Goodland native plans to open karate club on Marco Island

For Goodland native Nick Lemke, karate is more than just a hobby. It’s all about lineage and preserving years of the martial art that’s become a large part of his life.

Now, Lemke plans to share his knowledge of martial arts with Marco Island residents through his new karate club. Although the location of his classes is yet to be determined, the karate club will include instruction in traditional Okinanwan Shorin Ryu karate, specifically Seibukan Dojo karate.

“Seibukan was developed to allow fighters to get in and out fast, take advantage of core strength and is perfect for smaller sized fighters,” said Lemke. “It relies on body ergonomics and natural geometry and the focus is on precision striking.”

Lemke was raised in Goodland but left for several years and recently returned with his wife to settle in this area again. During his time away from Goodland, Lemke visited Okinawa to train with the Seibukan family and current master, Zenpo Shimabukuro, for six months. At times Lemke trained six days a week for as many as four hours a day.

Lineage is very important to martial arts practitioners. It unifies the system and defines the method of teaching. Lemke’s method of teaching martial arts was developed by Okinanwan Zenryo Shimabukuro, and taught to his son Zenpo Shimabukuro, who then taught it to Dan Smith. Smith taught the lessons to Lemke, who hopes to progress his own martial studies by teaching. Lemke says you can never practice the basics enough.

“Teaching is standardized so as to not dilute the original system, and it preserves the techniques that have been passed down through families,” said Lemke. “I teach exactly as my teacher taught me and exactly as it is taught in Okinawa.”

Lemke also learned weapons from a renowned Kobudo master. Kubudo is a form of Okinawan weapons training weapons that consists of bow staff, or a long wooden pole, sai which resemble pointed, fork-like metal weapons and tonfa, a wooden baton that law enforcement officers often carry.

“Also I feel a need to share the gift I have gotten from karate with others,” said Lemke, who hopes to hold his classes at the YMCA or in his home.

Beginning students can expect to learn kata, otherwise known as forms or prearranged sequence of movements and techniques. Kata is a form of fighting against an imaginary opponent and Lemke says provides an intense workout. Because Seibukan Dojo emphasizes core strength, students will also practice conditioning exercises.

“Students can expect repetition of the basics, because that allows the movements to become ingrained into your body and makes it easier to recall in intense situations,” said Lemke. “As students advance, they will practice ‘Ippon Kumite’ which is a partnering drill that focuses on blocking an attack and delivering a forceful precision attack.”

No special uniforms are required for students to participate. Lemke says they will, however, need to wear comfortable clothes and be prepared for a significant workout.

There are many benefits of practicing karate. Besides the obvious benefits for the body, it develops discipline and intense concentration. More parents are exposing children to the sport and Lemke plans to teach students from age 6 and older. Karate students often become more healthy, increase their body awareness and learn how to defend themselves, their family and friends, says Lemke.

“I learned a saying in Okinawa that roughly translated means, ‘Please teach me’, which shows a student’s unwavering commitment and willingness to learn with a humble attitude,” said Lemke.

Info: (239) 642-4554 or Nick.EcoNicks@gmail.com.

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