in its appeal to people of all nationalities. It has something for each sex and every age level. since karate is a method of self-defense, and art (such as dance), a means of physical exercise , and even a means of meditation. What Karate is, depends on your purpose.

The purpose of your karate training may change over a lifetime, form self-defense against high school bullies, to free sparring as a young adult to physical exercise to prevent or correct middle age spread, to dance like movements to retain vigor as old age approaches. Literally , it may take a person a lifetime to define what they mean by karate.

Philosophically, karate is a paradox. By means of deadly techniques, karate teaches you to be gentle, to avoid violence, to love peace and harmony. There are theories as to how this attitude of harmony in midst of karate’s violence techniques are created. One theory is that the sheer power of karate’s killing blows are enough to cause a person to respect his own body and other people. As a result, karate “forces,” self-respect. Still another theory is that working out in karate releases hostile feelings and aggression that would be normally vented on others. Karate relaxes the tension. Whichever theory is correct, and all the theories may have some elements of truth; the fact remains that karate does improves a person’s character by a very paradoxical means.

This Oriental Martial Art offers each person a way to develop latent abilities, to test themselves to the limit: physically, mentally and spiritually. Whether you practice karate for a lifetime or just for a short time, there are benefits to be gained in health, self-confidence and insight into your own life. What is karate? Only the individual can say and not always consistently.

What is Kenpo Karate?

Kenpo karate employs linear as well as circular moves, using intermittent power when and where needed, interspersed with major and minor moves that flow with continuity. It is flexible in thought and action so as to blend with encounters as they occur. Kenpo is the first Americanized martial art. Students are encouraged to alter moves, but not the underlying principles, to fit individual body structures or to compensate for handicaps. Teaching methods are also Americanized , relying on practical demonstration, everyday experience and familiar nomenclatures.

On December 7, 1941 at the beginning of World War II, Dr. James M. Mitose introduced Kenpo Karate to the Hawaiian Islands. Dr. Mitose a Japanese -American, was born in Hawaii in 1916. At the age of five he was sent to Kyushu, Japan for schooling in his ancestral art of self-defense called “Kosho-ryu Kempo”; said to be based directly on Shao-lin Kung-Fu. Mitose returned to Hawaii in 1936 and in 1942 he organized the Official Self-Defense Club at the Bertania Mission in Honolulu. This club continued under his personal leadership until1953, when it was assigned to Thomas Young, one of his chief students. Only five of his students (Young, William Chow, Paul Yamaguchi, Arthur Keawe, and Edward Lowe ) attained the rank of Black Belt.

Kenpo arts flourished in Hawaii and later in the West Coast of the mainland, where three of Mitose’s protégés formed clubs of their own. In 1953, before going to the mainland, Mitose wrote “What is Self-Defense,” reprinted by his students in 1980.

Of Mitose’s students, perhaps Chow played the most significant role in the evolution of the American Martial Arts. Chow began the study of Martial Arts at the age of seven under the guidance of his father. During his youth, Chow studied Boxing, Wrestling, Jujitsu, Sumo, Kempo, (fist way, first way) and Karate.

Although he had learned Kosho-Kyu Kempo under Mitose, Chow was the first to teach what he called Kenpo (fist law) Karate.

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