Congratulations Sensei Steve, MTK students and much more!

Congratulations Sensei Steve Apsega Rokudan and Sempai Tommy Lyons Sandan

Hanshi John Shipes Visit October 2021

First off, we have a big announcement, Hanshi John Shipes has confirmed he will be coming to visit the first weekend of October! He will be flying in on Thursday, September 30th. We expect that there will be time set aside for certified instructors, black belts, our little samurai, and our kyu rank students. Details to come soon, but everyone should block out time on Saturday, October 2nd for a full day of karate camp with Hanshi!


June 2021 has been a very busy month for the Orrington Maine Traditional Karate dojo! Lot’s of great news to share with everyone:

    • We all want to congratulate Sensei Steve Apsega for successfully testing for his Rokudan (6th degree) during his Tyler, TX trip! Well deserved and we are honored to have such an esteemed teacher passing on his knowledge to us.
        • Congratulations to Sempai Tommy Lyons for achieving his Sandan (3rd degree) during the same trip alongside Sensei! Sempai Tommy always works hard to maintain strong karate and deliver the best teaching experience he can to our students.
        • And congratulations to everyone at the Tyler, TX camp that successfully promoted, including Sensei Stan Leach (Rokudan) and Sensei Peter Bernier (Yondan)
    • On June 19th we held a test for karateka at the Orrington dojo. We would like to congratulate all the students that participated!
        • 11 Kyu – White Belt 1 Stripe
          • Jacob Rowley
          • Max Arcaro
          • Olive Shirland
          • CJ Braley
          • Alyssa Urquhart
          • Cason Peterson
        • 10 Kyu – White Belt 2 Stripe
          • Frankie Veneziano
          • Lydia Marsh
          • Eli Prescott
          • Carissa Cotterly
        • 9 Kyu – Blue Belt
          • Benjamin Jurdak
          • Grayson Bailey
          • Brandon McKinney
          • Sam Roy
          • Nicholas Paquette
        • 8 Kyu – Blue Belt 1 Stripe
          • Kristen Cornelio
        • 7 Kyu – Blue Belt 2 Stripe
          • Brennon Apsega
        • 6 Kyu – Green Belt
          • Jordan Endre
          • Kelly Cole

Dojo Testing June 2021

COVID-19 Protocol Changes

As of June 1st, Maine Traditional Karate has stopped requiring students and guests to wear masks within the dojo. We advise each person to take any necessary precautions based on their own judgment and discretion. Please remain respectful of each other. We will continue to regularly disinfect equipment at the dojo along with our regular cleaning routine.

We ask if anyone is feeling sick to please refrain from entering the dojo in order to prevent spreading any form of illness to others. We are still offering remote Zoom video links to students who cannot come in person due to circumstances.

Everyone’s efforts and understanding over this last year are greatly appreciated.

One Month Update: White Belt Testimonial

Recently one of our newest students sent Sensei Steve a kind note with his thoughts on our dojo and his experience thus far. We are humbled to have this wonderful feedback and with the author Mike Hegarty’s permission, Sensei would like to share it with everyone:

First and foremost, I can’t believe my luck in having fallen into this style and this Dojo. I love this style, I love the history of it, I love that it contains Tuite and Kobudo, and the culture, dignity, and respect that goes with it. The demeanor of our Dojo (and you) reflects that.

I am also very aware that I am chasing performance and knowledge, not belts. I really want to get the fundamentals right. It truly is a marathon, and not a race, and I am taking the long view. Daily practice is the order of the day.

Hand in hand with learning I have to improve/increase my flexibility, core strength, speed and power. Especially flexibility. I have laid out a stretching plan and will work on it daily, as well as basic strengthening.

So anyways, It’s been a great month from my viewpoint. I am going to make Monday and Wednesday my main training days, with occasional fridays. There is a balance with trying to do too much too fast, as against not pushing to get better. I do know my body so will make adjustments accordingly, especially at the beginning.

So thanks for a great first month. I love the attitude, drive, and demeanor of the Dojo and all the students and Sempai’s. Believe you me, I know how much work goes into making a superb team! (smile).

– Mike Hegarty

The Musings of a Humble Sempai

Man standing on rocks reflecting in thought

Each passing day leads me towards new understandings. The world revolves in a constantly changing ebb and flow. Nature demands us to adapt. New challenges test not only our abilities but our creativity. Two of the strongest motivators can exist in a fraction of a second. One is the pull of knowledge, in this state one can choose the path in which they take. The other is that of helplessness, in this state we are choosing to become victims to the forces around us. In learning karate, we are choosing to move away from helplessness. Skills learned give us the understanding and tools to adapt to aggression while remaining calm. Our bodies are tempered, our spirits tested and hope is forged within the confines of chaos. I learn karate to avoid the feeling of helplessness, I practice karate to keep my body healthy and ready, and I teach others so they can feel safe. As an educator I can think of no more honorable endeavor than to pass on the ability to protect oneself.

