Crystal Coast Eagles Goju-Ryu Karate- Dō Kai
I recently had the pleasure of attending a ceremony at the Community Center where Carli Nation, Shelley Burgess, and Laura Burgess earned shodan rank (black belt). This is the first group (Carli was actually first) to earn black belts and I congratulate all of them. The three girls performed a demonstration and it was evident that it took a lot of skill, determination, and training to obtain the black belt. Dr. Joyce Trafton who has over 30 years of karate training in the United States, Okinawa, and Taiwan started the Crystal Coast Eagles Karate-Dō Kai at the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Center in 2005. She now has 30 students, both male and female ranging in age from 5 to 60. There are 9 belts below black belt (kyu) and 10 black belt levels (dan). Each student (and Joyce) takes great pride in attaining the next level.
Karate-Dō is not just about fighting—it is training the mind, body, and spirit. In fact, the Okinawans developed kata (various arrangements of basic and self-defense moves) with the first move always being defensive. Just a few of the positive characteristics of a hard-working karate-ka (student) include self-respect, confidence, dignity, a sense of morality, and peacefulness. A student who conquers his or her fears and refuses to accept failure will develop self-confidence and will not have the need to look for or engage in trouble. As a result, the positive energy gained from karate-dō can be used for constructive efforts, such as empowering others. In truth, the enemy is usually the enemy within—the self.
It is with this purpose in mind—to train the mind, body, and spirit—that in 2009, the official logo and patch were created based on the true story of Jeff Guidry of Sarvey Wildlife Center and Freedom, the eagle he rescued. “An eagle hides his claws” is a Chinese proverb. When an eagle swoops down on its prey, it does not advertise by sticking out its claws. Only at the last moment, its talons open to grasp the prey. Students should not boast about their skills but should live peacefully. However, when in self-defense, they should “show their claws.” The curriculum also includes opportunities to study the language and culture of Okinawa and Japan, first aid, awareness and prevention strategies, gross and fine motor development skills, and learning strategies.
Another great program sponsored by the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Department. The program is open to ages 5 to 95. If you or a family member is interested in participating, please contact Laura Lee at 252-354-6350.