Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Teachers Profile: Sensei Byron Frankson

Sensei Byron Frankson, is a very powerful karate-ka who thinks deeply about the teachings. His high level of skill, profound knowledge in health and education and deep interests in the arts has made him a true karate-ka in traditional karate-do. He is a deep thinker and a natural educationalist. An extremely powerful kumite practitioner and loves hojo undo. An great mentor to the young and an asset to Goshin kan. A fine temperament, down the straight and narrow is his belief. He is very protective of Goshin kan’s values and philosophies and believes in the great traditions that has been handed down by Miyage Sensei and Gogen Sensei. He has a very relaxed nature and finds life interesting. He thinks more about things than others and does not like change. He also has a very sensitive nature, yet hold his own in many aspects of his life. Loves spreading the teachings and believes that Goshin kan is one of the good ways into the future.
Kancho Deena Naidu

Training history, belief and life:
I am not too sure if this is exactly true for each and everyone, but Goshin Kan has changed my life. Based on the fact that both my parents are teachers and have been for many years, I have always envisioned myself as becoming a teacher. However, due to the fact that I did not achieve the HSC results or final mark to be accepted into the courses I wished to be in (namely PDHPE teaching), I was forced to make a slightly risky decision: doing a year of a related degree, but not exactly what I wanted to do in life (that being Health Science). During this time though, I began training as a white belt in Goshin Kan Karate-do, and learning things I had never imagined were possible: using the mind and body together as a useful tool. I slowly began to perceive everything around me differently, I eventually completed the first year in this particular course, and applied for the university to which I have now attained my Bachelor of Health and Physical Education undergraduate degree; and I am now a Teacher. I owe a great debt to Goshin Kan (“The home of self preservation”), for giving me the self confidence and motivation to competently complete this course and truly be what I wanted to be in life, and I am proud to call my self an Instructor and lifelong Student of such a sacred, but deadly art.

I use up the word ‘deadly’ due to the obvious fact that the power and strength which is ever-present in our various techniques is simply amazing. What we know, having learnt from Kancho, is dangerous in the wrong hands, but can save a life in the right hands. For instance, Kancho’s persistent analogy regarding a knife: a weapon in the hands of a murderer, a surgical tool in the hands of a doctor and a cooking implement in the hands of a chef – it is the person who possesses the knife who shall ultimately determine how it is to be used. This is the most important of all the lessons I have learned throughout my years of training, the fact that it is the character of the individual which is of most importance in pure, true and traditional Karate-do; as we are very different from many ‘other’ organisations which have completely drifted away from the original purposes of the art: human values and the development of good character. Additionally, of all the diverse messages Kancho has ever delivered I personally believe the below acronym for Karate is one that will remain with me my entire life, as a Budo-ka; it is as follows:

K – Kill
A – Aggression;
R – Remove
A – Animosity;
T – Terminate
E – Ego.

The final two words resonate with me beyond explanation, as it the termination of ego (which is known as “Muga” – ‘no ego’ in Japanese), that will help to solve a lot of modern society’s problems; hopefully achieving peace and harmony, in a world which is full of chaos and disorder.

Favourite Karate quote:
“Keep the belt on the waist, let it never go to the head.”
Kancho Deena Naidu

Favourite values:
I think that the two which stand out for me are: 1. truth and 2. heart. The main reason behind this is that when we open our hands and refer to the human values which we hold dearly in Goshin Kan, each finger relates to each one of our values; the first being truth and the last being heart. Without these two values we are not able to grasp the eight other values (those being love, peace, right conduct, non-violence, words, actions, thoughts and character), and although each one is just as important as the other, all are the virtues which make us better people.