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.
Over the past two months I've had the opportunity to do T-Shirt giveaways thanks to a few generous companies. While people enjoyed participating in the giveaways, they kept asking me "how do I get a shirt if I don't win?"
I didn't have an answer because I never focused on IkigaiWay specific products. The T-Shirt situation came about by chance. Of course I was pumped to hear that people were interested in sharing the concept of the website and would enjoy wearing something based on it.
Recently I teamed up with a company called Spreadshirt in order to make IkigaiWay apparel a reality. Spreadshirt is a professional T-Shirt creation company that prints shirts on demand. Through their technology I was able to design the shirts to my specifications and keep the cost relatively low. As a result, IkigaiWay gear is now available in multiple designs, colors, and products.
Browse the Apparel Shop
Thanks to Spreadshirt's imbedding technology, I have the storefront right here on the site. The actual store is hosted and encrypted via Spreadshirt, which means it's as easy and safe to use as Amazon. Ordering a shirt on the site comes with full capability of returns, refunds, and customer service.
To access the store, navigate to "ikigai shop" above and you'll notice it on the dropdown. Or just click here – GO TO THE SHOP.
Shirts Available May15th – June15th
This shirt shop is an experiment, so I intend to keep it open for a month. If people seem to enjoy it I will keep it open, otherwise I will close it down. If you'd like a shirt, please place your order within a month.
Get Your Picture Posted!
IkigaiWay has always been a community driven site, but now we get to see it in action! I've dedicated three pages specifically to showing off IkigaiWay members in action:
Grab a shirt, take a picture, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Imagine dozens of pictures from people all over sharing the same message of Budo Spirit!
Thanks to everyone who helped make this giveaway a success! We reached our goal and have crested the 10,000 mark on Facebook. The value and contributions of facebook members continue to be an important part of ikigaiway.com.
As you might recall, I decided to work with a private company called Ooshirts for this giveaway. Ooshirts.com specializes in T-shirt printing, and here is the result from the ikigaiway project:
Since receiving the shirts, I have reached out to all three randomly selected winners of the contest. If you didn’t hear from me, unfortunately it means you didn’t have a lucky draw – but don’t worry, there will be more giveaways in the future!
I’d like to take a moment and express my appreciation for the quality of easy process provided by Ooshirts. Their website is very intuitive, and made the design process a snap. I didn’t have any issues with file type or size or formatting. Many of the hair pulling elements of working with online design were carefully avoided by Ooshirts.
The company also utilizes a friendly, hands-on customer service method. They provide free review of design by their internal graphic designers, who guide you and alert you to any complications that might arise BEFORE they go about printing.
Check em out, and thanks again to everyone involved.