"The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries."
Our students come from all walks of life and range in age from four to seventy-eight. One family that trains with us is represented by three generations: a son, his mother, and her mother. These people are dedicated and train hard. Before we found a home for our dojo at the Riverside Woman's Club, we trained in public parks, parking lots, and a private community center. It was from this wandering about that we derived our nickname: Watarimono Karate-Do. "Watarimono" is Japanese for nomad or wanderer.
Our martial art is a version of Shotokan Karate-Do. It is considered one of the "hard" styles. Utilizing low stances and explosive power generated from the body's core, one of our classes provides a rigorous physical workout. While subtlety increases with the skill of the practitioner, Shotokan is primarily known for its concentration on and persistent repetition of a narrow range of techniques.
Sensei William Hunt, 2nd dan, is the founder and adult instructor for Reading For Kicks. His focus on habitual reading guides the entire program.
Sensei Kenny Mills, 1st dan, is the youth instructor for Reading For Kicks. A personal trainer, his focus is to keep our classes strenuous, yet safe.
We are partnered with the Riverside Woman's Club, which has provided us with the use of its meeting room. The building housing the Woman's Club was built early last century in the California Craftsman style. The meeting hall has a refinished hardwood floor and vaulted ceilings. Bathrooms are located on site and classes of fifty students can be easily accommodated.
We are located at: 4092 10th Street, Riverside, CA. The building is situated at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Brockton Avenue. Parking is available on the street, across Brockton Avenue to the west behind the medical center, and across 10th Street to the north.
The premise of READING FOR KICKS is to offer karate classes to those willing to read a book every month and turn in a short book report. The students select their own books. The only restrictions are that the book must be a work of fiction and the reading level must be appropriate to the student. We make allowances for those students who are in the process of learning English. Our purpose is not just to get people to read; it is to assist them in becoming habitual readers.
Reading and writing book reports is based on the honor system. Over the four years READING FOR KICKS has been in existence, this system has been abused very rarely. It is gratifying to know how honorable people can be if you respect them with high expectations.
Our dojo kun (or "motto" or "code of behavior") reads:
To seek perfection of character.
To be sincere and honest.
To show strong spirit.
To respect others.
To refrain from violent behavior.
Our purpose is to assist people in becoming disciplined, focused, capable, and non-violent. We believe that karate should be used only for self-defense or the ethical defense of another. We undergo the demanding physical training that we do so that we can become better at living up to our dojo kun.
Our martial art is Shotokan Karate. Brought from Okinawa to Japan by Gichin Funakoshi early last century, it was then exported to North America after World War II by Hidetaka Nishiyama. One of Nishiyama Sensei's students was Ray Dalke, who taught at the University of California, Riverside. Thousands of people passed through Dalke Sensei's doors over the years -- among them the Reading For Kicks instructors.