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Karate Students Receive Jedi Training

Oyster Bay Family Karate teaches

Star Wars-themed workshop

Recently, an eager group of young padawans (Jedi students) received a lesson in using their force wisely at Oyster Bay Family Karate. It was no surprise that the Star Wars training class was a hit amongst the kids, although owner Bobby Rekha says he wasn’t expecting the enthusiasm he received from the adults. “As soon as we put the sign up, I had adult kick boxers asking if they could come.”

Some had even hoped to wear costumes.

Many parents, dads in particular, consider a knowledge of Star Wars to be a necessary right of passage for their children. One dad expressed the concern he felt when, during a game of “Angry Birds Star Wars,” it became apparent his son had never heard of Darth Vader.

“I knew it was time,” he said.

The attraction to Star Wars is particularly poignant for dads who grew up role-playing with their friends using imaginary lightsabers to fight the ominous Darth Vader. On the heels of Father’s Day many relished an opportunity to bond with their sons and daughters as they learned about the Star Wars characters and how to use a lightsaber properly.

Additionally, the 75-minute workshop provided lessons in respect, self-control and body awareness, as well as a lightsaber to take home.

“When you give kids weapons,” said Rekha, “you need to teach them how to use them properly.” With power comes responsibility.

Sempai Adam Insogna learned the traditional art of shotokan from his Sensei, Rekha. This form of Japanese karate is known for its emphasis on a balance of strength, endurance and speed.

Gichin Funakoshi, who is credited with creating as well as popularizing shotokan, said, “The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant.”

According to Rekha, the classes offered at Oyster Bay Family Karate, support the five maxims of karate: seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor to excel, respect others, refrain from violent behavior.

“Karate is actually the by-product,” says Rekha. “What we really strive to do here, is build character.”

Since weaponry is one aspect of shotokan, the instructors thought the lightsabers and Star Wars theme would bring an element of fun to their structured classes. Carlie Tietjen signed her son up because “he takes karate here and the Star Wars workshop seemed like a natural extension. I knew he would enjoy it,” she said.

Another reason Rekha chose to make the connection between karate and Star Wars was due to the philosophical nature of the story. “Some people call me Yoda,” he says. “Because I”m philosophical and at the same time, down to earth.”

Rekha has made it his business to keep his adult kick boxers as well as his younger karate students motivated and goal-oriented. Each week, he researches an inspirational quote that he shares to keep them focused. When Rekha needs motivation, he turns to a poster of Yoda which hangs in his office and reads, “There is do or don’t do, there is no try.”

News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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