Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Blessed. To have known and been trained for 35+ years by the honorable Japanese Toyama-kai Karate Master and founder- Hanshi Mikio Tanaka - 10th Degree Black Belt. As the years pass the number of karate-ka who actually trained under the Grand Master from Okinawa for any significant amount of time, Kanken Toyama, are getting fewer and fewer. Mikio Tanaka is one of those few remaining legends in Japan, and he trained with Kanken Toyama for 25 years. During the years pre & post World War II in Japan, many karate practitioners came to Tokyo to train with Kanken Toyama from the countryside. Mr. Tanaka was usually seen there training seven days a week. Blessed. To have trained side by side with him for 35+ years, 17 of those years living and training with him week after week in Tokyo, Japan. Blessed. To have him such a large part of my life, as he gave the main speech at my wedding in Tokyo, then held my two daughters as babies, and later taught karate to them when we visited Japan every summer. There are many others in our Toyama-kai karate family circle in Japan; brothers Hayama Hanshi & Hayashi Sensei, Iinokuchi Sensei, Nakayama Hanshi and the Mito Dojo karate brothers, Ishida Hanshi in Kyushu, Ikeno Hanshi, Tokuyama & Kawamoto Hanshi in Hiroshima. Ikeno Hanshi in Narita, Japan. My heart thanks them all, as they are now my Toyama-kai Karate family. It saddens me, though, that due to poor health Tanaka Sensei can no longer train and lead, but he still serves as an inspiration. Master Tanaka passed on many invaluable karate lessons that have inspired me: First, that the most important and most difficult "technique" in karate is not a block or a punch, but is kindess, and that it is essentail to have a good heart to help others, and to share karate selflessly with others. Money was never his objective and his class dues were set so almost anyone could afford to train. Secondly, the most integral factor in the study of any martial art is simply to CONTINUE TRAINING, as all the answers and secrets can be unlocked through continued serious training. Most important is to start, and if you have gotten away from it, to return.
And thirdly, to not be focused on rank or financial gain as SHARING Toyama Karate is most important and shoud be the focus,
and not on numbers kata one knows, numbers of students.
Tanaka Sensei pushed me to start teaching 20 years ago after moving back to America, by telling me,
"People teach best what they most need to learn."
To have lived such a magical life
thanks to so many people,
and I share theses memories
with you on these pages.
Please enjoy the other Toyama-kai Karate Pages.....
TRADITIONAL OKINAWAN KARATE
A Few Thoughts on Martial Education Through Training Karate - Bob Hollinger:
As we wake or sleep, we grow strong, or we grow weak, and
at last a crisis arises, to show us what we have become.
In such a crisis will you be ready? Will you be able to...
Handle someone approaching you in a dark parking lot? Deal with that phone call in the middle of the night? Calming talk with your son or daughter being bullied in school. Bullied online? Will you be able to focus through a divorce? The loss of a job? A debilitating disease? The death of your parents? Some with road rage? Will you be able to keep calm after a car accident? Being attacked by a crazed stranger walking down the street.
Why train Japanese Karate? To learn self defense? To become more confident. More disciplined? To learn how to fight?
The answers to these questions go back to the time of the Samurai, whose end was spelled when the introduction of guns to Japan rendered the sword obsolete. Not long after this trying transitional period in Japan, there lived a man named Yamaoka Tesshu, a master of the sword (kenjutsu) as well as a Zen priest. When asked by a military captain how functional the martial art of kenjutsu could be against the awesome power of cannons and guns, he replied,
“I understand that the style of war is different now, but still I continue to train with the sword. The result of my training is not to fight and defeat the enemy. I’m training myself, my spirit, my ego. The rifle and cannon are only tools. People must use the tools. Human quality is most important. You are using a new weapon, but your blood is still Samurai. It is necessary to train and discover sincerity, loyalty and honor, to lose attachment to life and death. By training martial arts, you will discover your own strength of character and will, and will develop spiritual confidence.”
Toyama Karate Classes
6:30-7:45 PM Ages 6+
Cetronia Fire Hall
18 S Scenic Street
All Students $50/mo.
1 Adult/1 Child - $80
1 Adult/2 Children - $110
Karate Uniforms ~ $30
Karate Class Information
Please click on the link or image above to read local Lehigh Valley newspaper articles about Bob Hollinger and his life, and how he is using karate to help and benefit others in the Lehigh Valley, across America, and around the world
Call/Text Today - (610)737-3185 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org