Reflections from Father’s Day 06/20/12
I was in my early twenties, young and single, I remember visiting a salon
(I was beauty supply salesman at the time) and the female stylist was so
proud to show me a picture of her newborn child. Being the thoughtful
person I was, I looked at the child and told her how cute she was. Inside
I am saying the little one was adorable but what meaning did it have to
me? I didn’t even have a girlfriend and the last thing I wanted to look at
was someone’s newborn child. Having a baby was the furthest thing I could
Oh how things change once you are married and have your own children. I
didn’t get married until I was in my early 40’s and was blessed with 3
beautiful girls almost instantly. I later had a boy (actually my wife did
the labor for me) 8 years later. I will never forget that visit to the
salon for now I truly understand a parent’s love for their children. Now
when someone shows me their children I can relate to that in a much
different light. I think of my parents and how I wasn’t the best kid as I
was growing up and some of the hardships I put them through but even
through all those times they never lost their love for me. I now
understand what tough love is and how important it is. It’s not easy to
have to discipline your children when they have done something wrong but
knowing it’s the right thing to do, you must still do it.
Saying all that, I must say what a joy it is to see them growing up and
instead of being little girls they have become young women. My oldest
daughter has blessed me with two grandchildren, the middle child is
working and going to college, the youngest daughter just graduated high
school and my son just graduated kindergarten. They grow so fast. We
celebrated Father’s Day a few days after the official day this year but I
had most of my family here except my son in law and my youngest
grandchild. What a wonderful time it was. I hope my own father was
watching from heaven so he could see what a beautiful family I have. So,
even when things may seem tough at times we really need to count our
blessings for God has given us so much to be thankful for.
I want to take this time even if it may be a few days late to wish all
those fathers out there a very “Happy Father’s Day” as well as to our
ancestors who made it possible that we are here today, and to our Lord,
the creator of all that is. Thank you God for giving us this opportunity
to be a parent and I ask that you continue to bless all those parents out
there with the courage to correct the wrongs of their children, the
patience to allow the children to learn their lessons and the wisdom to
guide them in the right direction.
Sensei’s Corner 02/10/12
It is only a few days away from Valentine's Day and I hope this day is as
meaningful to you as it is for me. On February 14th, 1996 it
was what I consider my first date with the woman who later became my wife.
If you do the math, on February 14th, 2012 it will be 16 years
that I will be together with my wife Daisy and although it wasn’t always a
smooth ride it has been a blessing for me. Being married with children can
really change your life. You see things that you don’t see when you are
single and you really appreciate what your own parents had done for you.
For those of you too young to be married and for those of you without
someone special at this time, don’t worry, the time will come at a perfect
time when you are not expecting it to happen. As for any relationship,
there are always good times and tough times but if there is “Love” you can
overcome anything. For those of you that have that someone special in your
life, it is a time that you do that little bit extra to show it.
Remember, appreciation is not something that we show just on holidays and
special occasions but should be shown on a constant basis.
I plan to have “Sensei’s corner” updated more often but I just want to say
“Happy Valentine's Day” to all of you out there. For those whose moms are
still alive, let them know how much you love them and how grateful you are
for what they have done for you. If your mom is in Heaven then find an
aunt, a mother in law, a sister or brother (if you are a woman) and let
them know how much they mean to you.
If you are alone at this time of year, know that God is with you always
and has plans for you. You will always hear me talk of gratitude. It is
one of the greatest lessons of the Universe for those who can find things
to be grateful for will never be sad for long. May God be with all of you
at this time and for the days to follow. I am very grateful that you took
the time to read this for that means that you are a student, a friend,
part of my family or an interested martial artist. The Okinawa Kenpo
Karate Dharma Dojo’s philosophy is based on “Gratitude” to our God, our
teachers and our family. If you are a part of our dojo then you are a part
of our family.
Sensei Paul Ortino Jr.
SENSEI'S CORNER 5/1/11
Aloha from Las Vegas and Happy
It was Easter Sunday in Las
Vegas and I was inspired to write another Sensei’s Corner. I was a greeter
at our church in Las Vegas called “the Crossing” and it was an inspiring
day. I felt like a politician running for office but instead of asking
them to vote for me, I was welcoming them into the House of God and
acknowledging the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are a believer
or not, you’ve got to admit he was the only one who died, was buried, rose
again, and showed himself to over 500 people and lives today in the hearts
of so many people.
