Sensei James Entwood

Name: James Entwood

Rank: Sandan

Dojo: Ithica

Began Martial Arts: 1984 - at 7 years old

Achieved Black Belt:

Home Town: Ithica

Education: BA Physics - SUNY Geneseo, MA Leadership - University S. Maine

Career: Administrative Supervisor - Lab of Atomic and Solid State Physics - Cornell

Family: Wife – Aubrie, Children – Skye & Oden

Why I began Martial Arts: I was almost seven years old and had just seen the movie Karate Kid. I was a geek before being a geek was cool and like the kid, Daniel, in the movie I got called names and was pushed around. What really hooked me about the movie was Mr Miyagi teaching Daniel to do what is right and developing a sense of calm and confidence in the face of threats.

My parents have strong convictions and a sense of doing what is right. Their choices and actions are guided by values of justice, freedom, fairness, truth, responsibility, tolerance, respect for all life, compassion, and nonviolence. I too strive to live by those values and karate helped give me the confidence to do that. In karate I found real-life role-models in Hanshi and the other black-belts who combined strength, humility, and self-respect and lived according to their values.

Progressing in karate was not easy for me. I was hooked on the philosophy of karate-do, but the physical and mental requirements were challenging. I was not coordinated, flexible, strong or focused. My mind would go wandering in class and it often seemed to take ages between ranks. But I stayed with it thanks in a large part to my mom. She drove me to classes every week for 10 years and nudged me on when I’d get discouraged.

Very gradually I was improving and there was a class when I was 17 when Hanshi mentioned my posture was looking good with shoulders relaxed and eyes forward. I realized with a jolt that I was becoming one of those senior students that I had always looked up to. It was a strange moment and I felt this surge of confidence and drive to practice each technique to the best of my ability.

Today I feel very fortunate to teach students, including my own two sons, the tradition and training of Hayabusa Martial Arts, watching them have fun, face challenges and grow. In every karate class whether it be with kids or adults I find these “wow” moments. Moments where I discover a deeper understanding of a technique, insights on my own challenges and accomplishments, and awareness of the respect and bond I feel to students and instructors.

What karate means to me: Karate is a part of every day activities for me. At home, at work, or at the dojo it helps me stay centered and to be aware of my state of being and connection to others. The dedication and work it takes to succeed at karate also carries over to my daily life. The responsibilities and choices I make are informed by a deeper awareness of principles and a willingness to follow a harder path if it is the right way to go.