April 2010: Which Wolf Will You Feed?

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Hanshi Duessel’s most recent seminar was held in Pittsburgh was March 6, 2010. Approximately fifty students attended the seminar from Pittsburgh, Penn State, Ohio, New York, and New Jersey. A special thank you to Mr. Jeff Matusewicz, Mr. Adam Masur, Mr. Joe Marotta, Mr. Tom Ammernann, Miss. Natalie Montone, Mr. Ryan Ammermann, Mr. Lee Gugler, and Mr. Tony Curcuruto for attending from our dojo.

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 registrations be handled by each individual WHD school and passed along to me no later than May 30th, 2010. 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.

25TH BENEFIT TOURNAMENT – April 25, 2010 at Hackettstown High School. We need help from students, family and friends to make the day a success. We Train And It Is Fun. Students should plan to participate; it is fun and a good learning situation.

KING’S Sparring Tournament, March 14th was a nice event. Congratulations to Jake Brader for his 4th place, Arshdeep Sing did well in his division and Ryan Ammermann for winning 1st Place in the Men’s Black Belt (18 – 34 age group).

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

  • Jake Brader – Junior Yellow Belt
  • Tristen Christiano – Junior Orange Belt
  • Clairanne Arcaro – Senior Green Belt

ATTITUDE

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, being gifted or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home…a dojo. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.” Wayne Wayland (Isshin-ryu Karate Instructor)

Difficult situations are sometimes necessary for a person to mature. At times the situation is an unpopular one, such a creative moment when one is considering the probabilities. However, it is true that some lessons require a strong experience for evolution to occur. The experience gained and often in hindsight knows that even the most negative experience can produce a positive outcome. Remember the eternal energy, which each of us possesses requires that we participate in the physical experience that will help create growth and develop a positive attitude. Instead of complaining about the problem, contemplate the information received and move forward. If someone does something to hurt your feelings, forgive but do not forget the moment. If a grudge is held, the person holding onto the hurtful idea is generally the only one who is truly being effected. Stay true to personal beliefs and receive the lessons and use them to move forward. Learn the lesson and move forward. Again, we realize the reluctance of those stuck in a negative pattern to receive this information, however, we feel the infinitive power of the Soul and align our energies with it, so as to help you through it.

ALWAYS REMEMBER that in the dojo, everyone works, nothing is free and all start at the bottom. We should exercise respect, patience, and understanding in dealing with our everyday existence. A student will succeed in the martial arts through hard work, proper attitude, repetition in the techniques and devotion to him/herself and the art. Strive for perfection in all that you do and accept nothing less. If you do, you are cheating yourself. Only you can make positive things happen.


THE GROWTH PYRAMID

There are many ways that we can look at attaining our goal in our martial arts training. To some it might seem as a winding path, while to others a straight walk, and to others a climb up the mountain. If we are to stop and think for a moment we have traveled all three paths. The path that we travel is based on our own individual triangle. It is a road that requires balance, devotion and dedication. It is a triangle with a base – foundation – that consists of three sides, each made up of a vital part of the training. If there is a lack of balance in any of these areas, the climb to the top will fail. The three sides are: preliminary exercises – basic exercises to loosen and strengthen the body and joints, stretching the ligaments, etc. Basics exercises – the ABC’s of karate teaching proper techniques in exercises as well as all areas of the art. Last, but most important, kata training. With a combination of the three, a solid foundation is established, along with proper growth and development is achieved. Kata cannot be fully understood without the bunkai – application of the techniques. Weapon’s training cannot be performed without the knowledge of kata. Each part of the triangle is dependent on the other for support and balance. When all sides are place together, they show the upward path to the growth pyramid.


TWO WOLVES

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. 

”One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

 The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”


Adult students should consider joining the American Isshinryu Karate Association. It is a $10.00 annual fee.

Adult yellow belts and about should join the Isshin-ryu World Karate Association. It is a one time $40.00 fee .
See Kyoshi if interested.

