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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

In a little-known chapter of New York City’s history, the name of police officer Phillip Cardillo is spoken in hushed, revered whispers. Though he was tragically killed in the line of duty back in 1972, the burning embers of his memory are still fanned by a passionate few who wish to finally obtain for the fallen hero the elusive recognition that he truly deserves.

At their Oct. 8 meeting in Mineola, the Nassau County-based Association of Retired Police Officers (ARPO) held a heartfelt ceremony, as both Cardillo as well as the driven NYPD detective who has fought for justice in his name for the past four decades, were honored as the true heroes that they are.

In what was their last free meeting at the Community United Methodist Church of East Norwich, the East Norwich Civic Association presented a money saving/energy saving program. It was presented by Marriele Robinson of the Homeowner Support PowerUp Communities group, an outreach of the L.I. Progressive Party. She came to offer free energy evaluations of homes to make them more energy efficient, which will save money.

She said Poor Richard’s Almanac promises it to be very cold this winter, and this is a way to plug up your energy leaks, with both current savings on needed work and through rebates resulting in future savings. After an energy assessment of your home, PowerUp will present you with a report based on their contractor’s assessment, which will outline all the ways you can improve your energy efficiency. The report will include all the potential rebates to reduce the cost of the upgrade which includes the option of financing through PS&G, which will include the monthly payments in your monthly bill.


Sports

A number of awards were given to runners in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich area at the Oct. 18 Oyster Bay Town Supervisor’s 5 Kilometer Run, including 23-year-old Justin Nakrin of Oyster Bay, who finished in 12th place overall and second in the 20-24 age group, and 43-year-old Daniel Valderrama of Oyster Bay, who scored in 17th place overall and second in the 40-44 age group. Maggie Reid of Locust Valley earned first place honors in the 15-19 age group.

The indomitable 81-year-old Nina Jennings of Mill Neck was the oldest woman to finish the run, taking first place honors in the women’s 80-84 age group in 35 minutes, 11 seconds, a pace of 11:19 per mile. She was the fastest of all of the five finishers—male or female—who were 80 years old or more.

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.


Calendar

Ghastly Grounds

Thursday, October 30

Trick Or Treat

Friday, October 31

Long Island Baroque Ensemble

Sunday, November 2



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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