Sempai

Sempai Danielson and Sempai McGavin

North Fork Karate now has TWO instructors who have earned the title, Sempai. Jennifer McGavin and Doris Danielson. As our Dojo continues to grow and flourish, the need for trained instructors grows as well. Fortunately, Paonia is home to some terrific Karateka, who are active and willing to work hard. For students, it is a chance to get more one-on-one instruction and tips on technique.

Sampai, in the Japenese culture, usually means “senior ” or “mentor”.  Sempai is not to be confused with Kohai, as they are different, yet similar. Here is a link to a very good article about the role of Sempai and Kohai in the traditional Japanese culture.

A valuable lesson

Not only do our Sempai help train our students, they must maintain their own skills and continue their own training schedule. Our Black Belts are learning how to referee, judge, and flag for competitions. Attaining First Dan is a new beginning, not an end. It is not easy, it is not quick, yet aspiring to Black Belt is a common goal in our dojo.

North Fork Karate has a listing of accomplished Black Belts, Dr. Dory Funk, Collin Sherba, and Jim Firor. They are all skilled instructors and the students like and respect them. Kai Funk and Andrew Eyler are college students living and working in the Denver area and are training with the Honbu dojo. They come home to visit and train with us when they can.

North Fork Karate is vibrant and growing, thanks to the efforts of Sensei McGavin, Sempai McGavin and all of our instructors and students. Part of the reason for our success is the support of the parents, who make sure the students make it to class, and who show up to help with our tournaments and demonstrations.

Bob Soby

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