THERE WILL BE NO CLASS AT FIT HAPPENS SATURDAY, APRIL 3RD

March 2010: Black Belt Titles Renshi, Kyoshi and Hanshi.

A number of people have asked about the titles black belts and instructors receive as they train.  At each level of training becomes more challenging physically as well as mentally.  The black belt should be an active part of a recognized school and must also train diligently on his or her own.  Each of the titles should be awarded, as ranks are, by a qualified instructor of the appropriate rank, not taken as people often do.

Renshi – 5th  DEGREE BLACK BELT [12 to 16 years after 1st Dan] & 6th  DEGREE BLACK BELT [5 years after 5th  Dan] The  Renshi  title indicates a “polished instructor”  and may be awarded by an instructor who is earned the title of Kyoshi.

At times an instructor may have a student who is close in rank.  For example a 6th Dan may have a student who is a 5th Dan.  In some cases the use of the term, Renshi, may confuse lower rank students as to who is the higher ranking black belt.  At the rank of 6th Dan another term may be awarded to help clarify this situation.  Shihan is a Japanese term, often used in Japanese martial arts as an honorific title for senior instructors. The term is frequently used interchangeably with English terms such as “senior instructor”.

Various martial arts organizations have different requirements for the usage of the title, but in general it is a high title, 6th dan or above, that takes many years to achieve.  The title, like other advanced titles (Renshi, Kyoshi, and Hanshi) must be  awarded by someone who is at least a 7th or 8th Dan and who has been awarded the title of Kyoshi.  It is generally distinct from the black belt ranking system and in schools which are members of my association of dojos, the idividual must be a teacher of his or her own school and have promoted people to at least the rank of Renshi.

Kyoshi – 7th DEGREE BLACK BELT  [5 years after 6th Dan] & 8th DEGREE BLACK BELT [5 years after7th Dan] and should be at least 50+ years of age] The “Kyo” in Kyoshi means “professor” or “philosophy”. Therefore, Kyoshi equals a “professor” capable of teaching the philosophy of the martial arts.  An instructor who has earned the title of Kyoshi should award this title by a person who has earned the title of Hanshi and this person should still be active in a dojo and also train diligently on his or her own.

Hanshi – 9th DEGREE BLACK BELT  & 10th DEGREE BLACK BELT   The “Han” in Hanshi means “example, model” and indicates “a teacher that can serve as an ideal model for others”, or a “senior master”.  This is a very special title representing the highest levels of martial arts, a teacher of other teachers and demonstrates personal growth and an in depth understanding of the style.

The 9th degree should have at least 40 consistent adult years of diligent training in Isshin-ryu Karate in the dojo and continued study on his or her own.  Beyond this the individual should be respected by his or her peers and a valued part of the martial art’s community.

The 10th degree is reserved traditionally for the founder of the style.  The rank, title and responsibilities inherent in the designation may be handed down from the founder to an heir.  In Isshin-ryu Karate Tatsuo Shimabuku named his son Kichiro to the heir to his style.  Also, in the Isshin-ryu style of karate there are numerous subgroups (IWKA, IIKA, AOKA, KIAI, OIKKA, and a number of other organizations) that have developed after the death of Tatsuo Shimabuku.  These groups each have a 10th degree black belt at the head of the organization

March, 2010: Announcements

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Joseph Marotta, Natalie Montone and Kristyn Wheeler for giving of their time Sunday, February 21st to help present a demonstration to the Blue and Gold Award Ceremony held at Mountain Lake Fire House.  The chance to demonstrate the good that is done through our dojo, which may help it grow, is appreciated.

Sensei Doug King’s sparring tournament is Sunday, March 14, 2010 at Newton H.S.

Our 25th Benefit Karate Tournament is Sunday, April 25th   at Hackettstown High School.  Plan to help or compete.