I mention this because I have
joined the MACI which is Martial Artists for Christ International headed
by Sensei Ed Hershman. If you are a student of mine, you don’t have to
join this organization, you don’t necessarily have to be a Christian but
you need to know I am and in my teachings as I have done in the past I
will refer to Jesus as my main teacher of Life.
I have sent out Black Belt
registrations to as many of my black belts as emails that I have had. I
have opened this up to other Okinawa Kenpo stylists who wish to belong to
our association and have a second family with us. I have also opened this
up to some very close martial arts brothers and sisters of mine who I have
trained with in the past and want to be a part of our team. This is an
association for training and sharing knowledge.
For those that may not know
this, for the past 3 years I have had the title of “Shibucho” for the
state of HI. The organization ISKU which stands for International
Seishinkai Karate Union headed by Kancho Robert Burgermeister which is
also affiliated with the DNBK. This organization is an International
Karate Kodanshakai which consists of traditional martial artists with
outstanding character. To all my black belts who are presently teaching,
this is a good organization to belong to. Hombu dojo is in VA and training
camps are located not only in the USA but all over the world. We are
honored to be a part of this organization. Anyone can not just join but
have to be recommended.
We must continue to train and
learn from all we can as Odo Sensei is no longer physically with us and I
am sure would be very happy with us promoting his art throughout the
I am presently looking for a
place to start teaching again. Please keep your prayers with me and I will
keep you informed on my progress. Last but not least I want to acknowledge
Brian Degori Sensei and David Flores Sensei for being our first lifetime
Paul Ortino Jr.
SENSEI'S CORNER 1/1/2010
Happy New Year 2010!!! It has been quite a long
time since this website has been updated, and for all of my students,
family and friends I offer this apology. 2009 has left an impression on
all of us and with your permission I would like to share of few of my
thoughts with all of you.
One of the promises I made to my students is that I
would always continue to keep training and be there to support my black
belts in any way they needed. With a disappointment in one of my very
special students and friend, the closing of a few of my branch dojo’s and
the fact that my work had me traveling quite extensively throughout the
Western United States for the past two years , I have not been able to
train the way I would have liked to.
I remember when I was living in Hawaii and had the
privilege of meeting and working out with many high ranking black belts. I
could never understand how some of these senior dans could ever “retire”
from karate. How could there ever be life other than the dojo? With the
birth of my son, constant moving and the fact that my family took
precedence over everything else, I now understand how this could happen.
The truth is I did miss the dojo training. I would bring my weapons
outside and run through the katas. I thought that now that I was not
teaching I could really perfect my personal training. How wrong could I
have been. I was beginning to lose the “spirit of karate” that I so
cherished for over 40 years in the arts.
Then something miraculous happened over the past few
months. Even though I have not physically trained with Grandmaster Al
Smith (Red Dragon Karate) since 1983, I have managed to keep in touch with
him throughout the years. He did come down and visit my “Catlin Dojo” a
few times and taught a few seminars. By maintaining our friendship he has
kept me in the loop and connected to martial arts in the East Coast. The
fact that my senior black belt John Jeffery has been doing a wonderful job
in Georgia, Rodney Kelley still teaching wherever he goes (our prayers
goes out to him as he is about to have back surgery), Mark Blackson
representing us overseas, and of course my own brothers dojo (Victor
Ortino) is active again in Florida has all been an inspiration to me. I
must also add that one of Master Vic Ortino’s black belt instructors,
Sensei Donovan Potter, has also been in constant touch.. But to tell you
the truth the phone call I received from one of my very special former
instructors highlighted a new excitement for me in the martial arts. In
1970 while living in Conshohocken, PA I walked into a Taekwondo school and
began training in my second martial art. Little did I know then that
40 years later I would be getting a phone call from Grandmaster Robert Dunn
wishing me a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This triggered some
exciting news for me which I will disclose at a future date. It also made
me realize how important it is to have a good relationship with those who
have had a positive influence in your life. I then proceeded to call
Grandmaster Richard Gonzalez (He was my first Okinawa Kenpo sensei under
Grandmaster Seikichi Odo) to wish him a very Merry Christmas and a Happy
New Year. I have not talked to him since I left Florida two years ago. It
was great to rekindle our friendship.
