July 2010: Thoughts on Sho-Dan. Get ready for karate camp.

The training sessions at our home were very rewarding and productive. During Saturday’s sessions time was spent working on improving basics, self-defense, kata, kumite skills, conditioning and much more. Mr. Gugler, our newest Sho Dan, started his process at 6:59 PM Friday evening and earned is promotion to First Degree Black Belt at the end of the demonstration at 3:00 PM Saturday. Many black belts came to help him and the other students enjoy the time together and advance their abilities. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME, HELPING TO MAKE THE DAY REWARDING AND MEMORABLE.

Congratulations to the people who earned promotions at our June 19th training sessions at our home.

  • Junior Green Belt #1
    • Riley Kamm
  • Junior Green Belt #2
    • Arshdeep Singh
  • Senior Brown Belt # 3
    • Bridget Driscoll
    • Clairanne Arcaro
  • Senior Brown Belt #1
    • Anthony Curcuruto
  • Sho Dan (1st Degree Black Belt)
    • Lee Gugler

CONGRATULATIONS to Miss Natalie Montone for completing her first 50 Mile bike ride during the June 13th American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure in Basking Ridge.

Sho Dan, First Degree Black Belt, traditionally is the starting point in a person’s study of a martial art. This seems very strange to many people inside and outside the karate world. The Black belt is thought to be the top of the ranking scales. Growth must go beyond the physical and mental repetition of basics, drills, kata, self -defense, weapons and much more. Growth must become intrinsic and emotional, learning to combine the Body, Mind and Spirit.

Sho Dan is a beginning point, like schooling. Each grade must be earned. Each new experience brings new challenges, stresses and higher levels of learning and understanding. UNDERSTANDING is the key to the puzzle that most karate instructors do not take the time to look at – – because they are more interested in the number of black belts in their schools and the money they make off each promotion. Understanding TAKES TIME, EFFORT, MATURITY AND AGE. Most children (and some adults) cannot understand the responsibility, levels of application and abilities that must be accepted willingly with each promotion (especially with each of the levels of black belt). This is the major reason why from 1979 to today I have not promoted a child to this level.

To begin to grasp this understanding so more may be learned, one needs guidance, friendship, leadership, internal drive, a thick skin, heart and the willingness to know that there is more . . . THE BEGINNER’S MIND. There will not be something new every day or week or even every year. One must be able to keep friendships, loyalties and the duty to the arts separate. In the past 31 years as being a Sensei, I have had students stop training because:

  • they thought they had learned all they could
  • they thought they had learned all that was necessary
  • ego took over the ability to learn and grow.

Do you want to arrive at the first level? Look within and keep a beginner’s mind. Don’t abandon ship. Black Belts are the Ants of the Karate World – – If they truly live life to the fullest. If this is necessary for Sho Dan–what is necessary for higher levels?

DURING THE SUMMER KEEP UP WITH YOUR TRAINING. TAKING TIME OFF GENERALLY SLOWS THE PROGRESS AND MANY PEOPLE RETURN IN SEPTEMBER AND NEED A REVIEW TO GET BACK ON TRACK. WE HAVE A MORNING CLASS THAT IS OPEN TO CHILDREN AND ADULTS WEDNESDAY MORNINGS STARTING JULY 7TH. IF INTERESTED SEE KYOSHI.

REMEMBER THE TRAINING SESSIONS AT KYOSHI AND RENSHI HUGHES’ HOME – FRIDAY, August 13th and SATURDAY, August 14th. This overnight camping and training experience is open to all students. Those students, younger than 10, are encouraged to bring an adult for the overnight portion of the event.

You will need:

  • A tent (if you wish) (OR make plans to share)
  • Sleeping clothes
  • Sleeping bag or blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Clothes to change into after the workouts
  • Karate uniform
  • Toothbrush, insect repellent, etc
  • Gym bag to put items in when not being
  • Old sneakers & socks – mandatory for the river
  • Extra socks – t-shirts – sneakers

LABEL ALL UNIFORMS & GYM BAGS

Parents are welcome to come and watch any portion of the event. Lawn chairs are recommended for the family gathering at the end of the session. We will be setting up tents, etc at 7pm Friday. Organized classes and experiences will be conducted both Friday and Saturday.

We will provide Friday snacks, Saturday breakfast, lunch, drinks, snacks and hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as turkey burgers for dinner. All cups, utensils, plates will be provided. Saturday at 3:00 P.M. demonstration and promotion ceremonies for those prepared will be followed by dinner. Please sign up with Kyoshi or Renshi Hughes to bring a cover dish for the dinner. Please put a name on dishes you want returned so we may get them back to you quickly . . . or take them before you leave. The permission slip and fees must be returned by August 10th so we may plan the meals etc for the two days. See Kyoshi for a permission slip.

Posted in Dojo Newsletter, Events.

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