February, 2010: THOUGHT, SUCCESS, & REALITY

Success in sight....
Creative Commons License photo credit: seeveeaar


Sterling W. Sill said: “Our future success will be determined by what we presently think.  Physically we become what we eat, but mentally, spiritually, socially, and morally, we become what we think.  Napoleon Hill wrote a great book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’; we can also think and grow wise.  We can think and grow faithful.  Being a great thinker does not require us to think only original thoughts.  All of the greatest thoughts about love, beauty, faith, kindness, and success have already been thought again and again.  As we rerun them through our own minds, they will produce an increasing rate of return.”

The thoughts that pass through the mind are responsible for everything that happens in life.   As the thoughts are, so is one’s life.  To make changes in life it is necessary to change old thinking and replace it by positive thought and insight.  Using the power of thoughts effectively can be termed “practical daydreaming”.  The power of thought is creative. It is possible to train and strengthen it.  Visualize a perfect scene of whatever you want to accomplish.  Put as much detail and imagery into the mental image.  Revisit these mental images often and accept the positive outcome and they will come true because the mind does not know what is imaginary or real.  It only knows what we think and believe.  Thoughts that pass through the subconscious mind influence actions in accordance with these thoughts.

Training individually and in the dojo during class enhances our ability to think, develop positive thoughts and capabilities.  As training is started the student is often hesitant because what is being taught is foreign and new.  Fundamental skills are taught and practiced in each class.  This repetition of foundation skills is not unique to traditional karate training but it has been lost in many dojos, schools and the work place because the emphasis today is placed on being fast without much emphasis on proper technique; getting the product done to make money is more important.  With the proper foundation, the advancement through higher skills is found to be less stressful and combination of skills is also understood with better insight.  We must first learn the movements and the proper direction in which the kata or sparring drill is done.  Then breathing correctly, inhaling while in transition and exhaling while blocking or attacking, is necessary for power to eventually be developed.  Next an added component to breathing is the Kiai and methods to tighten the body, adding strength and power to the techniques and focus of power at the appropriate times.  As understanding of the possible meanings for each move (bunkai) and combination of moves is developed, timing is also heightened so the moves in kata may be used in kumite and self defense applications.

As is evident in this brief thought, proper traditional karate training may last a lifetime and still be challenging and exciting.  If one strives to understand each aspect of the art, individual successes will be experienced.  These successes will also transfer into daily life, which is an added benefit to proper training.

February, 2010: Seminar and Tournament Announcements

HANSHI’S AFFILIATION SEMINAR – hosted by the Carmona’s this year in Mt Arlington – – Thursday, June 24, Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26 for adult Brown and Black Belts in his Affiliation.

ADULT STUDENTS SEE KYOSHI TO GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MARCH AND JUNE’S SEMINARS.   PLAN TO ATTEND.

The date for the 2011 IWKA Isshinryu World Karate Championships is Saturday June 25, 2011.  Seminars will be conducted the 23rd and 24th.

At the request of O’Sensei Kichiro Shimabuku the 2011 tournament will be held in Indianapolis Indiana and honor the late Sensei John C. Lennox.
The tournament information website is www.isshinryu2011.com this site links through our homepage at www.indybushido.org.

FRIDAY PURPLE, BROWN AND BLACK BELT TRAINING DATES:  FEBRUARY 19, MARCH 19, APRIL 16, MAY 21 – – Check you calendars and plan to attend   The cost is only $5.00.  Let Kyoshi know if you will be attending.

OUR 25TH BENEFIT TOURNAMENT IS APRIL 25, 2010 AT HACKETTSTOWN HIGH SCHOOL.  WE WILL NEED HELP FROM PARENTS, FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS.  SEE KYOSHI.

People who joined the AOKA, Inc. Organization prior to November your renewals are due as per the following.

Membership will end on March 31, 2010. We have 19 Dojo members that will also have to renew. If you are one of them please send in your donation ($10.00).   The way we would like for you to do it, is to have them to fill out a piece of paper with your/their name and membership number and mail it with their renewal donation to the following address.  American Isshinryu Inc. C/O Tom Lloyd 518 Red Crest Lane Rancher Branchburg, NJ 08876

Any student may join this organization.  Its intention is to help unify Isshin-ryu Karate regardless of the organization with which the sensei or dojo is affiliated.