I guess the point I want to make is life is short. My
father used to say to me never burn any bridges behind you. When you leave
a job leave it in good terms. Remember those are the people who will be
your next reference. In karate, I was very fortunate to have had excellent
instructors. I was honored that Grandmaster Dunn remembered me as I left
as a green belt. We are planning a reunion this summer where I will have
three of the finest martial artists I have had the privilege of training
under together under one roof along with a few others as well. For those
students out there who may have forgotten where they came from and who
helped them to get where they are, it might be a good time to contact your
sensei and let them know that you really appreciated them. Shihan Al Smith
would always give credit to his sensei Grandmaster Lou Cassamasa. Shihan
Richard Gonzalez would always say keep the katas as Master Odo would
teach. Dr. Laura says “Gratitude is an Attitude”. I say “ Thank You “ to
all my sensei’s who got me to where I am today and to my dedicated
students who have been there to keep me motivated and inspired to keep my
promises of continuing my training. Thank you to my wife Daisy who has
been my best friend, my children Cheryl, Sherry, Shanelle, and even Angelo
who are there for me when I need them. Thank you to my son in law Jerome
Valdriz who gave me my first grandson “Caleb”. Most of all thank you to
our God who is always with us even when we least expect it. When times
seem tough and you don’t seem to find him (even if you are a non believer)
that is when he is carrying you and you don’t even know it.
So I close this “Sensei’s Corner” wishing all of you
a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”. May God bless all of you
throughout this year and the many more to come. To my students and black
belts who have gone in different directions, remember my door is always
open to anyone willing to walk in a righteous path.
Sensei Paul Ortino Jr
Sensei’s Corner (01 Sep 07)
Aloha from Las Vegas!!!! This Sensei's corner is well
overdue. A lot has happened since leaving Hawaii in Jan. of 2007. We went
to Florida in hopes of helping my brother Victor (who has been promoted to
6th Dan on 7/13/07) with his dojo in Naples and also to spend some time
with my mother, brothers and the rest of my family in Florida. What we
didn't realize at the time of our move was how difficult and expensive it
would be to visit our daughter Cheryl and her family Jerome, Caleb (my
grandson) and our friends and as well as with our dojo still running with
the help of Eddie Crisostomo and his team. Our stay in Florida was very
exciting and full of adventure. We got to spend great memories with my
mom Gloria and my brothers as well with my niece Erin and nephew Garrett.
We got to visit Universal Studios, The Adventures Park and Busch Gardens
in Orlando. With my brother Victor Ortino running for Sheriff in 2008, and
our attempt to keep the Dharma Dojo strong in Naples as well as keeping
our family together, it was non-stop. One day, after having a family
meeting, we all decided that Las Vegas would give us the best of both
worlds. We would be able to visit Hawaii and Florida much easier and we
would be able to spend time with our family already in Las Vegas.
We would like to take this time to say thank you to
all the people who made our stay in FL a memorable one especially Sensei
Vic, his wife Ginny and his dojo; however, we believe it is God's will for
us to be here now in Vegas. Also, our wonderful church (Fisherman's Home
Church ) which gave us great support while we were there and of course my
mother, brothers and special friends we made while we were there. May God
bless all of you.
I also didn't mention that by moving to Las Vegas,
we would be closer to Sensei Rodney's dojo in San Diego, our good friend
Sensei Dave Flores and Brad Andersohn. Plus living in Las Vegas makes it
easier for our branch dojos to visit us.
So, I say Aloha to Fl (we will be back to visit) and
a new Aloha to Las Vegas. Life is short and we believe that being near to
family is very important to us. Too many times we have seen people seek
joy outside their lives instead of appreciating what they already have. In
our recent travels, we have seen other families as well as our own
experience internal challenges. We have witnessed brothers not talking to
each other, children disrespecting their parents and sisters quarrelling
among themselves. Having a father who passed away not to long ago and a
mother who is not in the best of health as well as brothers who are too
far away to have a cup of coffee with , I have learned to cherish each
moment that we have together . I have learned it is better to forgive
than to hold a grudge for the one who has the grudge has the pain. I have
learned that sometimes it's better to be kind than it is to be right and
that it's ok to lose a battle to win the war.
