LAHAINA - A lifetime milestone has been reached by five West Side martial artists, as the Lahaina Dojo of the Japan Karate Shotokai held Dan (black belt) examinations on March 16 at Lahaina Civic Center.
Fifty-seven-year-old Glen Delatori, who has been practicing the traditional style of Shotokan Karate Do with the Lahaina club for over a decade and is an instructor there, earned the rank of Nidan, or second degree black belt. Michael Doan, age 15; Chase Marten, 12; Zachary Cabingas, 12; and Ken Lee, 11, all passed the Shodan - first degree black belt - examination.
The tests were administered by JKS Chief Instructor Charles Lee, Shichi Dan (seventh degree black belt), of Honolulu, and Lahaina Chief Instructor Walter Chihara (Yondan, fourth degree) in the physical education room at the LCC.
Pictured at the karate test photo are (from left) Lahaina Chief Instructor Walter Chihara (Fourth Dan), Ken Lee (First Dan), Zachary Cabingas (First Dan), Michael Doan (First Dan), Chase Marten (First Dan) and JKS Hawaii Chief Instructor Charles Lee (Seventh Dan). Not pictured is Glen Delatori (Second Dan).
The grueling, hour-long examinations included kihon (basics), kata (forms) and kumite (sparring) developed over the past century by the leaders of the Shotokan system founded by Master Gichin Funakoshi.
Delatori, an engineer at The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort, has dedicated over ten years to the practice of Shotokan Karate Do, regarded worldwide as the leader in traditional martial arts.
The younger students that took the test along with Delatori have been training at the Lahaina club ranging from five to seven years.
Doan is a freshman at Lahainaluna High School, Marten is a seventh grade home-schooled student, Cabingas is in the seventh grade at Lahaina Intermediate School, and Ken Lee attends Sacred Hearts School as a sixth-grader.
Sensei Charles Lee, who has established schools on Oahu and in New Zealand, as well as participated in training camps and tournaments in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and all across the United States, praised all of the students for their spirited effort and singled out the precise technique of Doan throughout the test as representative of the overall improvement of all of the students.
"You all did very well, and I hope that you will continue to train so that the circle of karate do will grow and solidify. Remember that true karate do is a lifelong endeavor, and that the attainment of Shodan is really only the first step of becoming a true martial artist. Please continue to practice to build your character in the mold of courtesy and respect that is the backbone of all Shotokan practitioners," Lee said.