The AOKA, Inc 2nd “Day With The Master’s Seminar” is scheduled for Saturday, March 20th   or 27th (adults only).   This is a series of seminars conducted by Masters of Isshin-ryu Karate.  The first series of seminars lasted about 5 hours and was reasonably priced.  The information related was extremely beneficial.  More information will follow.

Let Kyoshi know when you renew or if you wish to join.

Read this month’s article, THOUGHT, SUCCESS, & REALITY.

Congratulations to the students who have earned promotions since our last newsletter.    Junior Yellow Belt – Amal & Anas Gondal, Zach DeStefano, Taryn Faccenda    Brown Belt #3 –  Kristyn Wheeler, Katherine Waldman, Trevor Silva   Brown Belt #2 – Joseph Reinbold

The first karate tournament of the year is at Warren Hills High School – – Sunday, February 14th.  I hope many of you will be able to attend.  I have pre-registration forms.
Sensei Doug King’s sparring tournament is Sunday, March 14, 2010 at Newton H.S.
Please check our dojo website for updates.  Mr. Masur does a great job keeping it updated and looking so GOOD.  There are many informational sites, our monthly newsletter (which will help us save trees) and the calendar of classes and events.  www.Isshin-ryu.com.  Share this with friends and family members (who probably are in your friend category anyway)

January, 2010: Karate Speed Zones

Karate Speed Zones is a topic mentioned by Hanshi Duessel during his last visit in Hackettstown during our seminars. I had heard him talk about his concept previously on a number of occasions. After he returned to Pittsburgh, I decided to investigate this principle further (there is nothing like an idea who’s time has come). We must understand this critical concept, if we are going to advance in Isshin-ryu Karate. The same holds true in the way we learn as we progress from one grade in school to another (ranks white belt through green belt in the dojo), through high school (ranks purple belt through brown belt levels in the dojo), into college (ranks Sho Dan through San Dan in the dojo) and beyond (instructor’s and master’s titles awarded because of ability and dedication Renshi-go, Kyoshi-go & Hanshi-go).

We are aware of Hanshi’s quotation: “Speed+Form = Power”. As we think about it and the speed zones, why does one person learn more easily than another, progressing through the ranks more quickly and why does one person’s technique hit the target during sparring and another’s is blocked? One piece of the puzzle is speed. Another piece of the puzzle is timing. Yet other pieces are using the proper technique with the proper weapon to attack the appropriate target. Would a Pittsburgh Pirate baseball player try to hit a home run using the handle of a broom or a wiffle ball bat? The icing on the cake is developing the ability to use the proper training techniques at each rank, combined with the proper comprehension level and applying all of what has been mentioned with the appropriate speed and form. Trying to learn or advance too quickly generally slows one’s progress, rather than speeding it up.

As the sensei instructs the movements in kihon, kata, kobudo and kumite, remember how each movement and combination of movements is taught. That is the proper beginning learning speed. Do every part of each technique before beginning the next one. Resist the desire to move more quickly that the sensei instructs by trying to imitate the way the more advanced ranks perform the techniques you are learning. Make sure that each stance is set before the technique is delivered. With practice the individual techniques will join into combinations and movements will become more refined. Gradual progress, proper training and time will ultimately create simultaneous blocks and counters with speed, form, balance and focus. At higher levels the student will be able to “see” the opponent and the attack thus making his or her practice and performance “alive”.

Physical strength and conditioning are important as we develop into adulthood. As we condition our bodies, we remain healthy, strong and alert. A thought worth viewing is, what is physically strong for one person is weak for another. At this point in my life, I have not bench pressed 275 pounds in years but I now do more repetitions and sets than I did when I was younger. “Staying” strength is now more important than knowing that I can move a relatively heavy weight a moderately short distance. (But it was impressive, at least to me, then). Emphasize conditioning and flexibility because these qualities are the skills that will help us throughout our entire lives. With time our youth’s strength, speed and quickness refocuses on maturity’s enthusiasm, technique and timing to succeed. As is stated at the end of Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses”:

We are not now that strength which in the old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are,
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

At times illness and injury may limit our physical activity. If this happens we either take time off or we continue to train, doing what we can to advance the capabilities we are able to use. Working through injuries when appropriate, knowing no further injury will occur if we do what is reasonable, is a sign of maturity, dedication and discipline.

