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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - Spirit of First Beginnings

    Spirit of First Beginnings

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson There is a Japanese proverb that says, “Never forget the spirit of first beginnings.” For me it was in 1988 at a little YMCA under the instruction of a very old school Sensei. The class was mostly all advanced adult students who had probably been with him for years. It was a very intimidating setting for a kid who didn’t know how to tie his new white belt correctly, but it was also invigorating too. Sensei Gene Orr was a strict disciplinarian and his expectations for his students pushed us to a new level of excellence. That level of excellence was very individual and meant something different to each student, but under his instruction you felt ....

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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - The World’s Fastest Round Kick

    The World’s Fastest Round Kick

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson - August 2017 Gichin Funaoshi, founder of the Shotokan school of karate, once said, “Karate is not only the acquisition of certain defensive skills, but also the mastering of the art of being a good and honest member of society.” Our society could use more good and honest people and the dojo is a great place to develop them. Karate is simply a tool, or method that we use in our dojo to develop the whole person. The body, mind and spirit are connected and to receive the most benefit from your martial training you must address all three. Karate is like an empty cup. What you poor into it is exactly what it will give you back. If you poor hard work, ....

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  • How Winning Is Done

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson What’s your reasons for achieving your goals? Everyone has a reason, or a motivation, why they began their journey towards achieving a goal. One of the main things that will determine if you will continue to pursue and ultimately reach your goals is your reasons why you do what you do. If your why is big enough you can overcome all the obstacles that confront you. If your reason why you train is bigger than your obstacles and excuses, you’ll have the ability to turn obstacles into stepping stones of opportunity. When your reasons that motivate you to stick to your goals are bigger than any distraction that may come up, you’ll see your ....

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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - Prime Your Karate Pump

    Prime Your Karate Pump

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson - June 2017 Karate is like a well of water and you are like the old pump used to pull the water up. At first to get any water out you must begin to pump and you’ll find yourself working very hard in the beginning with little results. A little water starts to trickle out of the old pump and you feel some encouragement. Likewise after a lot of work on learning karate you’ll notice some little improvements. It’s enough to keep you going, so you pump even harder. The problem that most people run into when it comes to priming the old pump to get water out is the same problem most new students run into when learning karate. That problem is them. They ....

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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - Pine Trees Make Good Bonsai: Not Good Karate Students

    Pine Trees Make Good Bonsai: Not Good Karate Students

    Pine trees are very beautiful to see in nature with their flowing trunks and cascading branches and they do very well growing alone, standing strong against the elements of nature. Pine trees make good bonsai, but not good karate students. Karate Students need others to grow strong and the same is true of every individual regardless of their chosen field. It has been said that there are no Lone Rangers in leadership. Even the Lone Ranger had his trusted friend Tonto. The Karate student is more like the great Redwood trees. They need each other to grow tall and strong. Redwood trees grow in small clusters and they have a massive root system and the roots of all the trees intertwine, making ....

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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - The Power Of Self-Confidence

    The Power Of Self-Confidence

    Born during the era of the roaring twenties came one of the greatest athletes of all time. With a boxing record of 49 wins and 0 losses and 43 of those wins coming by the way of knockout it would be safe to say that this boxer was one of the greatest of any generation. He was born on September 1, 1923 in Brockton, Massachusetts to his immigrant parents, who recently came to the USA from Italy. After dropping out of high school when he was in the 10th grade he got a job working on a delivery truck prior to being drafted to help in the war effort in 1943. He began boxing in the army and carried an average record of 8 wins and 4 losses before being discharged. He quit boxing for awhile and ....

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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - The Warrior Within

    The Warrior Within

    "The warrior doesn’t train for others to see him. He trains because he is a warrior and perfecting his spirit is his lifetime objective." That is a quote by author and martial artist Forrest E. Morgan. Why do you train in the martial arts? For me when I was a new karate student I had a warrior within that I needed to develop to be tested and to be trained. I think this is true of every young man. The karate dojo provided me with an adventure and a place to polish my spirit. Author John Eldredge says, "Adventure requires something of us, puts us to the test. Though we may fear the test, at the same time we yearn to be tested, to discover we have what it takes." As a young man I longed ....

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  • Reignite Your Passion

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson - April 2017 When I was young and just starting in the martial arts I was excited and enthusiastic about my training. I loved to practice and I loved to show anyone who would be a willing audience, or better yet my student as I shared with them my newly acquired knowledge. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I was pulled by my passion. When you love doing something you’ll do it because you love doing it and not because you must. Passionate students don’t have to be reminded to practice. They practice, because practice itself is their reward. When students lose their passion, it usually isn’t because they don’t love training ....

