Thank You!

2021 is gone and 2022 is here!  Thank goodness!  The Covid-19 years have been difficult, but we are still here.  Thank you to our students and their families, without you Bushido Kenkyukai would not have survived the past 2 years.  Thank you for adjusting with all the health orders and constant unknown of what change we would have to make next. Thank you for your patience. Thank you to those that never left and rode the wave.  Thank you to those that came back whether it was at the beginning of 2021 or the end.

Thank you to all our families, friends, and supporters of our programs.  In 2020 Covid-19 caused the cancelation of all our events and performances.  In 2021 we started the year off with a virtual performance for the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History’s celebration of Asian Pacific Islander month and finished the year with a live performance at Aki Matsuri Japanese Fall Festival at the New Mexico Veteran’s Memorial Park.  Thank you to all event coordinators that gave us back the wonderful joy of performing & demonstrating.

Here is to a new year, with refreshing possibilities of a better year with prosperity & joy!

35 Years and Still Training

Within my first couple of years of training in Karate I knew without a doubt I would do it for the rest of my life.  I just knew I would find a way.  It spoke to me; it fed my soul.  This is not to say I was coordinated or skilled athletically. I’m not a karate prodigy.  The drills and forms made sense to me, repetition and discipline made sense, and as I got better and better, it drew me in further.  I was tremendously blessed with a great instructor and without him I would not be the karate student or teacher that I am today.  Luckily to this day there is still so much more I want to learn.  As I have gotten older, I realize how much I have learned and how much more there is to learn, so much more. Strangely, it has taught me how little I know about karate.  It has taught me so much in addition to self-defense.  It has taught me about myself.  It may sound cliché, but Karatedo is much more than punching and kicking, it truly is a way of life and has taught me about mine.

The pandemic, ugh!  Talk about a test of perseverance.  As an instructor you are always concerned with the heath and welfare of your students but trying to figure out how to protect and provide for your students with confusing public information and the uncertainty of something new and unknown is challenging.  Then all the restrictions, lockdowns, and mandates placed on a small school running on a shoestring becomes a juggling act of a lifetime.  To me it is a miracle that my dojo still exists.  Through all this there was never a doubt that I would continue to do Karate.  Sadly, I did wonder if I would still have a dojo or students. Since the pandemic is not over, I still wonder if we will make it.  So many small businesses have not survived the pandemic, not to mention martial arts schools were already in a saturated market.

I have been doing Karate since I was a teenager which now means most of my life.  There have been a few little breaks along the way mainly due to injuries, non-karate related of course, but never a “stop, done, no more”.  It is funny, I have coworkers that tease me because I’m not good at pop-culture trivia for the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.  They jokingly ask me where were you?  I smile and tell them… In the early years I was in school and the dojo, and in the later years I was at work and the dojo.

Karate has got me through so many things.  It has been my motivator for recovery from injuries.  It has been my rock to keep me grounded in bumpy times.  It has been what calms me when life is swirling.  I don’t know who wrote the quote below, but I like it.

“When you’re afraid. Just Train!

When something doesn’t feel right just train!

When you don’t believe in yourself anymore. Just Train!

The only thing that won’t betray you is your training”

My students have only added to my motivation and drive.  Karate for me as a student will never end; karate for me the instructor/school owner is yet uncertain.  The pandemic and the change in culture/interest in martial arts see the future of martial arts schools as shrinking.  Maybe it is full circle, maybe we are dying off into a secret sect of teacher and student as it once was.  The only thing I know for certain is in one form or another I will do it till I die.

2021, What a year

At the beginning of the year we all thought 2021 would be better and we would be back to normal, sadly that is not quite what happened. We still have restrictions, health orders, and mandates but at least we have been able to use our facility instead of virtual classes. It has been tough but 2020 was harder with no in person, no use of facilities, no contact. I’m grateful that we are training in our dojo and that many of our students were able to come back. Sadly many other martial arts schools did not survive. Our progress forward has been slow but at least it is forward.

2021 brought some pleasant surprises as well. Several students from the past came to visit, which was a treat. Dear friends were brought closer together. There was more appreciation for the dojo and each other. Back to basics became more precious. In person performance and demonstrations are slowly coming back. More students continue to trickle back in.

Bushido Kenkyukai is open and holding in person classes. We are taking new student and have free trial class available. Performance & demonstration are being scheduled.

Again we hope that 2022 will be better and more what “normal” used to feel like.

We’re Still Standing

Japanese Cranes

2020 has been a bumpy year with open & close, in person & online. We are working with the NM Health Orders best we can. Face coverings, additional facility cleanings, touchless dispensers for hand sanitizer, social distancing, micro classes, classes by family, one on one training, and individual student zones to name a few of the adjustments we have made. It has been tough but WE ARE STILL STANDING!