So, with all this being said, what must be understood if we are to use the proper speed zone? Strive to follow the direction of the sensei that knows how to best help each of us to improve. Practice daily demonstrating the proper way to do kihon, kata and kobudo and at the appropriate speed. When in the dojo, use the time efficiently; arrive early and be ready to start at the beginning of each training session. Practice what you have been taught and be open to improve when instructed. Lastly, have a beginners mind; be open to learn and review the skills you may feel that you know (perfectly). With this open and willing mind, each person will be able to learn more (happily) and become an exceptional karate student and person.

The first karate tournament of the year is at Warren Hills High School – – Sunday, February 14th.  I hope many of you will be able to attend.  I have pre-registration forms.

DOJO FEES WILL BE IN EFFECT FEBRUARY 2010
Please pay the beginning of each month

If paying monthly with more than one std. per family  – – additional student is a $10 reduction / month.

Those students that have paid for more than one month, the new rates will begin with the next payment.

December, 2009: Zen and Strategy

A former black belt of our dojo, Gene Feller, passed away November 24th. He was a local artist and a gentleman. There will be a memorial service for him Saturday, December 5th at St. Mary’s at 10:00 AM. Because of this there will be NO CLASSES at Fit Happens on Saturday, December 5th.

There will be no classes at the Hackettstown or Fit Happens dojos on December 24, 25, 26 & 31. Please plan ahead and make up these classes.

Zen and Strategy

zenZen philosophy and its strategic insights optimized fighting strategy and taught Samurai to deal with fear and death to obtain victory. The benefits were proven during hundreds of years in situations where the penalty for failure was not loss of a “point”, but death. Today Zen is rarely taught in fighting, and the focus of martial arts classes are usually all physical despite the fact that the mental component is the most important attribute in any fight – tournament, or real life.

Asian strategy (e.g. the classic “Art of War” by Sun Tzu) and Zen are not religions but provide systems for understanding the ‘self’, optimizing technique and performing at one’s best. Some of the principles taught by sport’s psychologists mirror that of Zen in the martial arts and other things taken from Zen are more specifically directed towards combat. The modern term of putting oneself in “the zone” is directly related to the Zen mind state of mushin – one Zen principle, which can be related to kumite, is discussed in more detail below.

“Like a full circle, the mind must be empty, yet complete.” The Japanese term often used in karate, which is loosely translated as “empty mind”. This term does not strictly imply “no thought”, but rather no attachment to any one thought, emotion or strategy. To obtain this state of mind fears, doubts, ego, and any preconceived thoughts of action (strategy) must be removed, or the mind will not react openly. When we apply mushin to certain techniques and kumite strategies many karate athletes often miss the point at first glance – it revolves around the assumption that the mind must be trained to know all these strategies innately and that at any moment in kumite the right one for the situation is released without thought. This creates the required speed (i.e. no delay) and enables dynamic adaptive change in the strategy after the opponent begins to react (which enables another innately trained technique/combination to emerge as soon as it is needed). There are drills, combinations and training methods to enhance this heightened mind state.

A simpler conceptual analogy for mushin, which removes the complexity of strategy, is the following: imagine fighting someone who truly has the ability to strike with any one of their 4 limbs at any time. These people are always tricky fighters due to the fact that any limb can come out at any time i.e. no attachment or predisposition to any one thing (mushin). As one works on kumite this is one physical-mental approach, which can be drilled.

