The martial arts are a well-known exercise and art discipline for learning self-defense with a goal of
rank (belt) advancement to ultimately achieve black belt. But it offers additional benefits that can be used in everyday life - contributing to happiness and personal accomplishment. It is also something which one can participate in order to stay fit or incorporate as a new hobby.
“Perseverance, self-discipline, self-control, structure and confidence play a big role in one’s success and approach in Kyokushin Karate and, in turn, can also filter into one’s success in life,” explained Tom, who owns Sebago Kyokushin Karate with his wife, Casey.
Senpai Casey and Sensei Tom (Sensei means “teacher”) have recently opened Sebago Kyokushin Karate, holding classes at 756 Roosevelt Trail in Windham (also the home of Partners in Canine). They offer evening beginner classes for children, ages four and up as well as adult classes that include advanced lessons and seminars.
Casey and Tom have been teaching students of all ages for over 15 years. Tom has a 4th degree in Kyokushin Karate, a second degree in TaeKwonDo and Casey has a first degree in Kyokushin Karate, 3rd degree in TaeKwonDo and first degree in Hapkido. They find, however, that the traditional philosophies of Kyokushin are more in alignment with their personal growth and viewpoints.
|Casey and Tom Bobb|
Briefly, and according to Kyokushin Karate practitioner and writer, Scott Heaney, “Kyokushin is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama. Kyokushin is Japanese for “the ultimate truth”, developed from the determination of the pursuit of ultimate truth of mind, technique, and body.
The foundation of Sebago Kyokushin Karate is rooted in the philosophy of discipline, training from the heart and the spiritual evolution of martial artists. Its general disciplines include kumite (sparring) and katas (forms) with a focus on preserving traditional karate principles while incorporating techniques from other disciplines.
Tom began his journey in the martial arts at the age of 17. He believes his participation at a young age helped him to choose a good life, one filled with personal fulfillment. “I was at a point in my teenage years where I was at a crossroads,” began Tom. “I was a really angry person and I could have easily gone down a very dark and destructive path. But I was one of those lucky kids who had an observant mentor. She saw my anger and redirected it by introducing me to Karate.”
The perseverance, self-discipline and self-control that’s imbedded in the martial arts way, helped Tom through those early years, transforming him and improving the way he lived his everyday life, “Kyokushin Karate can help you control your mood, control your spirit and mold you into the person you want to become,” Tom said.
Casey stated she began participating in the martial arts at the age of 28 because she wanted to challenge herself and to be independent “I sought out the martial arts because I wanted to be a strong woman who could rely and take care of myself,” Casey stated. “I believed that if I could learn to be independent, then when I found my partner in life it would be because I loved him, not because I needed him to protect or take care of me.”
Both Casey and Tom point out that all one needs to participate in Kyokushin Karate is the desire and passion to learn. “You don’t need to look like you’ve walked out of a cover of a fitness magazine to participate in Karate,” Tom explained. “You don’t have to look or be a certain way and it matters not what age you are or if you have any previous experience. We are an island of misfits where there are no egos, no jealousies. In fact, Karate is the most accepting and sharing art there is.”
Casey, who is the board president of Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center and the director of integrative marketing at IDEXX and Tom, who owns his own custom tile design company offer their classes at an affordable rate. While many martial art centers require contracts, memberships and enrollment fees, Sebago Kyokushin Karate does not. Instead, students simply pay $10 per class or punch cards that are available in $40 and $80 increments.
“We know how busy students and their families are,” Casey stated. “Life happens and we want to accommodate that. We are lucky to both have full-time jobs, so for us – this is about offering a discipline that is near and dear to our hearts. Making money is not our focus.”
It is so important for them to share the “ultimate truth” of Kyokushin Karate that they do not offer birthday parties or afterschool programs – but, instead, focus on the art itself, its transformational attributes and the way it can mold an individual for the better.
Whether you are an experienced martial artist or you simply want to explore something new and see what Sebago Kyokushin Karate can do for you, contact Senpai Casey and Sensei Tom at 207-272-2081 or to learn more visit www.sebagokarate.com.