We are blessed to have a large facility with high ceilings, good ventilation, and numerous doors. We have space out doors to practice when the weather is warm. All our students and family have worked with us to adapt with the ever changing NM Health Orders, but unfortunately we have lost some students along the way due to the hardship Covid-19 has caused for so many families. We reach out to them and keep them in our thoughts. As a small dojo family we continue to push through as best we can in hopes that we can survive the hardship and come out stronger on the other side.


For Karate, as the NM Health Order allows, we are still training with small micro classes where students must remain in individual zones. Since we have several families that attend our school most of the classes are currently comprised of individual families. Online classes have greatly increased our appreciation for our dojo facility.

New Students Accepted

We are accepting new students, but an appointment must be made to visit our facility. Special Covid safe procedures for new students are required to maintain the safety of our current students. The old days of jumping in at anytime to try a class are not available. Special arrangements will be made for anyone wishing to try our program.

Fellow Martial Artists

Many Martial Arts schools have sadly had to close or temporarily go into a suspended status. If you are an instructor wanting to rent space by the hour please reach out to us, we may be able to help you get though the hurdle. If you are a student without a Sensei/school, we might be a good fit. We are NOT trying to take students away from anyone! We are offering to help those that my be stranded.


For Taiko, as the NM Health Order allows, we have small classes with students social distant. Face coverings are required, students must have their own drumsticks (drumsticks can be purchased at dojo), disposable gloves are available, and drums are covered in plastic so they can be kept clean & sanitized. Students are assigned a drum for class and are not allow to switch.

New Students Accepted

We are accepting new students, but an appointment must be made to visit our facility. Special Covid safe procedures for new students are required to maintain the safety of our current students. The old days trying a class at any time are not available. Special arrangements will be made for anyone wishing to try our program. We have youth classes and adult beginning class. If you are interested in our programs, contact us to make an appointment to visit our facility.

Taiko Performances

We lost all our performances and workshops for 2020, due to Covid-19, which are significant part of how we keep our Taiko program and facility running. BK Taiko normally travels throughout New Mexico performing for various groups and schools. It has been tough, part of the fun of Taiko is playing in a group with an many drums and drummers possible. Sensei has been refurbishing drums, making new ones, and repairing equipment as time allows. We have done some composing but it is slow without having the ability to bring the group together to try it out and make adjustments. The performing group is working on some performance pieces that we will record and post online.

Although we still don’t know what 2021 will bring or when gatherings/ performance will be allowed, our performing group is hopeful and willing to discuss the possibility of BK Taiko performing for your group or event. Contact to get the conversation started.

We buy used Taiko drums

If you are looking to get rid of a taiko drum in any state/condition at a reasonable price please contact us at It doesn’t matter if it is a barrel, blooming onion, torn head, or pristine condition reach out to us. Our Taiko sensei builds and refurbishes drums for the group, your drum may find a new home with us. The more Taiko the merrier!

Yes, We are Open (partially)

2020 has been quite a year. It seems like we went from one extreme to the the other over night. We closed in March and went online to comply with Covid-19 Health Orders. What a new experience for everyone, but we made the best of it. With the last NM Health Order we were able to partially open. We are on a slightly different schedule (shorter & less frequent) with micro classes. We are only offering our beginning classes right now but hope to expand with the next health order changes.

We are fortunate to have a large facility with industrial HVAC, numerous doors, fans, and high ceilings. The dojo has strong air flow pushing out of the building. There is a touch-less hand sanitizer dispenser and of course the bathrooms to keep hands clean. The facility has always been cleaned with disinfectant on a regular basis. Seated areas are more spread out and students are assigned zones. Group social activities are currently on hold.

No contact, no equipment, social distancing, and back to basics for the Karate students. Classes are basically 1 or 2 families with students assigned to individual zones to work in.

Taiko classes have drums covered in plastic and drummers are required to use their own drumsticks. The drums are spread out even further from each other and classes are so small it is a little difficult to play a full taiko piece but we are adapting as best we can.

If you would like more information about our programs or our Covid Safe practices for our facility, please contact Sensei at 505-294-6993 or

Learning To Be Still

With our fast paced world, being still, calm, focused is a skill many adults as well as children need to work on.  Attending a class or meeting, taking a test, driving, or a medical exam/test are a few examples in everyday life that require being still and focusing.  To be still in the mind is to be calm. To be still of the body requires self discipline.

The structure with which martial arts are taught teaches students to control their mind as well as their body. Karate teaches students to focus and calm their mind so they can improve their skills.  The technique they are learning at that moment are the main concern. They are taught to be aware but ignore what is beyond their immediate space and concentrate on the task at hand. This teaches you to focus.

Etiquette is an important component of martial arts. It has been said that “Karate begins and ends with respect” (Gichen Funakoshi, the father of modern Karate). As part of the respect of others, students are required to be quiet/still while another student or the instructor is demonstrating techniques. Also with the Sempai/Kohai relationship, or order of rank, you must learn to wait your turn which requires you to show respect and self discipline. All these take practice.

