CONGRATULATIONS to the students who earned promotions since our last newsletter.  Junior Green Belt #1 – Nic Curcio, Abigail Brown, Wyatt  & Ben Almer, Tristen Christiano     Junior Green Belt #2 – Morgan Bell   Junior Blue Belt #1 – Shayne Davies 

 Our 28th Benefit Tournament was a success because of the participation and help from students and family.  There were 27dojos attending with 225 competitors.  Every student who participated should consider herself or himself a winner.  Though placing in an event is what most people look toward, the elements of preparation prior to the event along with the spirit of challenging one’s self to improve and do the best of which one is capable are equally or more important.  Rising above the bumps and bruises from a kumite event or the disappointment from not doing well in a kata event shows character.  Remember – scoring by judges is subjective whether in kata or kumite.  In kata each judge, parent and participant may see what is being done in a different way. In kumite points are missed because at times the judge does not have a clear view or simply misses a technique that lasts fractions of a second.  The friendship I have developed through karate have lasted 40 years.  Be proud that you participated and did your best. Many people made comments to me about the level of ability demonstrated by our students and the amount of help given by students, parents and friends. Renshi Hughes and I are proud of every one of you!

 Use your training and tournament experience to help create the enterprising person within you.  This person is one who sees opportunity in all areas of life.  Keep your eyes open and your mind active. As is related in the Codes Of Isshin-ryu Karate, ‘The Eyes Must See All Sides & The Ears Must Hear In All Directions’.  Strive to skilled enough, confident enough, creative enough and disciplined enough to seize opportunities. Be prepared. Be resourceful. Do all you can in preparation for what may come. Occurrences in life are not always planned, which is why there are Surprises at times.

Enterprising people develop the creativity to see beyond what is in front of them and then shape it to one’s advantage. Dare to be innovative and to be different.

Enterprising people work to develop the courage to be creative. Karate teaches us to have the strength to go against the crowd at times and to stand for what is right and to choose activity over inactivity.

 Enterprising people see the future in the present. Enterprising people find a way to take advantage of a situation.  And enterprising people aren’t lazy. Enterprise means always finding a way to keep actively working toward established goals, not being satisfied with today’s capabilities.

 Beyond these ideas being enterprising means to feel good about capabilities and challenges , accepting what can not be changed and changing what may be changed to create a better life experience. Develop self-worth to seek advantages and opportunities that will make a difference in the future, not just for one’s self, but for others.  By doing so confidence, courage, creativity and self-worth will increase. 

Keep a Journal

If you’re serious about becoming an outstanding and informed individual, keep a journal. Don’t trust your memory. Think for a moment . . . what did you have for lunch Monday and Wednesday of last week?  When you listen to what is said and taught in the dojo, at seminars, put noteworthy ideas in the notebook. When you read about martial arts history and find interesting information, write it the notebook.

When I was in the classroom during high school and college keeping a notebook and listing of daily activities in class was a necessity.  Now that I teach at Warren County College, I must keep track of what I do in class daily and what I intend to accomplish during each semester.  I am not just committed to teaching karate. I am committed to learning and advancing concepts and skills. I want to see what I can do to help others learn, become successful inside and outside of the dojo and become productive and fulfilled individuals.  This can be accomplished if I keep a journal of what I plan in the dojo.

Keeping a journal, including my monthly newsletters that I have created for more than 30 years, is important. This information that may become numerous volumes should become a part of one’s personal library.  Information that is not reviewed is information that will be forgotten and lost. Books, magazines and articles read for personal development, to enhance my karate knowledge and things for my schooling become a part of my notes.  At times I would re-read the same information and see something that I did not see during the previous reading.  Did someone magically add that previously unseen information when I was not looking?  Obviously not . . . but as has been said, ‘when the student is ready to learn, the teacher will appear.’  When the brain is ready to understand something that information will become available.

Beyond books, articles and notes keep pictures of events.  Each will become a cherished memory.  One seldom knows when a picture may become a challenge to dedicate one’s self when situations become a problem.  Pictures and journal notes may become the encouragement needed to rededicate one’s self to a forgotten desire, or they may be the catalyst to rededicate one’s self to further study. 

Keeping a journal will aid the development of self-discipline, which is the key to developing personal greatness. It is the quality that opens all doors for and makes everything else possible. It aids the development of talents, intelligence that help us to become successful.

Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, ‘Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.’

Posted in Dojo Newsletter.