Flu Shots

Flu Shots

As you know, this blog isn’t just about karate and tournaments. It was also intended to be about health and fitness (but to a lessor degree). I was going to post a reminder to get your flu shots and provide a list of resources for people in the Far West Suburbs who may be in need of low-cost or no-cost flu vaccines.

But, it occurred to me, I’m running late. I should have got those resources out there in September. I also should have already had MY flu shot but, again, I’m running late.

As an adult, who spends a lot of time around kids because of teaching and whatnot, I really, really should get my shot. (And I will.)

So, if like me, you’ve been putting off what you know you really should do, here’s some tips I just picked up:

There’s two options if you hate, hate, HATE needles. The first is called an Intradermal Flu Shot. It uses an itty-bitty needle and doesn’t have to go in as deep. The second is the flu nasal spray. To get the spray, you can’t be pregnant, you must be healthy and you have to be between the ages two and 49. (I got that from Shape magazine’s RSS feed but, when I googled it to get an exact link, I saw that everyone ran that article. So, kudos to whoever wrote that press release!)

And, this is cool: the Health Map Flu Vaccine Finder. I found the link on the Kane County Health Department’s Web site, but the map is good for everyone in the U.S. Put in your address in the fields to the right and you’ll see a map of where you can find some pretty affordable flu shots. (Mostly these are pharmacies, at least where I live because the VNA did their shots in October.) Some locations have prices listed, too, which should help those on a budget.

So that’s it. Stop procrastinating and get your flu vaccine. Hopefully, next year, we’ll both be a little more on top of our game.


Super Star Karate to Hold 7th Annual Black Belt Spectacular

Super Star Karate in Carol Stream will hold its 7th Annual Black Belt Spectacular, an hour and a half, action-packed, family-friendly martial arts show that is entirely choreographed music. There will be jump kicks, acrobatics, weapons, self-defense and board breaking. But, then again, what else would you expect from a school that has “Super Star” in its name?

Oh yah, there will also be 35 students who will be promoted to first and second degree black belt.

Tickets are available for $15. Order yours by calling 630-668-5425 before Nov. 23 and you’ll save $5. All the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Keith Smith Promoted to Grand Master

Keith Smith Promoted to Grand Master

On Nov. 8, Master Keith Smith, 8th Dan, became Grandmaster Keith Smith, 9th Dan, with a surprise promotion that took place at the Midwest School of Isshinryu Aurora. His sensei and head of the American Okinawan Karate Association, Grandmaster Steve Young, presented Smith with his new belt and promotion certificate during the break between youth and adult classes.

The promotion was in honor of Smith’s lifetime commitment to Isshinryu Karate.

Smith started Isshinryu Karate Isshinryu, in 1972. He had a brother and sister who weren’t doing as well as they could in school and Smith had read an article that said kids who took karate did better in school. So, knowing his sibs wouldn’t take the class unless he did, Smith started studying under Sensei Patrick Buckley. (Continued after gallery.)

Smith often refers to Karate as an addiction that started in those early years with Sensei Buckley. He spent every moment he could at the dojo and brags he was the only green belt that was given a key. Buckley’s school closed in 1974, while Smith was an ik-kyu. His training continued with Buckley and his black belt classmates Terry McDonald, Chuck Nadelhoffter, Vince Carter and John Vos, until his promotion to Sho-Dan in 1975.

Smith opened his dojo through a state grant that funded a variety of youth summer programs offered by the Aurora YWCA at the Aurora Housing Authorities Eastwood Center. When the summer ended and the state funds were gone, the YWCA asked Smith to continue the successful Eastwood Karate Club program and he stayed on as a volunteer instructor.

While he was running his own program, Smith continued his training. Reaching out first to the AOKA and Grandmaster Steve Armstrong. Smith and Armstrong shared a strong belief that the films of Shimabuku performing kata should be used as a standard to which Isshinryu kata should be taught and the two corresponded frequently regarding that topic.

Smith met Grandmaster Steve Young through a co-worker, who was also a student of Isshinryu. Smith was impressed that Young’s performance held closely to the Shimabuku films and, after meeting Young in person, immediately became a student. In addition to his formal studies with Young, Smith also took seminars taught by Isshinryu notables Steve Armstrong, Louis Lizotte, Ron Boucher, Sherman Harrell, Nick Adler, Angi Uezu, Kichiro Shimabuku, Willie Adams and  A. J. Advincula.

Marvin Clark Karate Academy’s 10th Annual Holiday Open Martial Arts Tournament

Marvin Clark Karate Academy’s 10th Annual Holiday Open Martial Arts Tournament will be held Dec. 8, 2013 at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary, IN. Doors open at 9 a.m. Eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

If you register before Nov. 30, the entry fee is $45 for the first three events and $5 for each additional event. After the 30th, the fee is $45 for the first event and $5 for each additional event.

Spectator fee for adults and kids ages six and older is $8. Spectators ages five and under are free.

This is an AKA sanctioned tournament and the first tournament of the 2014 AKA Circuit Season. (I want to say it’s a 3A tournament – but don’t hold me to that.)

In addition to trophies, there will also be some cash awards. The top two supporting schools (I assume this is the two that bring the most competitors) will be awarded $50 each. Other cash awards include:

  • $100 – Men’s Grand Champion Fighting
  • $100 – Men’s/Women’s Grand Champion Forms
  • $50 – Women’s Grand Champion Fighting
  • $50 – Junior Black Belt Forms

If you didn’t receive a flyer for this tournament, download one here. You can register for the tournament online here. (If you’re registering before Nov. 30, make sure you find the discount code written in yellow and type it in. The discount code is what brings the price down to the advertised preregistration price. )

For additional information, call Hanshi Marvin and Sharon Clark, (219) 981-8699, or email watchmanmarvin@aol.com.

Chris Thomas Returns to Romeville, IL, in December

In December, pressure point expert, Master Chris Thomas will conduct two days of pressure point training at the Romeoville Recreation Center, 900 West Romeo Road, Romeoville, IL. 60446.

A special, intensive session will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13 for black and brown belts only. Fee is $40.

Two different sessions on pressure points and kata bunkai will held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Saturday’s sessions are open to all ranks. Attend a single session for $35 or both sessions for $60.

Even though this seminar will center around the Okinawan Martial Art of Isshin-Ryu Karate, practitioners of all martial arts can and should attend, as the information presented will benefit any style or system.

For additional information, contact Eddie Cavazos eddiecavazos@comcast.net or 815-272-7028