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Senpai | Braden Bennight

Shodan
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My Story

Ever since I can remember I’ve loved anything and everything that comes from Japan. When I was 3 years old, my parents hosted Japanese exchange students to live with us. I was introduced to fascinating food, cartoons, video games and new language. At 11 years old, I began training in Shorin Ryuu Matsumori Kenpo. It was very fun, and within a year I made it to brown belt, but when training fees increased, I couldn’t train anymore. However, I always felt that someday I would train karate again when it was possible. 

After studying Japanese for three years in high school I worked as a missionary in Japan for two years. While there I became fluent in Japanese and my love for Japanese culture and its people grew. After returning home, I began college studies at Highline Community College, and then BYU Idaho, where I took TaiChi, Yoga, and fencing classes. I met Melissa in a fencing class in college, and we married on July 25th 2009. Melissa and I transferred to Central Washington University in September 2009. While walking through the student union building, Melissa and I discovered the CWU Karate Club table. I immediately wanted to join the Karate club and train, as I had been missing karate training for 15 years. Our first day was very exciting, especially after learning it was Kyokushin and was full contact. These guys were actually hitting each other! The physical conditioning was also high. I had always been the fat kid with skinny arms, and I knew with certainty that Kyokushin would change that. 

I began researching Kyokushin. After watching several legendary fights, learning more about Sosai Oyama, and exploring the “world’s strongest karate”, I became fascinated with Kyokushin. I strongly desire to train in Kyokushin for the rest of my life. Kyokushin will not only help me to stay physically fit; it will also strengthen my mental will and increase awareness. Kyokushin has become a very high priority in my life, and I have full confidence it will continue to provide many opportunities for growth. I want to master everything that Kyokushin has to offer. In the process, I also hope to master myself.