Shanaki Martial Arts, Inc.

In Honor There is Life!

     "In Honor There Is Life!" This is not only the motto of Shanaki Martial Arts Studios, it is the absolute philosophy that Grandmaster Penny Shannon lives her life by and strives to instill in her students.  Basing her teachings around the Code of Bushido, Master Shannon has been promoting this philosophical way of living for over thirty years.

     Without honor, what do you have?  This is a question that Master Shannon poses to her students throughout the course of their training.  Master Shannon’s ultimate goal is to help us learn to truly like ourselves, accept who we are, be confident and secure, and to always live our lives with integrity and honor. She expects her students to always give their best, but believes that any accomplishment is a positive one.  She recognizes that each student is an individual with specific strengths and weaknesses and tailors her instructional style accordingly.  The core message that she conveys to her students is, “set high but realistic goals, give it your best, and always move forward one step at a time, learning from your mistakes along the way. Being in first place is not the most important thing.  Train hard, give it your personal best, and just be the best you can be - for you”.

     One of the main concepts that Master Shannon believes in is service to others- helping those in need, strengthening the weak, and trying to positively impact the community at large.  Her  echoing message is, “if someone is weak or in need, then offer them your assistance and don’t judge them.  In fact, if a Shanaki student is witnessed using his/her art in a dishonorable fashion (threatening, fighting without cause, betraying one’s master, etc.), he/she can be demoted or  dismissed from the Studio indefinitely.  At Shanaki, belt ranking is a privilege, not a right.  As Master Shannon reminds her students while tying their belts on, “I tied this on you and can take it away.  This belt is not yours; it represents the honor of our dojo”.  Although every student does indeed earn his/her belt, they understand that respect, honor, and loyalty stand above self – without these virtues one has nothing.  

     By living everyday with honor, and doing the right thing simply for the sake of doing right, placing value on things greater than oneself, and standing for justice, a person can discover true purpose in life and accomplish the unimaginable.