Basic dojo rules from our handbook:

Dues should be paid the first week of each month.

There are no promotion fees, but we ask that you pay for each obi (belt).

Respect will be shown to all karate-ka at all times.

The head instructor, due to advanced rank, will be called Kyoshi and black belts helping to teach are called Sensei.

A respectful bow will be given whenever entering and exiting the workout area.

Shoes are not to be worn on the workout floor.

A serious attitude should be maintained during workouts.

Never correct the technique of a senior student (If in doubt, ask).  No two people see and understand what is explained the same way.  What one person realizes from an advanced rank may not be what you believe.

Kumite or sparring will be practiced under the supervision of black belts only.

Kyu ranks are forbidden to conduct demonstrations or teach privately without consent from their sensei.  Black belts should clear activities prior to the session as well.

Adults must join the IWKA after attaining their Yellow Belts & prior to earning their Green Belts.  This organization is headed by the son of the founder of the style and sets standards for promotion.  Students may join Hanshi Duessel’s Affiliation after this time.  Children may join the IWKA as well.

It is recommended that all students buy protective hand, foot and head gear.  These are available from Kyoshi.

Finger and Toenails should be kept short for safety during self-defense and sparring.

General concepts as related by pee wee and junior students during classes:


Never start a fight.

Do not hit anyone intentionally while training in the dojo.

Do not show off or brag about your karate training.

Do not show friends what you are learning, but you may show family what you are learning.

Do not teach anyone without permission.

Always pay close attention to the person who is helping you during class.

Practice a few minutes (at least) daily, even when at home.

Always make a tight fist so the fingernails are tucked in and not visible.

Open hands should have fingers together and straight.

In the relaxed position (masubi dachi) heels are together and toes point at a slight angle.

In the ready stance (heko dachi) the feet must be straight, hip width.

The elbow is in line with the shoulder when blocking.

All punches start at the hip.  The straight punch focuses at the opponent’s solar plexus and the upper cut focuses at the chin.

Punches never extend so far that the elbow locks.

Our punches and kicks focus just off the partner while practicing in the dojo but two inches inside the opponent when we must use our training for self-defense.

During basics always block to the front leg.

Seisan stance finds the feet straight, with a toe and heel position, and the width of one’s shoulders.

Seiuchin stance finds the heels under the shoulders, the feet point away at a 45-degree angle; the knees are bent and in line with the toes and the back are straight.

Naihanchi stance the heels are under the shoulders and the toes point inward, the knees are bent and the back is straight.

Nekoachi Dachi (cat stance) finds the rear foot at a right angle to the front foot.  The heel of the front foot is raised off the ground.  Both knees are bent at least in line with the toes of the feet.  90% of the weight is on the rear foot.

When moving from one stance to another, do not change the height of your center of balance.

All basics and basic kicks have four parts.

Complete 100 percent of each move before going to the next.

REMINDER – – – Adults interested in attending Hanshi Duessel’s seminar in Pittsburgh Saturday, March 5th – see Kyoshi ASAP for more information.





Doug King’s Sparring Tournament is Sunday, March 13th at Newton High School.

Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter.  Junior  Yellow Belt  – Dominic Dattolo  Brown Belt #2Trevor Silva   


     CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who attended and participated is the Golden Rule Tournament, February 13thThe event was one of the best-attended events in the past few years and the competition was extremely spirited.  If you wish to know more about the event talk to:

            Tom Ammermann

            Ryan Ammermann

            Kristyn Wheeler                     

            Aidan Johnson                     

            Nic Curcio

            Jake Brader

            Taryn Faccenda

            Cassandra Brown

            Jeff Brown

            Abigail Brown

            Lee Gugler

            Joe Marotta

            Shirley Zavala

            Joe Reinbold

            Ben Almer

           Wyatt Almer

 There will be no Brown and Black Belt Training session – March 18th – as I will be in Maine.

February, 2011: Dojo Kun

Dojo Kun


Dojo kun serves as a set of guiding principles, that the students are expected to understand and follow and are hung in the dojo. They are intended to frame the practice within an ethical context. Tatsuo Shimabuku had these in his dojo (copied from the Tatsuo Shimabuku page on Facebook).

Article 1

The dojo is where the individual’s physical and mental condition is trained.
A Believe that there is a God and human beings are his children. (Believe in your own 
faith, but respect others.)
B Military art (budo) begins with a salute and ends with the same.

C. Teachers and students bow to the protecting Goddess of Isshin-ryu (Megami) and be nice to each other.

Article 2

Devote one’s mental concentration and practice sincerely during the course of training.

Article 3

Smoking and drinking are prohibited while training.

Article 4

Take good care of equipment used in training.

Article 5

Students be respectful to their teachers and teachers be courteous to the students and guide them properly.