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  • A Challenge To Be Won

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson I don’t know about you when it comes to facing a new challenge, but for me when I began my martial arts training it was a challenge to be won. It seemed to call me and entice me to see what I was really made of. When I first sat down as a teenager many years ago across from my Sensei prior to me beginning my training he told me, “Becoming a black belt is hard and I don’t know if you have what it takes.” I eagerly accepted his challenge. Was I intimidated by the challenge the martial arts presented and working for years to attempt and become a black belt? You bet! I didn’t know if I could do it. But I had to find out. I knew the pain ....

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  • Your Karate Stinks Only If You Do

    By Sensei Dave Hanson Your karate stinks only if you do. A lot of people try to compare martial arts styles and say, “This one is superior because it does grappling”, or “That one is superior because they work with weapons.” It’s a tale as old as the martial arts themselves. Yet I propose to you that your martial art only works if you do. That may seem like a revelation to many, but the martial arts ultimately are only limited by our human experience and traditions that are ultimately expressed through our attitudes and actions. When choosing a martial art it is wise not to select one because of how it compares to others, but how does it compare to you. ....

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  • Board Breaks And Reflections

    By Sensei Dave Hanson: Twenty years ago I took my yellow belt test and had the opportunity to perform a board break. It was a transformational experience. I was a young kid who lacked confidence and the ability to set a goal and follow through to achieve it. After a long test my teacher invited me up to do a double break with a side kick. I had my doubts, but I trusted his judgement and was willing to try. His belief in me gave me the confidence to go for it. First time the boards didn't break. Second time with a little more determination and after hitting the board once and realizing that wasn't so bad, I gave it my best kick... and snap! The boards broke and my self confidence broke ....

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  • Which Workout Do You Choose?

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson With all the many options available in today’s health conscious society how do you choose the right workout for you? You can make it as complicated as you want, but I think simple is a better approach. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “To be simple is to be great.” Lets face it. Simple works. Why? Because it is easy to get started and stay in a routine. In other words, make your workout a habit. If your workouts are too complicated you are less likely to stick with them. So how do you choose the best workout for you. Are you ready for this revelation. Choose the one you enjoy. That’s right. Choose the workout that you enjoy doing the ....

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  • In Karate There Is No Bench

    By Sensei Dave Hanson The wonderful thing in karate is that there is no bench. In karate, with the right instructor, everyone gets an opportunity to shine. Kids are like flowers and they need constant water and sunshine to grow, otherwise they will wilt under the weight of discouragement. What can be more discouraging than working your heart out in practice and doing your very best just to be put on the bench by the coach with never a chance to play in the game. The bench is a statement that shouts out to the child and all his peers, “You’re not good enough!” This happens at one of the most fragile times in a young persons development. They need that encouragement and ....

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  • The Way Of Karate

    By Sensei Dave Hanson: In the classic movie Karate Kid Mr. Miyagi shares with Daniel-San a timeless key to success. He say’s, “Either you karate do, or you karate don’t. You karate guess so, squish just like grape.” Another Mr. Miyagi, the one whom the character was based upon, Chojun Miyagi shared a similar sentiment when he said, “It is simply a matter of paying the price. Karate is a total commitment…There is no half way measure. Either you do it, or you don’t. Nothing is impossible.” His contemporary, Kenwa Mabuni the founder of Shito-ryu Karate said, “Karatedo is a lifetime study.” The masters of the past understood and ....

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  • The Karate Lifestyle

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson What is your karate age? I ask this a little in jest. We’ve heard for a long time now that there is a difference between the number on your birthday cake and your “real” biological age. That can be good for some and probably not so good for most. I ask what your karate age is, because karate is a great way to turn back the clock biologically. The health and fitness secrets of the martial arts have been passed down for generations and many martial artist still benefit from martial arts training all over the world. For example the founder of our karate style was born in 1889. His son just passed away last year in 2015. He was born in ....

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  • Mokuso

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson Mokuso is for the mind as it is a way to prepare the body and making the mind, body and spirit connection complete. Mokuso, which is a form of meditation, that is performed at the beginning and ending of every class during the Reishiki ceremony. The Reishiki is a very formal ceremony of bowing and acknowledgments of the past and present teachers and ones fellow classmates. It is also a time of self-reflection when a student takes time to meditate and prepare their mind for training at the beginning of class and the opportunity to reflect at the end of class. There is nothing mystical about the type of meditation we do in the dojo it is simply mental ....

