Sports Columns

June 2, 2014

A Look Ahead: Karate’s best to appear at Varnell dojo

To hear Mickey Brock, owner and chief instructor at Tenchi Family Karate and Fitness Center in Varnell, tell it, the events this week at the facility off of Highway 2 are tantamount to a visit from royalty.

On Tuesday night, Morio Higaonna (Sensei of Naha-shi, Okinawa and founder of the International Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate-do Federation), Zenpo Shimabukuro (Sensei of Okinawa City, president of the Okinawa Karate-do Rengokai and head of the Seibukan) and Seisho Itokazu (Sensei of the Matayoshi Kobudo weapons school in Naha-shi) will be visiting the center from 7 to 10 p.m. Also, David Chambers, who is the owner and publisher of Classical Fighting Arts magazine from Los Angeles, will be in attendance to write a story on the dojo of Sensei Brock.

As Brock said in a recent email announcing the night’s festivities, “I know all of this is probably gibberish to each of you, but it is the equivalent of having Michael Jordan, Pete Rose and Joe Namath all in the room at the same time with ESPN in attendance and doing the story. Both Higaonna Sensei and Shimabukuro Sensei have sat with presidents of several countries many times.”

According to the Tenchi Family Karate website (, Higaonna founded the IOGKF in 1979 to preserve and protect the true teachings and philosophy of Bushi Chojun Miyagi. The IOGKF now has approximately 75,000 affiliated members in more than 55 nations around the world. The IOFKF is one of few karate organizations that the Japanese government recognizes as a true Japanese Traditional Martial Arts Organization.

The trio are in the United States conducting a week-long series of instruction in Alpharetta.

Tuesday night’s event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the center at (706) 260-8591.

n The par-3 island green on the 17th hole of TPC Sawgrass is one of the most famous signature holes in all of golf. Now, you have a chance to play it and it won’t cost you nearly as much as the traditional $400 greens fees charged at the course.

The 2014 North Georgia Fellowship of Christian Athletes Golf Classic is scheduled for June 16 at Dalton Golf & Country Club at 1:30 p.m., and the grand prize for the winning team is an entry for four players to the FCA National Tournament at Sawgrass.

The cost of the tournament is $175 per player, which is a heck of a value for the chance to play one of the top courses in the world. Of course, the cost of the number of balls you put into the water at 17 is not included.

Registration is available at, and for more information call (706) 226-5144 or email

n Summer camp season is officially under way, and this week’s Frank Pinson-led basketball camp at the Mack Gaston Community Center offers a little bit more than your usual hours of instruction and practice games.

The camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today through Thursday, and the public is invited to attend the last hour each day for a lecture centered around the theme “Hard Work Pays Off.” Special guest lecturers will be in attendance each day.

Dalton State College assistant vice president for enrollment services Angela Harris will kick off the series today, followed by Dalton Public Schools Board of Education member Steve Laird (Tuesday), community center manager Tom Pinson (Wednesday) and Dr. Pablo Perez of the St. Joseph Clinic on Thursday.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Have an event you want to get into “A Look Ahead?” Contact him at or call (706) 272-7732.

Text Only
Sports Columns
  • 7on7 day 2 '14 17 mlh.jpg Devin Golden: Friday signals gridiron days’ official start

    Seven-on-seven football was a good placeholder, but it’s time to begin talking about the real thing.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Golf now in era of McIlroy after Open

    Royal & Ancient officials, under whose auspices the Open championship is conducted each year, were blessed with a sun-kissed start of the final round of the 143rd playing of this historic event.

    July 21, 2014

  • Loran Smith: McIlroy at his peak at Hoylake

    HOYLAKE, England — It’s the setting which enraptures those who appreciate the things that accompany a championship, The British refuse to let a downpour or two, intermittent and inconvenient, to make them fret.

    July 20, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Change is needed for major titles

    HOYLAKE, England — This is a good time to be Bubba Watson — long off the tee which brings golf aficionados through the gates, two Masters titles which puts him in the pantheon of the greats at Augusta, deal-makers hovering about, more perks than a palace prince, exempt status to the end of the decade and a cash flow that resembles a raging river.

    July 19, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Harman is living his childhood golf dream

    HOYLAKE, England — One thing about golf that has remained constant since Young Tom Morris won his fourth Open in a row in 1872 — when Ulysses Grant was president of the United States and Brigham Young was arrested for bigamy (he had 25 wives) — is that a little man can play the game.
    Football players are becoming bigger — often illegally — and basketball players are growing taller, but a golfer can excel at any dimension if he hones his skills enough to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes. Golf is not a behemoth sport; there are no concussions, no strikeouts and no fistfights. Let the game prosper.

    July 18, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Brits know how to hold classy affairs

    HOYLAKE, England — Summertime is a royal time for the British, who have more sporting options in a six-week period than some societies have in a lifetime.
    If you think the U.S. is keen on sport — with the NBA finals lasting into June and baseball and golf dominating the scene — consider what takes place in the land of our forebears. Wimbledon gets underway the last week in June for a fortnight of resonating excitement. Wimbledon is like Augusta National or Churchill Downs — a memorable experience regardless of who walks away with first prize.

    July 15, 2014

  • A Look Ahead: State golf coming to Nob North

    My history as a golfer can be summed up with some well-known words from 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes — “nasty, brutish and short.”

    July 14, 2014

  • CharlesTodd.jpg Devin Golden: Todd leaving a legacy of success

    To many, Charles Todd is known as “coach Todd.” Some of the divers, swimmers and water polo players who have been on his teams in the Dalton area over the years shorten that to simply “coach.”

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Larry Case: Take a shot at improving your aim before you hunt

    Do you consider yourself an accomplished marksman with a shotgun? Are you satisfied with your shooting in the bird field or on the clay target range?

    July 11, 2014

  • Jamie Jones: What does Sting's number mean?

    Here are the notes and news items from the week in pro wrestling: Sting has left TNA. But will he resurface in WWE?

    July 11, 2014