Introduce Yourself

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    If you are a new student, please do introduce yourself to your peers and instructors! Some things you can mention:

    -Your name
    -The course(s) you are enrolled in
    -Previous martial arts experience you have
    -Why you chose to train in the course
    -What your goals are, what you are looking to gain
    -Your career/family life if you’d like

    Thanks, we look forward to getting to know you! No pressure if you do not want to publically introduce yourself, you can also add a brief bio about yourself at the beginning of your online student journal, so that you instructors can familiarize themselves with you.

    Liam Eilliott

    Hi everyone
    My name is Liam Elliott I am enrolled in Shotokan Karate. I have quite an extensive history as a beginner in multiple martial arts. I often joke that I know the first move in every martial arts! A distinct lack of focus continues to be one of my struggles! I do however have six years of experience in Savate.

    I would like to achieve a black belt, I am no longer interested in a combat mind set, Shotokan for me will represent my ability to focus my efforts an achieve a set goal.

    Thanks for reading!

    Liam Elliott



    I was interested to read your introduction. Your experience may resemble my own: I began to train in martial arts as a teenager, went away to college, then joined the military and moved every couple of years. As a result, I started and stopped in several styles: Shotokan and Isshinryu Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Western Boxing, Tai Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do, and Military Combatives. For me also, training has become more about budo than bujutsu. I have been impressed that Gichin Funkakoshi claimed no dan rank for himself. The modern martial arts business so often encourages validation-seeking behaviors such as belt rankings and tournaments; I am more interested now in the self-satisfaction I find in training and discipline than in external rewards.

    Best regards,

    Liam Eilliott


    I agree, I also dislike the commercialization of martial arts. However, I do feel that tournaments and belt rankings do have their place. For the longest time I insisted that I did not need a belt to validate my ability, but now I really feel that I would like to work towards a black belt, I don’t know, maybe I just caved to peer pressure! Nevertheless, I feel like I have a healthy understanding of what a black belt means. I view it as a mark of commitment and dedication. Also, the belt system allows me to have a tangible indicator of my progress. I guess I am trying to say that belts are important to me, but, its the journey not the destination that matters.
    Thanks for reading, I know I am rambling!


    James Class

    My name is James Class, and I am enrolled in Shotokan Karate. I previously trained in Shaolin Kempo for about a year, after which I had a second daughter and moved abroad for work for 3 years. During the time abroad, I tried other Kempo styles over distance learning but could not progress because of their neutral bow stance (too much pivoting to practice basic techniques). I am much more comfortable with the front stance here and really like the streaming format – good for us travelers. Since i know a slightly different yet related style I appreciate seeing the differences and similarities to get a deeper view of the art. I also really just enjoy having an active kata; it helps distract me from work and keeps my week moving. Per the previous discussion, I think a Black Belt is an admirable goal, if only for the stories I have heard from others that the belt is the point at which you can truly start to understand the art.


    Hello my name is Rachelle. I am currently working on the Shotokan Karate course. I signed up in early spring of this year. But have not done much. As a year ago my mentor/instructor I had trained with for 7 years lost her short battle with cancer. And I didn’t feel interested in studying.

    Anyway. I studied TKD for 7 years. I was a junior black belt when I was forced to stop due to health issueses.

    I feel like I am ready to start studying and Start my journey once again.


    Hi Rachelle,

    Thanks for sharing that with us. That sounds like it was very, very difficult, to lose someone so close to you – who was a teacher and leader in your life.

    I admire your conviction in taking action and making today the day. It is time we go after what is most important in our life with full focus and intent! I know that Sensei Jon will be there for you every step of the way, if you need something or have a question, simply email him. And, once you test, he will be giving you some very detailed and helpful video feedback. We hope that you are able to join the GMAU Shotokan program as well once it launches, to keep you even more consistent. Thanks for sharing.


    Hello, my name is Scott. I have enrolled in Shotokan Karate and Ultimate Bo through GMAU. I’m currently studying Tai Chi as well and will soon test for level 4, hopefully soon to be a certified instructor. I am beginning study on Ultimate Chuks and have a few bruises to prove it. 🙂 I have trained in a variety of martial arts since i was 18 ranging from Shorin-Ryu karate to Fencing and a different form of Tai Chi / Push Hands. I have chosen to train with BB@Home and GMAU to earn my black belt and eventually open a small school here.


    Hello my name is Nancy,I m for Canada Quebec i m french. I bought the Bojutsu for Gabriel my son who s elite in everything call karate.He do 6 competitions in a year and won 10 prices.I want to go at rytmhe who very fast.But some kids and parents want to slow him down cause of a thing call jalously. I was sad for him to do not have respect like that. So after a year of that He quit those team. Now he s happy again and smile like before.
    And I decide to be in his team and My husband too; so he would be motivated enough to be the next bo master in our city. We don t have course like that around. It s perfect I dont want to kumite in competition cause i ve operated in the womb 3 times. But i can take that wonderfull Boujutsu course and do competitions with my family. not invalid but want no heavy contact. I subscribe to Shotokan For Gabriel and i m amaze the non contact moves maybe i will take Shotokan soon hihihi!
    But first I want to learn everything with the bo.
    Thank you for all Michael and Jon.



    We are very happy to have you, your husband, and your son on board with us as students. It is obvious that you have a passion for your son’s excellence, and also for bo training. I know that your family will grow together in new ways through our training program.

    Thanks for the introduction and have a great time training! Sensei Michael


    Hello my name is john, I would like to introduce
    myself to Sensei Jon and Sensei Michael. I have enrolled in your Shotokan karate course and will do my best in going forward. I think everyone who takes karate would like to achieve a black belt as do I. I look forward to the journey with you and if I can get into better shape that will be great to. I thank you both in advance for your time and guidance. Regards John Celano


    Hi John,

    This is an awesome journey that we are going to take together. You can do anything that truly matters, you create your own reality. It is time to get in the most vital, centered, and confident shape of your life, not just physically, but mentally as well.

    Welcome to the course, Sensei Michael



    My name is Corrine Giordani. I am enrolled in the Shotokan Karate course. I started in training when I was 16 and trained in the martial arts for about 12 years. I have trained in Kenpo Karate, Tang Soo Do and a little bit of Shotokan. I earned my 2nd degree black belt in a non traditional school that blended a few different systems into one. My school had a chain of schools all over the Southeastern Massachusetts but eventually all instructors chose to brake away and do their own thing. I left training at the school around that time. I have worked on staying active in many different ways since then but I always have missed the martial arts. This home study course seems like a great way to train within the means of my schedule again.

    Jon Hodge

    Hello Corrine,

    You have an awesome martial arts background and it is an honor to be a part of your journey. Thank you for sharing with us!

    Welcome to the course! Sensei Jon


    My name is Patrick, like Liam I am enrolled in Shotokan and am a master of starting martial arts and not finishing. Usually not because I get bored/tired, but because something happens that makes it too difficult to get to the classes. (I move, they move, timetable changes etc).

    I have studied Hapkido twice for about a year and was never graded as well as a year of Judo and Boxing when I was 12/13.

    I’m not great at distance education normally, but decided that this might work better for me as I work from home and can fit this in with my normal fitness regime. (Stronglifts 5×5 if anyone’s interested).

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