Traditional Karate goes beyond punches and kicks teaching students valuable life skills that aid the student in any aspect of life whether they are a child or adult. Learning to be still is one of many benefits of a traditional Karate program.

Bushido Kenkyukai’s head instructor started training in Karate as a teenage and credits the strong traditional training as a having a huge impact on Gallegos Sensei’s career & success in life. “No matter how old I am or what my physical abilities are i will do it forever one way or another. I can’t imagine my life with out Karate,” said Gallegos Sensei

For more information about Bushido Kenkyukai or Gallegos Sensei, email or visit

Origami Cranes

The Japanese word Origami is a compound of two smaller Japanese words: “ori”, meaning to fold, and “kami”, meaning paper. A crane is the first thing many people think of when they hear the word Origami. According to Japanese legend, if you fold 1,000 origami cranes you will be granted one wish. Origami cranes are often viewed as a sign of hope and peace.

Bushido Kenkyukai host many Origami Workshops, runs Origami booths at events, and teaches on site Origami classes throughout New Mexico. The most requested Origami subject we receive is the Crane. While the crane is not really a simple piece we have taught one on one with students of all ages from little kids to older adults. On Saturday January 25th we will be hosting an Origami Crane workshop at out facility from 10 am to 12 pm. (Supply fee:$12)

In our school, Bushido Kenkyukai, we have numerous origami cranes throughout our facility including 1000 Origami cranes hanging below a large origami crane from the ceiling. The cranes were folded by our students and out head instructor. Gallegos Sensei enjoys folding origami and is often seen folding origami cranes with all kinds of paper in interesting places.

2020 New Decade

New decade, new beginning. Learn from your past and start new. Many start the new year with new fitness goals. Bushido Kenkyukai has options for you

Karate is a great way to get in shape and learn how to defend yourself. Regular core exercises are done with every warm up. Cardio drills are done on a regular basis. It is great for the mind and body. Bushido Kenkyukai has both youth and adult classes. Minimum age 7. No experience necessary.

Taiko Japanese Drumming exercises the body & the brain. We build up Good core strength to play Taiko. While not as intense as a martial arts class basic strengthening exercise is needed for good drumming technique and to insure personal safety while moving drums. Learning rhythms also exercises the brain. It’s also fun. No experience necessary. Youth and adult classes available, minimum age is 7 years old.

Try something new, Bushido Kenkyuaki offers a free week of classes so you can give it a try. No experience is necessary. Contact us for details. Lets get started and do this.

Origami, Japanese the Art of Paper Folding

Origami (from oru meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper”) is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The goal of this art is to create a representation of an object using geometric folds and crease patterns.

Bushido Kenkyukai holds several Origami workshops per year in various subjects from holiday themes to traditional cranes.    Below is a list of some of the poplar workshop themes we have held:

  • Cranes (traditional, boxes, book marks, hearts)
  • Frogs
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Halloween
  • Christmas
  • Flowers
  • Dollar bill Origami
  • Airplanes

In addition we run Origami booths at numerous booths at events throughout New Mexico.  We recently had an Origami booth at Camille’s Sidewalk café in Gallup.  Below is a list of a few of our upcoming Origami booths:

  • New Mexico Natural History Museum for the Bisti Beast event June 22nd.
  • Aki Matsuri Japanese Fall Festival at NM Veteran’s Memorial September 22nd. 
  • International Festival at NM Veteran’s Memorial September 28th.

All of our students are able to fold Origami but many specialize in certain pieces.  We fold Origami pieces from simple to complicated and cater our booth to the event we are participating in.  Visitors to our booths are all ages and we do not expect them to have any experience.

Bushido Kenkyukai has even hosted Summer Camps students, and various schools to participate in Origami workshops.  Our Instructor has gone to schools and daycares to run Origami workshops. 

Contact us (  if you are interested in :

  • holding an Origami workshop at your school, Summer Camp, or event.
  • an Origami booth at your event
  • an Origami talk
  • our you are interested in being put on our list for Origami workshop annoucements

BK Taiko in Gallup

Thanks to Camille’s Sidewalk Café, BK Taiko Japanese Drumming group will once again be performing in Gallup as part of the Gallup Arts Crawl Saturday June 8th at 7:30pm. FREE to public.  There will be audience hands on participation after each set.   In addition prior to the performance BK Taiko will be folding Origami from 1pm to 4pm inside the patio area at Camille’s Sidewalk Café.

This is the 4th year Camille’s Sidewalk Café has sponsored BK Taiko at the Gallup Arts Crawl.  BK Taiko will be at Camille’s throughout the day available to interviews, autographs, & photos.

Thank you to KGLP radio Gallup for creating a PSA announcing BK Taiko’s performance. 

BK Taiko PSA for Gallup 060819 events