* Golden Rule Tournament – Sunday, February 28th at Warren Hills. Doors open at 9 – Event starts at 11.




The Starting PointThomas Troward

 “It’s an old saying that “Order is Heaven’s First Law,” and like many other old sayings it contains a much deeper philosophy than appears immediately on the surface. Getting things into a better order is the great secret of progress, and we are now able to fly through the air, not because the laws of Nature have altered, but because we have learned to arrange things in the right order to produce this result—the things themselves had existed from the beginning of the world, but what was wanting was the introduction of a Personal Factor which, by an intelligent perception of the possibilities contained in the laws of Nature, should be able to bring into working reality ideas which previous generations would have laughed at as the absurd fancies of an unbalanced mind.

The lesson to be learned from the practical aviation of the present day is that of the triumph of principle over precedent, of the working out of an idea to its logical conclusions in spite of the accumulated testimony of all past experience to the contrary; and with such a notable example before us can we say that it is futile to inquire whether by the same method we may not unlock still more important secrets and gain some knowledge of the unseen causes which are at the back of external and visible conditions, and then by bringing these unseen causes into a better order make  practical working realities of possibilities which at present seem but fantastic dreams.”

The thoughts above relate that prior to anything being achieved, which has not been done previously, a person must have a vision or dream. This also relates to an idea I had that was the springboard to the banner and theme created for the 2007 World Championship event we hosted in Princeton.

A goal, a dream invisible to all in the world excerpt to the person who holds it, is responsible for perhaps every great advance of man. It is the prime cause of much of what we see in the world around us. Everything worthwhile, achieved by man, is a dream come true, a goal reached. What the mind can conceive and believe – it can achieve.

The starting point of all achievement is desire”. Napoleon Hill

            As in Isshin-ryu Karate the quotation by Napoleon Hill relates to proper training. Most every class is started by stretching the body so the chance of injury is reduced. From that point students review basic techniques, then kata and self-defense skills relating to the moves in the kata and then one step drills and sparring. To advance and achieve success, each student must advance all the skills needed for advancement. With motivation and the desire to improve – success in the dojo and outside the dojo is possible. Time flies when one is having fun.

A great accomplishment shouldn’t be the end of the road, just the starting point for the next leap forward”. Harvey Mackay

            Our karate training, being intrinsic in nature, reinforces the concepts of striving to perfect one’s body and mind. The process begins within the first level (Arakezuri) by learning a foundation of primary skills that are done in almost every class, our basic exercises and kicks. One should always work to improve these learning blocks of our karate skills because they are found in every part of our training . . . Kata, Kumite and Kobudo. The new student is the craving to learn something new. Karate is not unlike other types of workout, based upon repetition carrying out a move more than a thousand times and still not mastering it until at least a thousand more repetitions are completed.

The second level (Nakakezuri) from our starting point is where the student begins to understand how the primary techniques may be used and applied during personal training, during kata and kumite and self-defense situations. With continued dedication the application of the skills will become advanced so the individual will be able to use the skills in all areas of training. The initial karateka would see the black belt as the pinnacle to their journey, although by the very nature of stage two, this would also evolve in the karateka’s mind in a later stage.

Level three (Hosokezur) is a time to continue to polish each individual technique and work to develop timing and use of combinations of techniques with Chinkuchi or with the power found in Sanchin kata and in the proper application of any technique. During this stage the development of body shape in the form of ‘muscles’ is greatly advanced.

Level four of the learning process (Shiage) relates to being finished or at the ultimate level of one’s training. This concept is misleading because it may require twenty (20) years to develop the proper delivery of a punch or kick, much less being able to do combinations with the same devastating effectiveness. In traditional training one understands that though at an advanced age, there is ALWAYS something to be learned or perfected. ONE SHOUL D NEVER BELIEVE THAT PERFECTION IS ACHIEVED – BECAUSE THAT MEANS LEARNING AND IMPROVEMENT ARE AT AN END AND THE INDIVIDUAL HAS A CLOSED MIND.

Posted in Dojo Newsletter.