Article 6

Violators of the above codes will be dismissed from the dojo.

IWKA and American Isshinryu Associations

Adult Yellow belts and above you should register for your Lifetime memberships for the IWKA and American Isshinryu Associations. Each is $35.00. The American Isshinryu Association hosts a number of very good seminars during the year and there is a discount possible for participating dojos, especially if you register early. With the membership your membership cost will be paid off quickly. Tournaments sponsored by AI affiliate dojos generally have a $5.00 reduction in registration costs.

Upcoming Events

The next American Isshinryu mini seminars for adults are at Mr. Carmona’s dojo. FEBRUARY 26TH: 1 to 3 PM. You may let them know you are coming if you go to their Facebook page and respond to the appropriate link.
NJMAA welcomes Master Richard Norris and Master Brian Fitzgerald for two information packed seminars. Master Fitzgerald will be teaching the training drills, philosophies and stories of Master Don Nagle. Master Norris will be covering Bo-Bo Kumite. Please bring a JO (short bo) if you have one so we may fit as many attendees as possible.

If you may be interested in going to the IWKA Championships this June in Indianapolis, see Kyoshi.

Remember the Golden Rule Tournament at Warren Hills – Sunday, February 13th. The 27th is the Snow Date.


Mr. King’s Sparring Tournament for children and adults is March 13th, Sunday, at Newton High School. More information will follow.

Important Notice About Classes


As has happened this winter already, weather conditions and thoughts about safety, have caused the closing of the dojo. If a class is cancelled that you are supposed to take, you may make the class up at your convenience. We look at a month as being four (4) weeks. At times there are five (5) weeks in a month and that extra session is a bonus for the student. REMEMBER – I call WRNJ 1510 am radio station by 2PM and they announce the class cancellation. If you call the dojo and no one answers or returns your call, especially after 3 PM, then the class is probably cancelled. You may call my cell 908.797.0087 for immediate information. I will also place closings on the dojo web page – by 2:30 PM on a day of a closing.

Thoughts on Training

We approach the study of karate with the greatest humility and deep respect for those who have gone before us in the “true way”. Karate is unique. It is the most powerful of all the martial arts. However, it is so only for the serious student who practices in the proper frame of mind… no winning or losing… no friend or foe, only training… for which there is no substitute.

Karate is a fighting art. You must train with deep seriousness from the first day. Each punch, block, or kick must be delivered with the power of the entire body in unison. No matter how much time you devote to training – months or years – if your training consists of no more than moving your arms and legs… you may as well be dancing, and you will never understand the true meaning of karate.

The spirit of Karate training is applicable to each and every aspect of our daily lives. The indomitable spirit born of bearing down and gritting your teeth against the pain of a thousand kicks, or blinking sweat from your eyes from doing kata over and over will serve you well in everyday life. One whose spirit and mental strength have been forged by hard training will face any challenge with a “can do” attitude. One who has undergone long hours of hard physical training and mental agony to learn one technique can face any task… and carry it through to a successful conclusion. When you have done this, you can truly say that you have begun to understand the true “way”. Gerard Eatman

It is good to see another instructor with similar views about the study of karate. The study of traditional martial arts is intended to be a lifetime journey to understanding the possibilities and limits of one’s capabilities- physically, mentally and emotionally. With each session in the dojo or at one’s home, there is growth of the individual. As you meet people at tournaments, joint training sessions held at the dojo or our home, talk to the newer people about their views about training, the arts and karate in general. Read information in books and on the internet about positive thought and also karate and judge the intent of the authors. Develop an open but questioning mind and evaluate what you know with what others believe. In this way you may grow in knowledge and understanding.

Lastly, please remember to stay current with dues payment at the beginning of each month.

January, 2011: Great Achievers

Let me share something I read from the book: 8 ATTRIBUTES of GREAT ACHIEVERS, by Cameron C. Taylor.

”The world bestows its big prizes, both in money and honors, for but one thing.  And that is INITIATIVE!  What is initiative?  I’ll tell you:  it is doing the right thing without being told.  But next to doing the thing without being told is to do it when you are told once.  Next, there are those who never do a thing until they are told twice: such get no honors and small pay.  Next, there are those who do the right thing only when necessity kicks them from behind and these get indifference instead of honors, and a pittance for pay. Then, still lower down in the scale than this, we have the fellow who will not do the right thing even when someone goes along to show him how and stays to see that he does it: he is always out of a job.  To which class do you belong?”


”Life is like trying to go up a downward escalator in that if you’re not stepping up (putting forth effort), you’re going down.  Life is not like a stairway upon which you can reach a certain step and then stop and maintain our position.  Just as a tree is either growing or decaying, so we are either progressing or regressing.  In life, you cannot be at a standstill.

Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter. Junior Yellow Belt – Alexis D’Ambly, Nicholas Puma, Sarah Irizarry, Jonathan Condon, Michael Condon

GOLDEN RULE KARATE TOURNAMENT – Warren Hills High School – Washington, NJ. SUNDAY, February 13, 2011 – – – This is close, well run event. Plan to attend. See Kyoshi to Pre-register.

Segments of Gerard Eatman’s, a friend for a number of years, thoughts about training.
Throughout my fifty years in the martial arts, nearly forty in law enforcement, and twenty years in the military the topic of training has been discussed and debated.  From a cop’s view we can’t get enough, but it cost money and time.  Many of our city fathers or county commissioners don’t want to provide the requisite funds.  They don’t understand its importance.  Add to this their lack of knowledge regarding an attitude of deliberate indifference to the importance of training, and you have the makings for a great civil lawsuit.  When we do train we spend the lion’s share on the firing range.  Yet when we have to use force the majority of the time it’s in a physical nonlethal nature.  Those officers who understand the importance of hand-to-hand training (self-defense and come-along tactics) seek instruction outside their departments at their own expense.  They are to be commended.  Sadly they are the exception rather than the rule.  The vast majority of their colleagues maintain the mindset; “if they want me to train they can provide the time and money for me to do it.”  That attitude does not serve them well when the chips are down.  Officers cannot afford this kind of attitude.  They must realize their survival is no one else’s responsibility but theirs.

For the purposes of this article I’ll focus on my experiences in order to illustrate my point. In the martial artists community many focus on sport competition.  Of the three areas we emphasize (the sport, the art and self-defense) in our training; the sport aspect is the least important.  The fault in this lies with the instructors who run the schools.  Many of them are more interested in trophies and awards, and less concerned with their student’s ability of self-defense in the event of an attack.  This requires these students to practice defenses against a variety of attacks regularly and redundantly in order for their abilities to become conditioned.  Once they have arrived at this conditioned state their reactions will be instantaneous in an attack.  Likewise their self-confidence and competence will also improve.  If all they do is practice sport type sparring in preparation for competition they will not be prepared for the streets. 

To be prepared for street survival you must first know there are no rules.  There are no issues over excessive contact or illegal techniques.  You train to stay alive.  The more you train and the longer you prepare the better you are at applying a varied response.  By this I mean knowing what level of force to use.  If a drunk friend is being obnoxious and pushy you don’t want to break his arm; the use of minimal force is sufficient.  On the other hand if the person is unknown to you, but unarmed, your response can be more debilitating without breaking something or being lethal.

I teach my students a three-pronged approach that incorporates light, moderate and hard responses.  The nature of the response is dictated by the threat.  It is in this area each person must learn to judge for himself or herself.  What might not be considered as a serious threat by me might be to a young lady of smaller stature. 

Training regardless of the reason provides us with an increased confidence in our ability to function at a specific level of competence.  Martial artists and police personnel must train towards a similar level of confidence and competence.  One day while traveling with my family shortly after having retired from the Air Force, we came upon a traffic accident on the expressway.  I pulled our car into the medium and ran over to the car that had been struck by the axle of one traveling the opposite direction.  I checked the occupants to see if they required medical attention.  Once satisfied they were not seriously injured I ran over to a lady holding a cell phone. I ask her if she was calling 911 to which she stated she was.  I identified myself and got her permission to take over the call.  Once the operator answered I told her who I was and described the nature of the accident.  Because the car that was struck was partially on the inside lane on the downhill side of a bridge I was concerned they would be struck by oncoming traffic as they came flying over the bridge at 70 miles per hour.  When the first marked police unit arrived on the scene I instructed them to go to the other side of the bridge and begin directing traffic to the outside lane.  As other officers arrived I briefed the senior patrolman and rejoined my family.  As we were driving away my older daughter asks me how I knew what to do.   I merely told her it was a combination of training and experience.  Some years later that same daughter went into a panic when her eighteen month old little boy began having a seizure.  Later, after tending to my grandson, I explained to her she should get training as a first responder or even as a basic EMT.  She had panicked because she felt helpless.  She didn’t know what was happening or how she could help her son.  Had she received the kind of training EMT’s undergo she would have been better prepared for such an experience. 