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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - Why Train...What Are Your Reasons?

    Why Train...What Are Your Reasons?

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson - February 2016 It was author Forrest E. Morgan who said, “The warrior doesn’t train for others to see him. He trains because he is a warrior and perfecting his spirit is his lifetime objective.” A question we all must ask is, “Why train?” What is your reasons? If your reasons are noble and worthy of your time and effort you are more likely to stay committed to your training. If your reasons are only external and shallow you will eventually quit. It is unfortunate that more people don’t understand the intrinsic value of martial arts training. The benefits can last a lifetime. Everyone who comes to the dojo has their own reasons to train. You must ask yourself ....

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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - Live Fit

    Live Fit

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson As motivational teacher Jim Rohn once said, “You can’t hire somebody to do your push-ups for you.” To live fit means you must take responsibility for your thinking and your results. No one can change your thinking, but you. And a fit body always begins with a fit mind. Before starting a new exercise regimen, or determining your next set of fitness goals, begin with your thinking. As Zig Ziglar use to say, “Sometimes we need a check up from the neck up.” Make sure your attitudes and your thinking are on target and your actions will naturally align with your thoughts. Start your new healthy lifestyle by reading a good book on health and fitness. This is one of ....

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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - Take Your Vitamin C Daily

    Take Your Vitamin C Daily

    By: Sensei Dave Hanson Believe in yourself. Believe you can do great things. Then do them. But you must first believe. One of the worst enemies to your self-belief is doubt. Doubt is what we call a sickness in the martial arts. It is not a physical illness, but like a physical illness it has symptons and it also has a cure. Doubt is a sickness that infects your mental state and alters your attitude. It can change your attitude from a positive mental attitude to a negative mental attitude. The cure for doubt is a dose of confidence. The only way to overcome your doubts is to believe you can. Your doubts affect three areas of your personality and those areas are your self-ideal, who you ....

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  • Authentic Leadership

    Authentic Leadership By: Sensei Dave Hanson “The new standard bearer for leadership in the Twenty first century is Authenticity” That is the response that I heard from John Maxwell when asked what will define leadership in the years to come. In other words, “Be real”. The world is looking for leaders in all fields who, “Walk their talk.” Leaders who can be trusted and can be counted on to do what they say and back their words with their actions. The world is in need of real men and women who are leaders by their actions. I once heard a story of a great old Indian chief who was at a gathering to hear a famous speaker. He sat there stoic and quietly took in all that the speaker had to ....

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  • Kids Karate in St. Louis - Dave Hanson's Gateway Karate - Making The Way Of Fitness A Way Of Life

    Making The Way Of Fitness A Way Of Life

    Making The Way Of Fitness A Way Of Life
    By: Sensei Dave Hanson Experts say that 75 percent of adults in 2015 are overweight and 40 percent of those are obese. Heart disease and type two diabetes has become a way of life for many Americans. What is the solution? The answer can be found in the way we live. The way we think and in our daily habits. The solution to many health problems facing us today can be found in the way of fitness, and making it a way of life. The way of fitness is not the way of the weekend warrior, but a lifestyle. Many people make a sincere effort to lose weight, stay in shape and count their calories, but that is not the way of fitness. The way of fitness is a ....

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  • Youre Killing Me Smalls

    You're Killing Me Smalls By: Sensei Dave Hanson You can never rise higher than your thoughts. It was William Arthur Ward who said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” Words are powerful and when you say to yourself, “I can’t” you have determined what you are capable of without giving yourself a chance to try. I enjoy watching the movie Sandlot. It’s about a group of boys who in the 1960’s play baseball on the local sandlot by their homes. They dream of becoming the next Babe Ruth, or Jackie Robinson. They were not tainted by the skepticism that comes with adulthood. Their thinking was not hampered by the reality and the daily ....

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  • Think Your Way Fit

    Think Your Way Fit By: Dave Hanson Sensei Your results in life are a product of your thinking. Shape your thoughts and you shape your future. Fitness and health are very popular subjects in today's world, and yet still so many struggle to make changes to reach, and maintain their health and fitness goals. The reality is that your fitness level is a result of your thinking. Lasting change begins when you change your thinking, and ultimately change your habits. Obesity is a major epidemic in our culture. We have become a culture of the super-sized world. Everything is growing larger in our food portions and sugary drinks and that has directly affected our societies' larger waistlines. ....

