14 May Deniz
Seichou Karateka (karate practitioners) are ambitious, multi-faceted people of all ages from many culture regions.
This spring we’re proud to introduce an outstanding student, Deniz, whose maturity and accomplishments exceed his years. 10-year old Deniz gets great grades in school, speaks Turkish, Japanese and native English, is a sixth kyu (green belt) leader at Seichou Karate® and is an avid soccer player. What’s more, he’s a world traveler who recently made a transcontinental journey by himself. Here’s what he had to say about his summer 2014 odyssey.
Seichou: Hi, Deniz. Where did you travel last summer?
Deniz: I travelled to Turkey to visit my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. I stayed for two months with my dad’s sister in Istanbul, but I also visited my dad’s brother.
Seichou: I heard that you flew to Istanbul by yourself. Is that true?
Deniz: Yes, it was a great. The flight attendants were very nice to me.
Seichou: It wasn’t scary?
Deniz: No, my parents have taught me to rely on myself, and my karate training helps me to be strong. So, I was not afraid and the flights were a lot of fun.
Seichou: Do your cousins speak English?
Deniz: Yes, but they helped me a lot with my Turkish. I improved a lot during my stay.
Seichou: Was it your first trip there?
Deniz: No. My family goes there about once every two years.
Seichou: Is Turkey different from the U.S.?
Deniz: Yes, the roads are narrow and there are fewer cars, but there are a lot of taxis.
Seichou: What’s the weather like in Istanbul?
Deniz: It’s humid. Turkey is in the northern hemisphere.
Seichou: What did you do while you were there?
Deniz: My dad’s family took me to many interesting places and I joined a soccer club.
Seichou: Is Turkish soccer the same as here?
Deniz: Well, the rules are the same, but the field is smaller and anyone can join because there are no try-outs.
Seichou: What’s Istanbul like?
Deniz: Istanbul has a long and important history because it connects Europe and Asia. It’s bigger than Washington and used to be the capital of Turkey, but Ankara is the new capital.
Seichou: Tell us about an average day in Turkey?
Deniz: I would wake up and go to soccer practice. We practiced three days each week from 9:00 to 11:00am. After soccer, I would eat breakfast, watch TV and, then, spend the rest of the day with my family. I especially enjoyed watching sports news.
Seichou: What’s Turkish breakfast like?
Deniz: Well, it’s really good but different from the U.S. For example, we would eat sausage, eggs, cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, bread with honey or jam or homemade Turkish pizza.
Seichou: Is there fast food in Turkey?
Deniz: Yes, but it’s different from the U.S. Here we eat sandwiches and hamburgers. In Turkey people eat kabobs.
Seichou: What’s a kabob?
Deniz: It’s vegetables and meat on a stick.
Seichou: Did you practice karate in Turkey?
Deniz: Yes. I practiced the first fighting kata, Pinan 2 and Pinan 3. I think that I made some mistakes in Pinan 3, but my kata training helped me remember a lot of karate techniques. For example, I started to forget which hand goes under in shuto uke, but the katas helped me remember.
Seichou: What do you like best about Turkey?
Deniz: I like seeing my family members.
Seichou: Did you learn any lessons in Turkey?
Deniz: I met a famous Turkish writer, Sunay Akin, who is also the founder of the Istanbul Toy Museum. I will always remember this experience.
Seichou: Would you like to return to Turkey?
Deniz: Yes. I’ll go back. Perhaps I’ll work there when I grow up.
Seichou: When you returned to the U.S. were you happy to return?
Deniz: Yes, because I missed my family.
Seichou: What are you plans for this spring and summer?
Deniz: I’d like to prepare for and take my purple belt test before the summer. Then, I’ll travel to Japan to see my mom’s family. This time I’ll bring my parents, sister and brother with me.