Dojo:   Amityville   Yin yang dojo b   Mt. Kisco

Korn in California


It is I, your humble west coast representative for Mt. Kisco (Tom L. covers West Amity), reporting from sunny Cali-fOr-nI-A.

June 3rd marked two years since our departure from the Coast of East. August 9th will mark Jenny's and my two-year wedding anniversary. And August 28th is the day we're scheduled to test for our pink belt—the testing requirements for which are that we deliver a healthy baby girl, not drop her, and fill her [in-tact] head with beautiful thoughts.

As I write this, my home work station is inundated with a diaper dispenser, changing table, side crib, baby seats of all kinds, mobiles, onesies, a stroller, a play pen, and…I have no idea what this is, but I'll just assume we need it. Just this past weekend, while perusing a local baby store (take that Amazon) we did an interview with a visiting product designer looking to get feedback on the prototype of a new, high-tech stroller. A delightful British gentleman—who separated Jenny and myself, leaving me by my uninformed lonesome—began by asking me what was important to me in a stroller. "Compact, grounded, and sturdy," I figured was more comprehensive (and less likely to get me arrested) than, "Something on which I can practice karate."

I'm looking forward to that part—the stroller rollin'—and our neighborhood is perfect for it. Sidewalks, trees, cars that occasionally stop at crosswalks. Coming off 16 years in Manhattan, our residential pocket of the East Bay is a welcome respite from the urban jungle. Even the bananas taste better (they love produce out here). Coming from the northeast, it's adorable to me the way folks wear winter caps in 60-degree weather, and complain of being "hot" when it's a dry 85. Though lest our daughter has a weak constitution, we'd probably better make it a habit to venture back east during winters so that "Poppy" can experience the magic of frostbite.

Poppy? Yes, for the time being. Jenny said it felt like popcorn popping when the little lady started kicking, so we've been calling her Poppy. But have no fear, it's just a placeholder until we saddle her with something for which she will hopefully not disown us (though "Poppy Korn" does have a nice YouTube-star ring to it).

On the martial arts front, I'm still teaching regularly in Mill Valley at the BKG (Beikoku Karate-Do Goyukai) Wado-ryu affiliate Mojo Dojo Karate, which I wrote about in my last love letter to you all. I've also been honing my skills through my work with a couple of wonderful Iwama-ryu aikido instructors—Sensei Rob Okun and Sensei Jason Yim—who studied under the late Sensei Morihiro Saito, one of the foremost exponents of the art. Both it and he are worth researching for karate people. The perspective from this training has enhanced my karate knowledge a ton by providing me with a deeper understanding of jiu-jitsu and weapon work and has even given me a new perspective on body mechanics—not to mention made me proficient at ceiling analysis (advancing in the art includes learning how to go butt-over-teakettle—I now understand what Sensei Takahashi means when he says that if the thrower looks good, it's because the throwee made it so).

It can get overwhelming out here sometimes—the redwood trees and flip-flops (like the fancy Adidas I'm wearing right now) are a reminder that we're definitely not in Kansas anymore—but my training magically brings everything back into focus. And while baby tasks are at hand, the brain often happily wanders up the two flights of stairs at 35 Main Street, peers into the doorless doorway, and finds that Sensei, Lisa and all my friends are making beautiful karate…and laughing at my jokes (even Rick).

Can't wait to introduce "Poppy" to her dojo family. Don't worry, we'll screen her first.

Lots of love,


P.S. For comments, questions, concerns, or parental advice you can reach Adam at