There is a famous Zen saying “mizu no kokoro” which translates to “a mind like water.” Everyone understands how the water of a pond can be calm and clear. In this state, it will reflect all around it truthfully & accurately, much like a mirror. In karate and in life we strive to have a calm mind that reflects everything around us accurately. Therefore, the mind must be clear like the glass surface of a still pond, reflecting everything accurately and without distortion. If the mind gets attached to any thoughts, this is analogous to throwing a stone into the tranquil pond. The ripples that the stone creates (or thought in the mind) will interfere with the smooth surface of the pond making the reflection (perception) distorted. If the mind is cluttered with thoughts, how can it possibly react quickly in stressful situations? Only when the mind is clear and calm will we act instantly without hesitation or fear.

The term “void” (kara in Japanese) has very real implications for strategy, Zen mind set and accessing weak points in an opponent’s technique and body. The use of “void” as the first character in Karate-Do was later consolidated in 1935 by Funakoshi sensei (founder of Shotokan) publishing the book “Karate-Do Kyohan”. The link between “voids”, or “emptiness”, has obvious similarities to mushin, however, its mental implications for strategy go further than that. The mind is just one component of a “void” approach used in fighting. Other cumulative uses of the “void” concept include:

  1. Technique combinations which open an opponent enabling the scoring of a “point” (pre-determined opponent response strategy which occurs following a particular combination)
  2. Furthering the first two points by striking a cavity, or anatomical void, to most damage/upset the opponent.

Therefore, fighters can chose to train certain combinations that provide a three-pronged approach of creating mental voids, physical opening voids, which are then followed by impact on an anatomical void. The emphasis here is to use all three “void” approaches in a cumulative fashion. The goal here is to not only score points but also mentally optimize one’s position of confidence and strength relative to the opponent’s physical and mental state.

Although this article mentions just two karate related Zen concepts a number of others exist which are highly relevant to kumite performance. All such concepts can be worked on as part of one’s training to optimize tournament fighting. Other Zen-based lessons can include:

  • Centering in a bout (physically and mentally) – upsetting your opponents “centered confident state”
  • Striking voids (mental and physical combinations)
• Progressing through the stages of Zen as one’s fighting improves
  • Reading your opponent
  • Dealing with fear and anxiety to perform at your best
  • Use of Aiki and Kiai to upset your opponents mind game, and at the same time create physical openings for standard technique scoring

PERCEPTION

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes: A middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. Several other children repeated this action. Every parent, without exception, forced his or her children to move on quickly.

45 minutes: The musician played continuously.  Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.  The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story (you can read it here, at the Washington Post). Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities. 

The questions raised:

  • In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
  • Do we stop to appreciate it?
  • Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: 
 If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made. How many other things are we missing?

November, 2009: You Reap What You Sow

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before. “Leave me alone,” he growled… To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling — her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows.

“Are you hungry?” she asked.

“No,” he answered sarcastically. “I’ve just come from dining with the president.. Now go away.”

The woman’s smile became even broader.

Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. “What are you doing, lady?” the man asked angrily. “I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. “Is there any problem, ma’am?” he asked..

“No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer scratched his head. “That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

“See that cafeteria over there?” she asked. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.”

“Are you crazy, lady?” the homeless man resisted . “I don’t want to go in there!” Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. “Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything..”

“This is a good deal for you, Jack,” the officer answered. “Don’t blow it.” Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived.

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. “What’s going on here, officer?” he asked. “What is all this, is this man in trouble?”

“This lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“Not in here!” the manager replied angrily. “Having a person like that here is bad for business.”

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. “See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place”

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. “Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?”

“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”

“And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?”

“What business is that of yours?”

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.” “Oh…”

The woman smiled again.. “I thought that might make a difference.” She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a laugh. “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?”

“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”

“Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice.”

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.”

The officer watched him walk away. “You certainly put him in his place,” he said. “That was not my intent… Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.

“Jack, do you remember me?”

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. “I think so — I mean you do look familiar.”

“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”

“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment.. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.”

Jack lit up with a smile. “Now I remember,” he said. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right.”

“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said. “I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.” She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. “When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.” She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always open to you.”
There were tears in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he asked. “Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. He led me to you.”

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. “Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.

“On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And thank you for the coffee.” Have a Wonderful Day. May God Bless You Always and don’t forget that when you “cast your bread upon the waters,” you never know how it will be returned to you. God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love and so small He can curl up inside your heart. When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go. Only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He’ll catch you when you fall, or He’ll teach you how to fly!

DO WE EVER KNOW WHEN THE GOOD WE DO FOR ANOTHER, WITHOUT NEEDING TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR DOING GOOD, WILL HELP SOMEONE BECOME A SUCCESS? AS RUTH SMELTZER SAID, “YOU HAVE NOT LIVED A PERFECT DAY, EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE EARNED YOUR MONEY, UNLESS YOU HAVE DONE SOME THING FOR SOMEONE WHO WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO REPAY YOU.”

A Note about the weather

IF THE WEATHER SEEMS TO BE SNOWY OR ICY . . . LISTEN TO RADIO STATION WRNJ 1510 AM FOR DOJO CLOSINGS. I TRY TO CONTACT THEM AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE, GENERALLY AFTER 3:00 PM. IF NOT SURE CALL THE DOJO 908-852-5855 AFTER 5:00 PM OR MY CELL 908-797-0087. IF NO ONE IS AT THE DOJO, LEAVE A MESSAGE AND WE WILL CALL YOU BACK IF THE DOJO WILL BE OPEN. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE CONDITIONS DON’T RISK DRIVING – CALL AND YOU MAY MAKE THE CLASS UP.

October, 2009: Newsletter

A study was done at the University of PA with 350,000 business people, sales people, entrepreneurs and professionals over a 22-year period. Each subject was asked, “What do you think about most of the time?” The top 10% responded, that they think about what they want and how to get it. They think about where they’re going and how to get there.

Conversely, the unsuccessful people thought about what they didn’t want. They worried about things that happened in the past that made them upset and angry. They shifted responsibility, they consistently thought about “who was to blame” for their situation.

Top people think about what they want and how to get it while average people think about what they don’t want and who is to blame. When you direct your attention upon what you want and how to get it, your whole life begins to change for the better.

You are extraordinary! Begin revising your thinking by accepting the fact that you ARE a remarkable person, possessed with incredible abilities and potential. You are capable of achieving anything that you really want in life.

I meet many very successful people and I often ask them, “What was your childhood like?” And they trace back to their mother or father or both who told them over and over again, “You can do anything you put your mind to” – and that rang in their young minds. When they grew up, this was their template; their frame of reference. That they could do anything they put their mind to. This is what you should say to yourself! I can do anything I put my mind to. I have unlimited potential!

Your self-concept determines what you think about most of the time. The discovery of the self-concept is the greatest breakthrough in human psychology in the 20th century. Your self-concept is a bundle of all your beliefs and abilities, this determines the way you see the world around you. You don’t see the world the way it is, but the way you are. Your self-concept is the power in your personality. It’s a source of your energy, enthusiasm, attitude and your happiness. When you like yourself, your self-esteem improves, your personality gets better, you feel happier with lots of enthusiasm, and your sense of value and personal worth increases. Your feeling of self-respect and personal pride improve. Setting big goals will cause you to like yourself more and see yourself in a more positive light. You will think better about yourself and you will feel and perform better in every part of your life!

We know that top people, the leaders, the superior men and women who we admire and respect are very clear about their ideals. Unsuccessful, unhappy people are very fuzzy about their ideals. Top people will never compromise their ideals and values for anything. Average people will compromise for the slightest advantage or short-term gain. The starting point for great success is to consistently be the very best person you can possibly be, and to have great clarity about who you are, what you believe in, what you really care about and what you stand for.

Your self-image is the way you see yourself and think about yourself, thereby determining your performance and effectiveness in any particular task or activity. The person you see is the person you will be. Psychologists sometimes describe your self-image as your inner mirror. It’s the mirror you look into to see how you’re expected to behave before you go into any social situation or sales conversation. Your walk is relaxed and confident, and surprise – this inner picture becomes your external reality!

Everyone has a mental picture before they go into a situation. Successful people replay pictures of previous success. Unsuccessful people replay pictures of previous failure. The subconscious mind is unable to distinguish between real or imaginary experiences. If you have positive and successful experiences and you replay them in your mind, your subconscious will record it as a new success experience. When you go into a new situation, your subconscious will say: “I’ve been here before, and you are really successful in this area; I’ve already seen you succeed 50 times!” Now you are operating under a tremendous feeling of confidence, poise and calmness. You can choose the thoughts and pictures you play in your mind. Think only of your very best experiences prior to every event.

THE IDEAS IN THIS MONTH’S SELECTION ARE NOT NEW AND WE HAVE SEEN THEM IN THE NEWSLETTERS, BY NUMEROUS SUCCESS COACHES, EDUCATORS AND PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES. WHAT IS UNIUQE IS THE WAY THIS STUDY CONDUCTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA DURING A 22-YEAR PERIOD WORKED WITH 350,000 PEOPLE. OUR DOJO STRESSES THE IMPORTANCE OF EACH INDIVIDUAL AND WORKS TO HELP EACH PERSON REACH HIS OR HER FULL POTENTIAL. WE HELP TO RELATE GROWTH BY PROMOTIONS EARNED THROUGH EACH PERSON’S EFFORTS. NO TWO PEOPLE ARE THE SAME BUT EACH PERSON IS CAPABLE OF GREAT SUCCESS, REGARDLESS OF RANK. MORE THAN TELLING ME WHAT RANK YOU ARE, SHOW ME, WHILE IN THE DOJO AND IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE. THERE SHOULD BE THE SAME DEMONSTRATION OF KNOWLEDGE, SPIRIT, KINDNESS AND ENERGY. CONSISTENTLY DEMONSTRATE DURING TRAINING, THAT KNOWLEDGE, ABILITY AND DESIRE TO IMPROVE ARE COMBINED. AS A RANK IS EARNED EACH OF US SHOULD NOT BECOME COMPLACENT AND SAY TO OURSELF OR OTHERS, “NOW I CAN TAKE IT EASY BECAUSE I HAVE ACHIEVED THIS LEVEL AND IT WILL TAKE MORE TIME AND EFFORT TO EARN MY NEXT PROMOTION.” WHERE WOULD WE BE IF THE PEOPLE WHO HELP TEACH THE CLASSES WERE SATISFIED AND COMPLACENT? HANSHI DUESSEL WAS PROMOTED TO 9TH DEGREE BLACK BELT IN 1990 AND BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY ONE 10TH DEGREE BLACK BELT IN OUR ASSOCIATION, THERE IS NO HIGHER RANK HE MAY EARN. HE STILL WORKS EVERY DAY TO IMPROVE SO HE CAN HELP OTHERS. SHOULD WE DO ANY LESS?

PLEASE PAY MONTHLY DUES AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH MONTH.

ADULT SEMINARS AT HANSHI TEMPLE’S DOJO – OCTOBER 4TH. MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ATTEND.
THE COST IS MINIMAL AND WHAT MAY BE LEARNED IS HUGE.

HANSHI DUESSEL WILL BE HERE OCTOBER 9TH AND 10TH – – – PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND.

FRIDAY EVENING 6 PM TO 7:30 PM – – – AT THE DOJO (JUNIOR GREEN BELTS AND ABOVE AND ADULTS) – – COST $10.00

SATURDAY AFTERNOON FROM 1:30 PM TO 3:30 PM AT THE DOJO FOR ADULTS – – FOLLOWED BY A GET TOGETHER AT KYOSHI’S – – – COST $10.00

TOURNAMENT FOR THE MT. ARLINGTON F.O.P LODGE #78
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25TH
IT IS CLOSE TO HOME – – AND PRICED REASONABLY.
SEE KYOSHI IF INTERESTED.