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Okinawa Karate and Cultural Center Opens! - Part 2 Master Folta Article in Okinawa Newspaper

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Okinawa Karate and Cultural Center Opens! - Part 2 Master Folta Article in Okinawa Newspaper

Okinawa Times Newspaper T 112 English Translation of the article originally published in Japanese, Okinawa Japan on Dec. 25. 2023

World Correspondent Net / Okinawa Times Newspaper: 12.25.2023

Okinawa Karate and Cultural Center Opens!
Part 2 of 2-part series continuing from last month about Mr. Nestor T. Folta, a karate 8th dan.

by Teiko Yonaha Tursi, Okinawa Times Overseas Correspondent/Essays

This year, Nestor-San opened the Okinawa Karate Center (OKCC) near Washington, D.C. It is indeed the achievement of "self-realization." Self-actualization is originally a psychological term that refers to the most advanced level of desire that humans can reach.  With a passion for Okinawan karate and traditional culture, Nestor-San has found his own way of life by making the most of his abilities. When I heard the good news, I said, “Yes! Right On! Nestor !” I raised my voice.

Mr. and Mrs. Folta and I have known each other since 1988 when we practiced Karate-Yeisa- (Okinawan Summer Festival Dance). I was impressed by Nestor's handwork and keen and quick sense of Japanese, Uchinaguchi, and traditional culture.

OKCC is about a 30-minute drive to the White House. The opening ceremony on November 5 kicked off with a tug-of-war in honor of Okinawa. There were a variety of events such as Ryukyu dance, Yeisa-, taiko drums, Uta (song) Sanshin, and karate demonstrations by Mr. Folta's students. In the kumite of the Black Belts, his wife, Mayumi, attracted attention when she dealt with a man in his 20s.

Owner and operator Nestor said of OKCC, "It's a lifelong dream come true, my karate teacher planted the seed in my soul, and the members of the dojo have become family. My experience working as a design and architectural engineer in Okinawa for five years also helped."

In 1995, the couple had fraternal twins, Nestor Koichi, and Naomi Marika. When they were five years old, their father took them to Okinawa for the summer holidays and left them with their grandparents on their mother's side. Since then, the two have commuted from their grandparents' house to Tomari Elementary School and Mawashi Junior High School every summer, where they grew up familiar with Okinawan culture, practicing karate, and socializing with friends.

Influenced by their father, who has a deep knowledge of Okinawan culture, the two have naturally accepted Okinawan customs. I felt that way from their cheerful outlook. Both are bilingual, studied mechanical engineering at university and are now independent. Nestor-San is a member of the Order of the Knights of Columbus in Northern Virginia and serves the community as a certified leader in emergency response services. He also raised $25,000 for the victims of the 9/11 attacks through charity work.

Nestor-San retired in 2010 at the age of 57 after 35 years as an engineer for the U.S. federal government. With a passion for Okinawa, he built OKCC and headed for a second life. Hats off to him for his dedication to the inheritance and development of Okinawan culture. Chibariyo~!, Nestor~!

Monthly Essay and translation by “Teiko” Yonaha-Tursi,
Overseas Reporter/Essayist, The Okinawa Times

 


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