Skip to main content

The components of the COMA Patch are: the Cherry Tree, the Weapons, the Color Scheme, and the General Design.

The Cherry Tree: We wanted to show that our karate is one that is built on a firm foundation, is in continual improvement, and is traditionally Okinawan.

A tree is a plant with a firm foundation; our tree is in bloom because that’s when it is most beautiful. Most people look at the flowers to see the beauty of the tree, even though they are only a small percentage of the tree. The beauty of the tree is in the whole tree, from the root system providing nutrients and water, to the trunk and branches supporting the weight in order to make the flowers possible. In the same way, our karate has its roots in Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate-do and our basics build the foundation to properly executing the different techniques.

A tree is also continually improving its structure. Naturally, a tree is always growing, but it not only grows, it also heals from wounds. In fact, a tree which is well pruned grows stronger, healthier, and bears more fruit than a tree which is left alone. The same is true with karate: when we prune or focus the growth of our karate to a specific area or define goals for our karate, our karate improves faster than it would otherwise. Conversely, if we stop growing, like a tree, our karate will wither and eventually die.

We chose the cherry tree because cherry trees are traditionally Okinawan. It is always important to know the history of where you came from because each of us stands in a long line of people who have come before us, and we will pass on what we have to the generations who will come after us. Therefore, when we practice a traditional drill that my Sensei taught me and his Sensei before him and his before him, it adds a level of respect and honor to these techniques which have been passed down to us, techniques which previous generations used to succeed in combat.

Everything on the patch comes in 3’s because this number shows up a lot in our system. In Karate, there are 3 distances, 3 timings, 3 components to a posture, etc. Therefore, it seems appropriate to have this symbolism represented in our patch with 3 weapons, 3 roots on our tree, 3 main branches, and the flowers clustered in 3’s.

The Bo, Sai, and Nunchaku are the first weapons which Sensei Co and Sensei Ben learned with Sensei Murray. Preference is given to the Bo because it is the first weapon that we learned from Sensei Murray. Kobudo (Weapons) goes hand in hand with Karate (Empty Hand), so when we practice the different weapons, our Karate improves and vice versa.

The general design and the color scheme are inspired by the Murray’s Okinawan Karate Patch in order to show honor to Sensei Murray for teaching us. Like the Murray’s Okinawan Karate Patch, our patch is designed to be balanced because we train people to live balanced lives. If your karate is excelling, but other areas of your life are falling apart, then eventually you will burn out. Therefore, we teach our students to be balanced in all that they do so that, consequently, they excel in all that they do.