written by: Judy Barnhart, 8th degree black belt Shorin-Ryu Karate USA under the direction of Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro
Q- Have you ever trained in karate and do you still practice karate?
Shane- I trained in karate from age 5 to age 25. I didn’t have a choice in the matter as I was just about born in a karate school in NYC and both of my parents were and still are karate instructors. Our family albums are filled with karate photos and the students became my extended family. Karate gave me discipline and confidence. There were periods over the course of twenty years when I loved karate and other times when I loathed it. Overall I’m glad that I have a strong foundation in the martial arts. Shorin-Ryu karate was the catalyst for me to go in the direction of yoga and meditation at the age of 25 while living in Los Angeles, working as a tech writer. I don’t practice the Shorin-Ryu kata and drills anymore, but I think the confidence of knowing self-defense is a useful tool for my travels navigating around the world. I have visited some unique and color filled places off the beaten path in Europe, India, Turkey, Egypt and Israel. I know how powerful karate is and I know how to use all my senses to avoid confrontations. Growing up, karate was a tool to give me a feeling of focus and inner/ outer strength. Karate calmed me and made me into a more compassionate human being. So short answer is I don’t practice karate formally anymore, but the principles and the essence of karate-do, I am practicing all the time.