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 (www.tenchigoju.com), 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 ngafca.org, and for more information call (706) 226-5144 or email gshoates@fca.org.

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 chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com or call (706) 272-7732.

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