Church offers Karate

North Warren Presbyterian Church will be offering a new free community Karate class on Sunday mornings from 9:45 10:30 a.m. in the North Warren Community Center, 3 Church St., North Warren beginning on Sunday, Sept. 7. The class will combine the teaching of Biblical truths and a very traditional form of Karate with roots in the ancient teaching of Okinawan and Japanese traditions as taught and perfected by Sensei Masaru Shintani. The class will consist of a 35-minute instruction in Karate followed by a 10 to 15-minute discussion of Biblical truths. The class will be free to all persons grade four through adults.

Shintani Sensei was the eldest son of Japanese immigrants to Canada. Shintani Sensei’s mother was the eldest daughter of the head of the Matsumoto family, a high ranking and honored Samurai clan. Sensei’s mother became an Anglican Lay Minister.

Shintani Sensei studied under both Kitagawa and Hironori Otsuka. Sensei received his ninth black belt degree directly from Otsuka, the founder of the Wado Ryu System. Kitagawa taught the old Okinawan combative style that the Inland people used to defend their villages. Shintani Wado Ryu is a very powerful and explosive art combining the old traditional and at times brutal forms taught by Kitagwa and the gentleness Sensei learned from Otsuka Sensei and Mrs. Shintani. Shintani Sensei was, until his death, the highest-ranking Wado Ryu practitioner in North America. Since that time more than 27,000 students have trained under Shintani Sensei. Shintani Sensei made his home in Canada and traveled frequently to the U.S.

Sensei Ken Bakewell will teach the class at North Warren Community Center. Sensei Bakewell received his black belt directly from Shintani Sensei who traveled to Warren to do a clinic. Bakewell has spent 50 years studying the traditions of martial arts both Oriental and Occidental and had the privilege and honor to train with Shintani Sensei at other occasions. Sensei Bakewell presently trains with Dr. Robert Graham, the ranking member of the Shintani Wado Ryu system in the United States, and Sensei Tom Pinckney in Buffalo, N.Y. Bakewell holds the rank of fifth degree black belt in the Shintani system. No one in the Shintani Wado system can legitimately be higher than eighth degree, which is the rank held by Dr. Graham.

For more information, contact North Warren Presbyterian Church at 723-5060. The church’s website is www.nwpchurch.org.