Training is something that cannot be over emphasized.  We need it initially to develop the basic skill sets and attitude that allow us to function in a given situation.  Intermediate and advance training enhances these skills sets and allows us to function at a higher level.  None of this will happen unless we train on a regular basis.  Training helps us develop the necessary conditioned reflexes to immediately deal with a problem as it happens.  It also prepares us for a variety of possibilities.  An example of this is when you find yourself walking down a hallway.  As you come to the corner a person comes from the other direction in a rather abrupt manner.  A non-trained person would jump and probably let out a startled scream.  The trained (prepared) person would take a quick step back while simultaneously raising his hands.  The raised hands might be perceived by another as a gesture of surprise.  The trained eye would see it as the person stepping back into a guard stance.
People who train seriously to defend themselves practice defensive and offensive responses to a myriad of attack scenarios.  By doing this they not only enhance the ability to react instantly, they also develop a keener awareness of what to look for in the assailant’s body language before they launch their attack.  As a street cop having this edge provides added reaction time, especially when there may be more than one subject to be prepared for.  In the gym (dojo) I tell my students they should practice their skills as realistically as possible.  A few bumps and bruises here will lessen the chances you bleed on the street – or worse. 

Throughout my years of training and teaching I have always maintained the philosophy of preparing to fight, in the hope of never having too.  This is the same philosophy true warriors in all walks of life follow.  Without training to defend themselves and their families, or to provide emergency medical care until help can arrive, they will panic and scream at the walls.  The helplessness that will grip them defies description.  With training and preparation it can be avoided.

Goal Setting and Success

  • Be honest about what you really want. The first rule of goal setting is to make sure you are truly passionate about achieving the goals you’re setting
  • Don’t be afraid to think big. One of the biggest mistakes young professionals make is not dreaming big enough
  • Mark dates on your calendar. As you’re goal setting, start to think through the small tasks that add up to achieving your biggest dreams.
  • Get some help. Use friends as a support group and there are some great, inexpensive books and tools to help you with goal setting large and small. Two resources are Your Best Year Yet: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Ever and an app called Things.

A very special thank you.
I am so appreciative of all the support I’ve received from all of you following the death of my Mother in December. Your timely hugs, sincere thoughts and prayers, food, tissues discretely handed when needed, cards expressing condolences and your understanding has made this time much easier for me. For your support and friendship, I will be forever thankful. Renshi Hughes

MIRACLE – Anonymous

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even the total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

“And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages,” he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. “He’s really, really sick… and I want to buy a miracle.”

” His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?”

“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,” the pharmacist said, softening a little.

“Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.”

The pharmacist’s brother was a well-dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does your brother need?”

” I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just now he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money.”

” How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago.

“One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.”

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents—the exact price of a miracle for little brothers. ”

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the miracle you need.”
That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well.
Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place. & to; that surgery,” her Mom whispered. “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost…one dollar and eleven cents … plus the faith of a little child.
* * *
In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need OR if we will ever be the cause or recipient of one. A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

A ball is a circle, which has no beginning and no end. This circle keeps us together like our ‘Circle of Friends’. Friendship is treasure for you to experience and share. The miracle of saving a life, or being a true friend, is a precious gift. Today I pass the friendship ball to you. Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you.

As Charles Dickens said in Great Expectations – Chapter 9, “That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”

We do not know the day that something great may happen because of something that we do for someone or because of something that is done to or for us. We must be ready and open to help and support other people.

“You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” Ruth Smeltzer

Believe in miracles.
Find the Secret to life within yourself.
Live to help others and you will truly help yourself.

November 2010: What is your purpose?


Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter.

  • Junior Yellow Belt – Mikey Donica, Frankie Iannone
  • Junior Orange Belt – Aidan Johnson
  • Junior Green Belt #2 Shayne Davies
  • Senior Yellow Belt – Scott Conroy, Shirley K. Zavala

Allamuchy Harvest Festival & Demonstration


Weather Reminder

As we approach the winter season, listen to WRNJ Radio 1510 if the weather is questionable. I will make class cancellations by 4 pm on days when weather conditions may not be safe.

Annual St. Jude Kick-a-Thon

Our annual kick-a-thon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be November 8 to 13. Children kick for 5 minutes and Adults kick for 10 minutes. Everyone kicks in each class attended that week (or classes when they return after the official event). Help us help St Jude’s work by raising funds. I know I have been asked by every fireman and other organization in this area to help them . . . let’s return the favor to them. Again, the hospital and kids are the recipients of our winning efforts.

Holiday Gift Ideas

Take advantage of our holiday gift to you and your family . . . for Oct-Dec, the dojo is offering a free month of lessons/classes to any parent or sibling of an established student (good for new students only) . . . Simply see Kyoshi or Renshi Hughes or call the dojo. Also, consider these ideas for the karate student in your family:

  • Sparring equipment
  • American Isshin-ryu Association Lifetime membership
  • IWKA Lifetime membership
  • A new gi or patches for the gi
  • Gift certificate(s) for a student(s) classes
  • Hanshi Duessel DVD’s – Posters and limited books


Panther Valley Village Square (mall)
1581 County Road 517 (off exit 19 on Route 80)
Hackettstown, NJ 07840

TIME: 1 pm to 3:30 pm (one hour seminars with a break)
COST: $20.00 for current AI members
$45.00 for non-members, which includes a lifetime membership

What is your life’s purpose?

It’s been said that there are two great moments in a person’s life.  The first is when you are born and the second is when you discover your life’s purpose. The great architect Frank Lloyd Wright said that:  “the thing always happens that you really believe in, and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” One of my favorite stories is the amazing Gold Medal Athlete Jessie Owens. In high school, he was just an ordinary scrawny black kid.  Until his school held an assembly featuring the great Charley Paddock.  At that time, Charley was the fastest human being alive!  During the assembly, Charley asked the student body “Do you know who you are?”  He asked this a couple of times.  “Who are you?”  Then answering himself:  “You are a child of God, you live in the United States of America and you can become anything that you truly want to!” 

When Jessie Owens heard these words, a burning desire was awakened inside him and he resolved then and there that he, Jessie Owens, would someday become that fastest human being in the world!  And he did go on to achieve a life of athletic and personal greatness. The belief in a thing does make it happen!

All of us have those moments in our lives where, if we believe and decide, we can change in wonderful new directions.  In any moment you can change your life just by changing your thoughts.
Decide to hold onto the higher ground you have claimed! This really does work but only if you keep a hold fast to your new thoughts and expressions.  It has also been shown that people who return to their former daily habits, going back to their same old associations, adopting the old habits and settling into the life that they had before, within a week or two, all of those new thought patterns – all of those new resolutions simply fade away.

Don’t go back!  Keep that flame of success alive.
Fill your mind with positive things.  

People are measured not by what they say but what they do.  Go out and do those new activities; see new people and success will accumulate.  All of those good thoughts will be reinforced by the new reality that you are creating.

Many important decisions were made by ordinary people who started taking Isshin-ryu karate for a number of reasons: to get in better physical condition, to be better prepared if one has to use self defense skills, to learn a art that is hundreds of years old, to advance physical activity in a way that is not like going to a gym and lifting weights or doing an aerobics’ class. Some of those people are still in the dojo more than 20 years later. Others have wanted to start but find a reason to not get started now. Make the decision to go beyond the ordinary. REMEMBER – the difference between ordinary and the extraordinary is that little EXTRA.

This is powerful stuff!


A Brief Study of the Kinesthetics of Karate – Understanding Movements of Karate Strikes
DISCOVER – Vol 21 No. 5 – May 2000
THE PHYSICS OF KARATE – Michael Felt, et al

A person’s body is the sum of all its parts. When the parts work together properly, then the whole becomes greater than the parts. A simple example is the difference in power found when punching with one arm only, or doing the same punch, and having it start at the hip, with a strong stance and also retracting the opposite arm.

A properly delivered punch reaches its maximum velocity when the arm is about 80 percent extended. A student is taught to focus the punch using imagination so that it terminates approximately two inches inside the opponent’s body, rather than on the surface. A peak velocity of 10 to 14 meters per second will produce more than 3,000 newtons. The karate student focuses his blow in a small area. Thus a large amount of momentum is exerted through a small area. The effect of the strike is intensified because the time of focus is extremely short, especially at higher levels of capability. The closer one is to the target the more force that one may create. This applies where the arm or leg reaches the target just before the peak of its travel arc. Once beyond that peak, the limb starts to lose power as potential energy starts to turn into kinetic energy. To deliver the maximum power, one must make contact before the slowdown begins. The concept of slowdown occurs after the punch reaches its optimum distance about 20 percent before full extension.

Michael Felt in his article states bone can withstand 40 times more force than concrete, a bone less than an inch in diameter can withstand a force of more than 25,000 newtons. (A Newton is about the weight of an apple.) Hands and feet can withstand even more than that, because their skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage absorb a great deal of impact. As a result, a well-kicked foot can absorb about 2,000 times as much force as concrete before breaking. f = m x a – – – (force = mass x acceleration)

Success of a strike also depends on more subtle forces. Because of the numerous factors in delivering an effective punch or kick, the more perfect the technique is, the more power that will be developed and delivered to the target. A punch or kick uses many parts of the body. Each demands that a stable stance is crucial. The better one’s balance the more power that will be developed. The use of the proper technique to strike the proper point of the opponent is also necessary. Generally, the larger the target, the smaller the weapon used.


Inspired Action or Just Activity?

The upcoming overnight ( AUGUST 13TH & 14TH ) is an important part of one’s karate training, as is each class during the week. As said by Mr. Gugler, each experience is a chance to test one’s self and work beyond existing limits, mentally and physically. During the outside setting the ground is not even; there are rocks, roots and unseen obstacles (especially when in the river). No student is expected to do more than he or she is capable. Each black belt is ready, willing and able to help when needed. Training what is known in a different setting during day and night sessions is only going to help one improve. Expanding the preset limits will help us in future challenges in and out of the dojo. REGISTER ASAP.