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  • Goals Sign Post Along Your Road To Success

    Goals: Sign Post Along Your Road To Success By: Dave Hanson Sensei Goals are the sign post giving you direction along your road to success. When was the last time you sat down with a blank piece of paper and a mind that was full of dreams and ideas and turned them into goals? When you write down your goals it is what is called Psychoneuromotor Activity, where your mind and body make a connection. You take the invisible goal held within your mind and make it real. Goals give you a target and are the act of putting work clothes on your dreams. They keep you from wandering through life aimlessly without accomplishing much of anything. The motivational teacher Zig Ziglar use to say that, ....

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  • Don’t Lose Your Callouses

    Don’t Lose Your Callouses
    By Dave Hanson
    I have been involved in the martial arts for a big part of my life. But even before I got my start in the martial arts I was involved with music. I was blessed to grow up in a family where faith and music was a daily part of our reality. It was a given that as a member of the Hanson family you were going to learn to play an instrument. My dad, who is a very gifted musician, got me started with a harmonica when I was about eleven years old. Then he gave me a bass guitar. I didn’t do so well with the guitar. I wasn't disciplined enough to practice like I needed so that I could improve. My natural bent was to be active and moving and I didn't ....

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  • Climb Your Mountain By Dave Hanson

    It was the 18th century Japanese poet Kobyashi Issa who penned these words, “O Snail Climb Mount Fuji But slowly, slowly!” Could you imagine a snail climbing a mountain? And we’ve all heard the childhood story of the tortes and the hair and how the turtle beat the rabbit in the race. What is the secret of the snail and the turtle? What is their magical power that they harness to accomplish great things? It is the power of persistence! It is true that to get started you have to have passion and a passionate person can beat a talented person who knows no enthusiasm any day! But what finishes the race and summits the mountain is the power of persistence! Please don't think ....

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  • Testimonials


    Mark Hovis
    My son has attended Gateway Karate for over two years. This program was recommend by friends who's daughters are students at Gateway. I feel very fortunate to have been directed to this program. The curriculum involves much more than teaching karate. The program is also aimed at teaching discipline, life skills, character development and leadership skills. Dave (Sensei) and Rachel (Senpai) Hanson have dedicated their professional lives to developing leaders that are respectful, responsible, accountable and possess solid values. Every class is a gem that provides a positive, uplifting and valuable experience to the student. Rachel teaches class for the younger students. She is ....

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  • Why Karate By Dave Hanson Sensei

    Why choose karate over all the other activities out there clamoring for your participation? Why choose our school? There are many answers to these two questions. Let me give you a few answers. First let me define what karate is. Karate, also known by the more correct term of karate-do, is a method of developing the whole person; mind, body and spirit. Karate-do means, "Way of the empty hand," and it is the way of choice at our school that we use to teach kids and adults self-discipline, build unshakable confidence, self-protection skills and give them a path for a healthier lifestyle. Karate-do is not just fighting, or MMA like what you may see on television for entertainment. Karate-do ....

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  • The Tradition of Loyalty By Dave Hanson Sensei

    The great motivational teacher Zig Ziglar said that, "Loyalty is an expression of love." Loyalty is one of the greatest time honored traditions of the martial arts. Loyalty can be hard to find in today's fast paced modern culture, but it still has value and the greatest leaders have learned to express loyalty to those they follow and also to those who follow them. There are three aspect to preserving the tradition of loyalty in the dojo and no matter if it is Japan, or right here in St. Louis, Missouri these traditions can and should be followed if we truly want our deepest held values to live beyond us. The three P's to the tradition of loyalty are Protect, Preserve and Pass on. If we are ....

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  • Self-Confidence for Kids By Dave Hanson Sensei

    It has been said that a child will hear, "No you can't" 150,000 times and, "Yes you can" only 5,000 times by the time they reach the age of 18. Just imagine if we flipped that statistic around. What if we taught kids to believe that dreams are possible to achieve and help them begin to believe in themselves. The martial arts is one of the tools that we can use to achieve this goal. When a child learns a new technique, or masters their next belt requirements for testing, their self-esteem rises. We must believe in them, before they will begin to believe themselves. Tony Robbins says, "Success leaves tracks." That is referring to the person who follows the tracks of success left by another ....

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  • Student Stories

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