Josh Curtis
High School Teacher

Dojo Promotions for September and October 2020

Black Belts October 17 2020

Great job to all of the karateka that tested and promoted in the last month! On Saturday October 17th we had seven 1 Kyu students test for and receive their black belts! As well, we saw the ascension of two 1 Dan students to their 2nd Dan rank:

1 Dan

    • David Stephens
    • Victor Alexander
    • Mikel Leighton
    • Emmett Mahoney
    • Sophia Santiago
    • Edgar Leclerc
    • Gabe Curtis

2 Dan

    • Kyle Sullivan
    • Josh Curtis

MTK Kyu Rank Testing 09262020As well, we had several students test for their Kyu ranks in Orrington on September 26th and in Corinna on October 1st:

    • 2 Kyu – Hazel Leclerc
    • 2 Kyu – Nikolas Long
    • 4 Kyu – Andy Kempton
    • 4 Kyu – Jessica Fortier Leighton
    • 4 Kyu – Josh Bone
    • 5 Kyu – Zen Taylor
    • 5 Kyu – Logan Stephens
    • 7 Kyu – Max Raponi
    • 7 Kyu – Greg Bird
    • 7 Kyu – Logan Leighton
    • 8 Kyu – Jordan Endre
    • 9 Kyu – Travis Kelly
    • 9 Kyu – Tristan Sanders
    • 9 Kyu – Quinn Szarowski
    • 9 Kyu – Elliott Szarowski
    • 10 Kyu – Kristen Cornelio
    • 10 Kyu – Sam Roy
    • 10 Kyu – Finn McKinney
    • 10 Kyu – Nicholas Kondax
    • 10 Kyu – Caden Cloutier
    • 10 Kyu – Dylan Angel
    • 10 Kyu – Derek Young
    • 10 Kyu – Tucker Bennett
    • 11 Kyu – Lucas Thompson

Keep up the energy and commitment to your training everyone! See you in the dojo! Visit our Facebook Page to view all the photos of our tests. Feel free to download and share them with your friends and family.

Dojo Update: Karateka Perseverance, Shodan Candidates and more!

The year 2020 has certainly been fraught with challenges! COVID-19 disrupted many people’s lives and our humble dojo was definitely affected by it, as well. Yet we all have worked hard to get through this crazy time together as a dojo family!

Like many businesses during this pandemic, we had to find creative solutions to continue serving our students. Working with our students remotely via Zoom may not have been ideal but it most definitely kept us on our feet, connected, and working through our materials. When we were able to open our dojo doors again it was refreshing to see the faces that came in while still staying connected remotely with our other students that could not be present. Kudos to the students and instructors that have worked so hard to keep up with their martial arts training!

On Saturday, September 19th the Orrington dojo had it’s first Kyu rank testing since the pandemic began. This coming Thursday, October 1st will see our Corinna karateka testing alongside some of the Orrington karateka. We will post our promoted Kyu ranks in the coming days!

Lastly, we have a large group of Shodan candidates this year testing in just a few weeks! Unfortunately, we are unable to have the honor of having Hanshi Shipes this year due to travel restrictions. However, Sensei Steve and his team of black belts are prepared to rigorously test our 1 Kyu students on the weekend of October 17th.

When students test for Shodan they are asked to do extensive research on our style, history, and Okinawan culture. This culminates in an essay that is submitted to Sensei Steve and then forwarded to Hanshi Shipes for review. As well, we have a few Shodans that are testing for Nidan rank and have submitted essays. Sensei Steve would like to make all of these essays available to everyone to share as a resource:

Keep training hard and great job to all of our students who have persevered!

Congratulations to our new black belts!

MTK New Black Belt Members October 2018

On October 28, 2018 we had the honor of testing three 1 kyu karateka under the guidance of Kyoshi Loren Engleby. After a long day of rigorous training  alongside their peers in Orrington Maine Traditional Karate and the Orland Karate Dojo, these outstanding members performed exceptionally well and to the satisfaction of the reviewing black belts.

We welcome the following members into the rank of Shodan:

    • Josh Curtis
    • Kyle Sullivan
    • Gavin Worcester