I’ve had the good fortune of training with Jody Paul Sensei for over a decade. He has been a staple figure at the International Karate Kobudo Federation’s quarterly training events for as long as I can remember and has been a close and loyal friend to my primary instructors, Bruce and Ann Marie Heilman. Paul Sensei is a unique character, having trained directly with Toma Shian (Seidokan), Uehara Seikichi (Motobu Udundi), and Odo Seikichi (Okinawa Kenpo). Now, sadly, he is in serious medical condition and could use the support of the martial arts community.
What Happened to Jody Paul Hanshi
While driving near his Georgia home a deer sprang out from the side of the road in front of Paul Sensei’s car. Attempting to dodge the impact, Paul Sensei swerved but lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll multiple times. The impact caused serious damage to his spine and neck. A series of emergency surgeries saved Paul Sensei’s life, but left him paralyzed from the neck down. He is in stable condition, rotating between assisted breathing and self-powered breathing. He is struggling to communicate under his own power and needs attentive care to avoid atrophy, bed sores, and blood clotting.
How We Can Help Paul Sensei
As a result of Paul Sensei’s extensive military career we are trying to garner appropriate aid from Veteran’s Assistance. However, due to the extent of care needed to help Paul Sensei, additional funding is urgently needed. Our goal is to provide Sensei with the best possible chance for recovery and aid in his comfort and ability to communicate.
We have started a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.com, a very reputable donation management website. Using the link below, please visit the fundraiser and provide whatever assistance you can:
All money collected through this fundraiser will go directly toward medical equipment and bills associated with Paul Sensei’s recovery. Usage of funds will receive direct oversight from Bruce Heilman, Ann Marie Heilman, and myself.
Together we can provide a better quality of life for Paul Sensei, and, with any luck, give him the opportunity to share his knowledge once again.
More on Paul Sensei’s Military Career
Jody Paul began his military career in 1960, joining the Navy. He entered into the Underwater Diving Team (UDT’s) and excelled in his duties. As a result, he was recruited in 1962 to become part of the first Navy Seal Team Two. Paul Sensei was involved in a number of critical military operations, including the Bay of Pigs near Cuba and the Vietnam War.
More on Paul Sensei’s Martial Arts Career
Paul Sensei’s martial arts career began while stationed in Japan. He studied Shorinji Ryu under So Doshin (and one of So’s senior students). Once transferred to Okinawa, Paul Sensei continued his journey with Uehara Seikichi, Toma Shian, and Odo Seikichi. Mr. Paul was known throughout the island and had the opportunity to meet and train with a myriad of important karateka. Since that time he has worked tirelessly to maintain contact with Okinawa and spread his art here in the United States.
Hey everyone. I wanted to check in with a personal post and let you know about some changes going on with my writing, projects, and general life status.
As you may know, I spent the last two years living in Colorado. It was a great chance to experience a different lifestyle out West and explore the beautiful Rocky Mountains. My wife had an opportunity to go to grad school in Denver, which she successfully completed a few months ago. Since then, both she and I have had renewed opportunities on the East Coast (Pennsylvania to be specific). As a result we made the cross-country trek back to the land of trees and cheese steaks.
It was a multi-day move but we got through it relatively unscathed. This was my first extended experience with a moving truck and it had been years since I last drove a vehicle with a trailer. Despite these obvious potential problems we managed to avoid any extreme traffic complications and I only kissed a handful of curbs while making turns and leaving gas stations.
Now that I’m back, I have fresh focus and will be looking to finish a few serious undertakings. Let me share some of those thoughts and updates.
Reflections on the CSV’s and Castle Rock Karate Kobudo
While in Colorado I took on a number of challenges in order to improve my overall martial arts maturity. One was to join the Community Safety Patrol operated by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The program is essentially a posse building unit that allows qualified citizens to undertake the county police academy, puts the graduates in uniforms and marked cars, and has them assist full deputies in crime prevention and crowd control situations. I learned a lot about self defense, human tendencies, and matters of the law. It gave me a peek into the world of law enforcement and after two years of training and patrolling I can definitely say I have a new appreciation for how martial arts fit into the modern world. I intend to create a more complete blog post recounting my experience, so keep an eye out for that.
Two of the saddest things about leaving Colorado for me was leaving the mountains and the Castle Rock Karate Kobudo program. The CRKK was my first independent school despite having taught for over 15 years before that. The students I acquired there were great and I’ll be doing my best to make sure their martial arts journey does not end with my leaving.
Establishing an Eastern Dojo
Now that I am back East one of my primary focuses will be to establish my own dojo facility. I will be working in close collaboration with my instructor, C. Bruce Heilman, to ensure that the school carries on the traditions and methods of Okinawa Kenpo. When I secure a location and begin operation of the program I will be sure to inform all the readers here. Perhaps you can even help me develop my initial group of students!
Finishing My Latest Book Project
There has been some murmurings around IkigaiWay regarding my latest book project. It is still under the radar but I have been working hard on it for over a year. It is coming together and I am approaching the phase where I will begin revealing it to the public. This is my most ambitious undertaking ever and I hope everyone will be as excited to read it as I have been to write it.
Thanks for your time and stay tuned for more updates and articles!
Whenever people ask me for martial art book recommendations I put “My Journey with the Grandmaster” in my top three. If they are a karate person specifically I yell at them for not owning it already, then order them to acquire it. Sometimes, sadly, the book is out of print and the only way to acquire a copy is through grossly overpriced used versions on Amazon. I know for a fact that Bill Hayes Sensei hates to see that happen, so he has decided to run a new printing of the book. This is a key opportunity for anyone who has been meaning to pick the book up but couldn’t get a copy thus far.
I’d like to tell you a little about what the book is and how to reserve a copy for yourself.
What is “My Journey with the Grandmaster”?
During the Vietnam Era Bill Hayes Sensei had the opportunity to spend multiple tours on Okinawa. While there he studied under one of the true great luminaries of karate, Shimabukuro Eizo Sensei. Shimabukuro Sensei was/is a Shorin Ryu practitioner of unique skill, carrying on the traditions of not only Kyan Chotoku but also Miyagi Chojun, Motobu Choki, Itosu Anko, and more. Through dedication and talent Bill Hayes Sensei was able to become one of Shimabukuro Sensei’s most senior students.
To capture some of his experiences for the benefit of his own students, Hayes Sensei decided to chronicle his thoughts and philosophies in “My Journey with the Grandmaster”. For a little more detail I’ll let Hayes Sensei explain it himself!
Limited Run – Reserve a Copy!
Hayes Sensei only produces a printing of the book every couple of years, so if you miss a chance to secure a copy you might be left waiting for awhile.
At this time Hayes Sensei isn’t accepting live payments as the book has not been printed yet. However, he is accepting reservations so as to get a better idea of how many to print. To make your reservation, print out the pdf featured in the link below and send it to Hayes Sensei’s physical address (included in the pdf). Conversely, use the online order form I have attached to this blog post. Your reservation information will go directly to Hayes Sensei.
Fill out the form below: