Nick Duellman and Gail Johnson with friends in the office of the Honbu Dojo in Santa Ana, CA

Training in California

By Gail Johnson, Instructor, Minnesota Itosu-Kai

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to train at the honbu dojo for 2 weeks in
August.  With Sensei's permission, I was able to stay at the dojo, help with the
children's classes and participate in the adult classes.  It was a unique opportunity to drop my daily life for awhile and focus strictly on karate.  This type of training really illustrates to oneself how much you have yet to learn and motivates you to keep trying.  Training with so many talented people in California creates an
atmosphere in which I push myself harder and farther than I thought I could. 
Something as basic as a punch, I get at taste and feel of how it should be done.  I only hope I can recreate that feeling enough times that it becomes natural.  Another important part of my trip to California is spending time with Sensei and the other students.  All of students are so nice and make me feel at home like family.  I
always look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones when I visit.  The last Sunday I was there, Sensei and Damon invited me to go fishing in the ocean with them.  I managed to get up by 4:30 a.m. and it was well worth it.  We caught a lot of fish and I even saw some sea lions.  I want to thank Sensei Demura and
everyone out in California for having me at the dojo and making my stay so
wonderful.  I especially want to thank Mr. Speck and the other Minnesota instructors for covering my classes and duties while I was away to
make this experience possible.