3rd Friday Training Sessions


As you should know the 3rd Friday of each month a special training session is held at the dojo. Training specific to improve and advance abilities in Kata, Kumite and Weapons are conducted.


  • 6:00 P.M. to 6:55 P.M. – Junior Students
  • 6:59 to 8:30 – Adult Brown Belts & Above

There will be no August sessions as we will be at the house for the overnight. Starting September I must know by the 2nd Tuesday of each month if you will be attending so I may plan the session. If you do not let me know, you may not attend.


Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter.

  • Junior Yellow Belt – Sophia DeLisi, Abigail Brown Junior Orange Belt – Zachary DeStefano, Vlad Kuz
  • Junior Green Belt #2 – Sujit Patel

2010 IWKA Championships

In less than one year (June 23 to 25, 2011) the Isshin-ryu World Karate Association World Championships and Seminars will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hotel reservation information and registration materials are available on their website The Indianapolis Marriot East is the place where the seminars and championships will be held.

We have hosted two world championship events. Each event is a unique experience to train with people from across the world and there are many categories for kata and sparring so each person will be competing in the appropriate category for age and rank.


The American Isshinryu tournament will be Saturday, September 25, 2010 at Marist High School. See Kyoshi to pre-register. The flyer is on the information center.


This past weekend I was given the opportunity to test my mental and physical limits. With the help of a truly extraordinary group of people, I was taken beyond my limits and shown that boundaries are self-imposed.

He is able who thinks he is able. – Buddha

Inspired Action or Activity?

Be aware of the big difference between inspired action and activity. Activity comes from the brain-mind and is rooted in disbelief and lack of faith – you are taking action to “make” your desire happen. Inspired action is allowing the law (where anything one wants and desires will become reality) to work through you and to move you. Activity feels hard. Inspired action feels wonderful.

In the dojo it is evident when a student is training with activity or inspired action. Whether it is a junior or senior student, everyone has good and not so good days. Each of us has questioned our involvement in an exercise program or training in the dojo. These times are often when progress or improvement is going to be made. These challenging times occur because of the repetitive nature involved in exercise programs and in traditional karate programs. Progress, advancement or growth may not be seen or happen when we want it. The parents of junior students often talk to their children to help them continue practice or the parents bring the times of struggle to the attention of the black belts and we can also help the parents and students. Life is not always easy and full of fun. School, work and other obligations demand that the individual commit to self-improvement and commitment to one’s self and other outside obligations.

During the summer camp in Maine, I had the opportunity to talk to four individuals that were to be promoted to second-degree black belt at the end of the sessions, if they completed necessary elements. Each of them, Hanshi and I mentioned that we have worked through these times of doubt or stress. Each realized that growth is slow at times testing the desire to grow inwardly as well as outwardly.

The intrinsic nature of karate shows much about the development of an individual. Unlike many activities where the awards come frequently, traditional training rewards inward growth as well as progress through the ranks. There are health benefits to continued study. By mastering ourselves in our training, we can learn to master other aspects of our lives. Personal, financial, or professional success is not beyond the capabilities of a disciplined martial artist. These benefits may be seen and touched. The unseen and intangible benefits of philosophical study nourish the individual’s spirit and are even more meaningful. Understanding aesthetics (what is beautiful), ethics (what is good), metaphysics (what is being), and epistemology (what is knowledge) can provide the karate student the ability to understand what is true and beautiful and can deliver the wisdom and the strength to know what is just and what is right.

Look for the little successes that create a smile or a sense of inner happiness. Work toward improving skills and abilities knowing that these elements will make us succeed at whatever we put our minds to. Be happy with what can be done and strive to take steps toward advancement and improvement and inspired action will become natural.

The weekend of July 16th and 17th I traveled to Maine to be a part of Shihan Pushard’s training camp with Hanshi Duessel and in excess of 100 students and black belts. It was good to see all the students participating in a number of activities and sharing and revisiting good times. Shihan and Sensei Rebecca Pushard are to be commended for the work they did for this weekend activity and for what they do to promote their dojo and Isshin-ryu Karate.

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?


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


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.

June 2010: Weigh, Count and Measure

The article, “How to Conserve Energy in Martial Arts” by Dr. Emeric Arus, founder of the Int’l. Sendo-Ryu Karatedo Federation, says energy is the capacity for doing work.

  1. Potential energy which is the capacity of a body to do work by virtue of its position relative to a reference, measured in Joule, and
  2. Kinetic energy, which is the energy due to its motion/action. Kinetic energy also has two forms of manifestation: Linear kinetic energy (LKE) and angular/rotational kinetic energy (RKE).

