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Cherry Blossoms

By Mel Reyes


This past month, a very exciting and most memorable event occurred at the Cooper City Dojo. The festive event was the release of the much anticipated new book of Master Joseph Kelljchian, “365 Days of the Warrior.”  This is a book of priceless treasures. For the first time, Master Kelljchian shares his invaluable gems and pearls of wisdom and philosophies in a literary work. Master Kelljchian expresses his deepest thoughts as a warrior, revealing the concepts of the U.S.A. Goju Federation.  The extraordinary facet of this book was Master Kelljchian’s open invitation to the USAGF family to contribute their own personal combative poems in the making of the book.

People are told not to judge a book by its cover. The cover of this book could not have been more appropriate. The eye catching red cover with the white cherry blossoms, personally painted by Master Kelljchian, piqued my curiosity. The cherry blossom (sakura) is the unofficial national flower of Japan. The cherry blossoms are not to be confused with fruit cherry trees.  The blooming of cherry blossoms signifies the arrival of spring. The symbol of a cherry blossom is a bright future. The delicate petals of the flowers suggest purity, transience, melancholy, and has a poetic appeal. There is a dark meaning of cherry blossoms. The Japanese cherry blossoms bloom all at once and rarely last for more than a week.  The manner in which the blossoms fall from the tree, are used to beautify the death of a samurai. To the samurai, there was no greater glory than to die on the battlefield like scattered cherry blossoms. As you can see, the cherry blossom exhibits the elements of Goju.

The book is written in a daily journal/calendar format with provocative thoughts, poems, meditations, and profound perspectives which can be used as a teaching tool in the dojo. Reading the book will stimulate a wide spectrum of emotions. The stories of personal triumphs against overwhelming demons, proves our virtue of , “nothing is impossible.” This book will enhance, inspire, and motivate not only your karate in the dojo, but in your entire view of life.

The night of the book signing ended with the authors reading aloud their individual work. The poem or story being read aloud by the author added another dimension that cannot be replicated. The diverse backgrounds of the authors were just a microcosm of today’s society. The hard work of Master Kelljchian and Sensei Tracy Broussard will be treasured for generations. 


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