I have watched my son find such great pleasures in
the little things in life and I have seen people who seem to have
everything seem to miss the simple things. I have found that when things
don't seem too good in your life, that to do an act of kindness for
another brings great joy to yourself. I also have found that even if you
don't have blood family around, you can find brothers and sisters in the
dojo that will do things for you that many times your own family might
not. (Thank you to my special black belts who have truly shown their
loyalty - you know who you are). There is so much joy to be found in being
grateful for what you have instead of always searching for what you don't
I did not discover all these things by leaving HI
(which I might add). I truly loved the people and my time I had spent
there. I will always consider it my home but I will say; when you leave
your normal surroundings you see things in a different perspective. For
those of you with children take the time to spend Quality time with them
for one day you will wish you did. For those children out there don't
forget " honor thy father and thy mother" for when they are gone it will
be too late, and for those of you without any family, you can always find
one in the dojo with the students or with the Sensei. Cherish your Sensei
for he or she won't always be around.
Before I close, I would like to take this time to say
thank you to my wife Daisy and children Sherry, Shanelle and Angelo for
being supportive to our adventures in Florida and our final destination
?? --- Las Vegas. All of you have been great, thanks for being so
understanding as we continue to grow together.
Paul Ortino Jr.
SENSEI'S CORNER (29 MAY 2006)
This will be a little different Sensei’s corner than some of the others
although it will still be based on gratitude. My wife Daisy and I are
proud parents of our newborn son named Angelo Paul Armani Ortino, born
May 21, 2006
. We both thank God for allowing us this opportunity to raise a child at
this time in our lives. We have three girls Cheryl, Sherry and Shanelle
and have been blessed with the way they all turned out.
This is our first boy and as tiring as it is to keep up with him
(he is only a week old), we are having the time of our lives.
We would like to take this time to thank our Lord for
this gift from heaven, as well as our family, our friends and our students
for their generous gifts and kindness. I
would also like to thank my black belts: Keiv, Dennis, Eddie ,Chris, Chico
Luther for being there for me when I was not able to make class. I
couldn’t do it without you and my students for their understanding at
this time. You Guys are Great!!!!
Thanks goes to Chris Martin for keeping this website
updated, to Eddie Crisostomo for helping me fix up my home, to the
Beninati’s for their help with the Vol. III DVD coming out soon and to
all my students and friends in the mainland for their well wishes.
Our prayers go out to Sensei John Cox who has
recently lost his father. You have our deepest sympathy, he is in Heaven
now and free of pain and discomfort.
Every day children are being born and loved ones are
leaving us. Life is passing by very fast. Shihan
Al Smith just told me tonight (May 29, 2006 visiting
from PA) that his best friend was (I mean is) his son Alick III who is
there for him whenever he needs him. He calls him every day and even puts
on a tournament on for him in his honor. His son is an 8th Dan
and in his forties. To this day, I call my own mother almost every day and
she lives in FL (6 hour difference) just to say hi. I would only hope that
my children would consider me their best friend one day. My best friend is
my wife Daisy who has been there for me when no one else was. To watch her
give birth was truly witnessing a miracle. We men need to acknowledge our
wives more. I tell you this; I couldn’t take that pain for that amount
So I end saying “this is the day the Lord Hath
Made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it”. It’s not my own quote but it
works. God is Good. It is hard to understand why things happen the way
they do but this is where it pays to have faith in God. If you can’t
Believe in him, then who can you believe in? It
was him that brought me my wife, my children, my students, my friends, and
of course my family. It was him that brought you to this website today.
Take time and thank somebody who has done something nice to you today.
Take time to do something nice for your parents or your brother or sister.
Maybe just do something nice for a stranger today and don’t expect
anything in exchange. Take time to thank God for being alive and for the
lessons he gave you for this day. Do you want to know a secret? He
is truly your best friend because he is there whether you realize it or
not. He is just waiting for you to realize it.
FEB 06 12
29 MAY 2006
Sensei Ortino can be contacted at
email@example.com or (702)