Both linear and angular kinetic energy are dependent upon the interaction of mass and velocity. If we take the mass and velocity in each case as a constant attribute, the angular kinetic energy is stronger than the linear kinetic energy. This is because in rotational motion any mass tends also to accelerate due to centrifugal force; and during the time of liberation of the body mass with the technique, e.g. spinning back kick, the energy liberated will be much stronger than in the case of linear kinetic energy. In this case a punch such as an uppercut, a fencing technique such as cut, or a spinning back kick will be much stronger than techniques executed linearly. By gaining speed the technique will have better penetration power.

Karate has many different “styles”; some styles are recognized as “soft styles,” and others are recognized as “hard styles.” The various martial arts find the ‘hard styles’ of karate demands more energy expenditure because almost every action/attack and even defense must be done with the total concentration of the athlete’s energy. The more energy that is invested in an attack the more destructive will be the effect of that impact. Most of the attacks demand anaerobic power. This is the reason that proper breathing during the technique is important.

Soft style karate uses less energy because the actions/techniques are executed more gently. The athlete is not required to perform anaerobically, and most importantly the athlete uses techniques with soft guiding movement. Further analyzing the different techniques within a style, we observe that kicking techniques require more energy than punching techniques for two reasons: Legs are heavier than arms; legs must work harder against the force of gravity. Accordingly, the higher an athlete lifts up his/her leg the more energy is needed. Soft style karate tends to use more body shifting, explaining that it is easier to avoid an attack than to block. There is a big misconception about this proposal. It is true that when two body parts collide there is a dissipation of energy (explosion of energy), this is the case in hard style karate; but it is also true that when you must avoid an attack by moving away, you also lose energy by moving.

The attacker always loses more energy than the defender whether there is contact or not. Theoretically the defender should lose more energy when he/she is moving than simple just blocking and holding his/her position. The defender will lose more energy than moving a smaller mass such as an arm.

If the training is extremely hard for a very long period of time (months of training) with little or no rest between the training sessions, the martial artist enter in a so said over training or burn out state. By using an adequate training protocol the martial artist will be able to control his/her actions and in this way he/she will conserve energy.

Ideas from the Student Handbook, and for the good of the order

  • Dues should be paid the first week of each month.
  • There are no promotion fees, but we ask that you pay for each obi (belt). Adults should join the IWKA after attaining their Yellow Belts & prior to earning their Green Belts. This organization is headed by the son of the founder of the style and sets standards for promotion. Students may join Hanshi Duessel’s Affiliation after this time. Children may join the IWKA as well.
  • Respect will be shown to all karate-ka at all times. A respectful bow will be given whenever entering and exiting the workout area.
  • Shoes are not to be worn on the workout floor.
  • The only patches we wear on our gi (uniform) are the Isshin-ryu patch on the left chest – over the heart, the dojo patch – 1” up on the right sleeve, the WHD patch above our dojo patch and the American Isshinryu Association patch – 1” up on the left arm.
  • Never correct the technique of a senior student (If in doubt, ask). NEVER ask for material to be added on. Additions are made when the student demonstrates proficiency and understanding of the material already given.
  • Kumite or sparring will be practiced under the supervision of black belts only.
  • Kyu ranks are forbidden to conduct demonstrations or teach privately without consent from their sensei. Black belts should clear activities prior to the session as well.
  • It is recommended that all students buy protective hand, foot and head gear. These are available from Kyoshi. Students pay only the cost of the equipment (with shipping). We do not add extra charges on equipment needed to train.

Why Weigh, Count and Measure? by Jim Rohn

Photo Credit: Chris Runoff (

Three key words to remember: weigh, count and measure. Now why weigh, count and measure? To see what your results are from your activity, your attitude and your philosophy. If you find that the results are not to your liking, there are only three places to look. Your philosophy needs to be fine-tuned, your attitude needs to be strengthened or your discipline needs extra skill. Activity, attitude and philosophy create results.

Now on results I teach that life expects you to make measurable progress in reasonable time. But, you must be reasonable with time. Here are some good time frames:

  1. at the end of the day. You can’t let more than a day go by without looking at some things and making progress.
  2. at the end of the week. We ask for an accounting of the week so we can issue the pay. And whatever you’ve got coming, that’s what you get when the week is over. In karate there must also be an accounting. Ask if something was learned either in kata, kumite or skill development. Because activity leads to productivity, we need to see how we’re doing.

Success is a numbers game and very early in my karate training and education I started asking: “How many books have you read in the last 90 days?” “How many classes have you attended in the last six months to improve your skills?” If these numbers are not showing a positive demonstration of dedication, discipline and activity, your life won’t change. But if you’ll start improving these numbers, then perhaps you’ll start to see everything change for you.

Here’s the best accounting. The accounting you make of yourself. You’ve got to add up some of your own numbers and ask, “Am I making the progress I want and will it take me where I want to go now and in the future?” You be the judge!

Because of the Memorial Day Weekend there will be no classes at Fit Happens on Saturday, May 29th and at the Main Street Dojo on Monday, May 31st.


The Saturday sessions are open to ALL students and they are ALL encouraged to attend. The demonstrations at the end and promotions should be a must see event this year.




May 2010: Karate and Energy

25TH BENEFIT TOURNAMENT – April 25, 2010 at Hackettstown High School. Because of the help from students, family and friends the day was a success. Everyone pitched in to help greet spectators and competitors, working many jobs. Many comments were made to me about how helpful and friendly everyone was. Mrs. Hughes and I thank all the students for the card and wonderful plaque.

Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter.

  • Junior Yellow Belt: Ronald Dill II, Nicholas Curcio
  • Junior Green Belt #1: Donald Irons


American Isshinryu Association – “DAY WITH THE MASTERS” is Sunday, May 16th Master Temple’s dojo, 316 Jackson Avenue, Dunellen, NJ.  We will start at noon with a clinic on kumite with one of the best Isshinryu fighters of all time, Master Ralph Passero from 12-12:50.  The 2nd clinic is with Master Don Nash on “Winning Techniques for Kata”.  Master Nash was an outstanding competitor and always placed!  His seminar will run from 1-1:50pm.  Master John Hughes will put on the 3rd seminar and it will be on bo techniques.  Who better to learn bo from than one of the best with a bo, Mr. Hughes!  His clinic runs from 2-2:50 pm.  Master Brian Fitzgerald will give the 3rd clinic on kata bunkai.  If you think you know about your kata, think again, he will show bunkai that you never would have thought of.  His seminar runs from 3-3:50.  Finally, Master Temple will be giving away 12 six foot grand champ trophies for a free weapons competition from 4-5pm. There will be four divisions, (1) Kyu level, (2) Shodans, (3) Nidans/Sandans and  (4) Masters.

The cost for the entire day is only $15.00 for members.  Non members will be $25.00 and that will get you a full membership as well.  Spectator fee is just $3.00. These events are our way of generating revenue for the organization.  I donate the building and the trophies, the Masters donate their time.  No money goes in our pocket!  We need your support!


Hanshi Duessel’s SUMMER AFFILIATION SEMINARS are June 26th and are being held at Shihan Carmona’s dojo in Landing, NJ. The cost for the symposium including lunch and dinner will be $50. Shihan Carmona asks that each individual WHD school owner handle registrations. With this in mind adult Brown and Black belts must register with Kyoshi Hughes no later than Thursday, May 20th. Ask if you have any questions. Also, please let me know if you will be attending the seminars and the get together afterward or just the seminars.



In the long history of martial arts, practitioners have used their physical skills as a means of building mental, emotional and physical skills. This is especially true of karate; in fact, for many karatekas, the art is primarily a path towards personal fulfillment rather than a basic means of self-defense. Karate and its martial arts forerunners are historically linked with Zen Buddhism. In this branch of Buddhist belief, people achieve enlightenment through everyday activities. By experiencing every moment for itself and leaving the mind open to all experiences, we may find inner peace. The cornerstone of Zen Buddhism is being in-tune (mushin) with the world around you.

To advance through the higher levels of karate, it is essential that a karateka cultivate internal power, which is the basic element of this power is ki. Ki is an undefinable force, but it is generally described as the energy of life. It binds all living things together and gives each person his or her spiritual, physical and mental power. In most schools, beginning karatekas won’t worry too much about ki. They focus mainly on proper technique and breathing exercises. But in these basic activities, they are laying the groundwork for later ki exercises.

In solitary practice, karatekas must learn to concentrate on their own movements, letting everything else go. This is a powerful form of meditation. In fighting competitions, karatekas need to react quickly to any action by their opponent. This quickly teaches the karateka to be open and attentive to whatever he or she may encounter.

“What we ponder and what we think about sets the course of our life. Any day we wish; we can discipline ourselves to change it all. Any day we wish, we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish, we can start a new activity. Any day we wish, we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year. We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth, and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause.” (Jim Rohn)

As Shakespeare uniquely observed, “The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves.”

We created our circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today.

Whether we look into the depths of thinkers like Jim Rohn or William Shakespeare or delve into the advanced levels of karate, we can learn much about ourselves. Decide to become a student of the art. Many people study many things and may learn a great deal but frequently what is learned is not to the depths that the person who dedicates himself or herself to living one art and pursuing the meanings of the true way.