August Newsletter




PROMOTIONS EARNED: Junior Orange Belt – Kassandra Lee   Junior Green Belt #1 – Angie Goncalves, Maddy Ridge   Junior Green Belt #2 – Aryan Motyala, Rachel and Daniel Tankel   Junior Purple Belt #1 – Sammy Heinrich   Senior Green Belt – Oscar Olivera   First Degree Black Belt – Jake Brader   Second Degree Black Belt – Jay Brader, Tom Schroeder   Third Degree Black Belt – Tony Curcuruto


How do you define success? Is it a one-time achievement or a lifelong journey? Can it be measured, and if so, by what? Is it about fame, power, wealth…or all three? Mac Anderson and Bob Kelly set out to answer these questions and more in The Best of Success. As you might imagine, they discovered that defining success isn’t easy! Not only does it look different for everyone, but it’s also constantly evolving because we are constantly evolving. Still, there are traits that conventionally successful people seem to have in common, and in this book, Mac and Bob share them with you. Packed with quotes and real-life stories, this treasury of inspiration will help you determine what success means to you.

  • Believe in Yourself
  • Have a Positive Attitude
  • Greet Change as a Friend
  • Discover New Paths
  • Keep Asking Questions
  • Never Let Failure Stop You
  • Spread Sunshine into Other Lives
  • Give Yourself Away
  • Go the Extra Mile

The general was a practical and frugal man, and found a single word to convey his message. A single word—but it spoke volumes. His telegram read, simply: “Others.”

However we define it, becoming successful is rarely, if ever, an individual achievement. As George Matthew Adams, an American author and columnist of a century ago, reminded us: “There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.”

Inspiration can move us in different ways. It can help us face a challenge with renewed hope and determination. It can remind us to be proud of the obstacles we have overcome. Sometimes it can take root in our hearts and guide the way we look at life. Our lives are not defined by the date we are born or the date we die, but by what we do with the dash in between.

A reminder for us about overcoming big challenges and accomplishing big goals: is to maximize the resources available to you. Goal setting planning your work and then working your plan— not only leads to effectiveness, but also fosters efficiency…it helps minimize waste. Because resources are so important, we’ve gone well beyond merely relying on goal action plans to ensure efficiency.

Making the Most of TIME

  • Prioritize tasks (do the most important things first) and use “to do” lists to organize daily activities.
  • Start and end meetings promptly—and issue agendas in advance.
  • Teach time-management skills and techniques.
  • Take advantage of time-saving technology.
  • Making the Most of MONEY
  • Buy in discounted bulk whenever appropriate.
  • Shop for the best prices on materials, supplies, equipment, and services.
  • Communicate electronically to reduce long-distance charges.
  • Think pennies as well as dollars—a few cents saved here and there add up quickly.
  • Making the Most of MATERIALS and EQUIPMENT
  • “Measure twice, cut once.”
  • Reuse and recycle whenever possible.
  • Be religious about preventive maintenance.
  • Invest in extended warranties.
  • Making the Most of EMPLOYEE TALENT and EXPERTISE
    • Involve the people with the knowledge in the decisions.
    • Match jobs with worker skills and interests.
    • Enhance employee expertise through training and developmental assignments.
  • Encourage employees to share their knowledge with others
  •  In the dojo each class is planned to help each student learn, improve and succeed. There are MANY components of our “art”. Each is important and the advanced student must be able to relate these to each student in a way that he or she will be able to understand them and in time apply them in the dojo and in life beyond the dojo. Success is measured individually, stressing the intrinsic, personal, improvement of each student.




JULY 2017

There will be no adult morning classes Tuesday mornings until September.

Now that the summer months are upon us, students should wear socks and sneakers to the dojo as we may go outside to train during class.

Students attended the 2017 I.W.K.A. World Championship Events in Augusta, Maine – June 23 & 24.

Adam Masur – 2nd Place Kata – Master’s Division

Andrea Aten – 1st Place Kumite 1st and 2nd Degree Black Belt Senior Women – qualified for grand champion division

Samantha Heinrich – 1st Place Kata – Intermediate 7 & 8 year olds – qualified for grand champion division

Kassandra lee – 2nd Place Sparring and 4th Place Kata – 8 – 10 year old novice

Ellie Aten – 4th Place Kata – 5 – 7 year old novice



You’ve heard of the Power of Positive Thinking. There’s no doubt about it…the human mind is an amazingly powerful computer, capable of transforming our lives.

But achieving what you want in life isn’t accomplished by sitting in your comfy chair and visualizing all day long. Far too many people neglect to ACT on their own behalf in order to bring their dreams to life. As cosmetics company founder and CEO Estée Lauder put it so well, “I didn’t get here by dreaming about it or thinking about it—I got here by doing it.”

Author BJ Gallagher has captured the “secret” no one is talking about—you can actually change your thoughts and attitudes by taking positive ACTION, no matter what you’re thinking or feeling! She calls it The Power of Positive DOING

A genuine dream is a picture and blueprint of a person’s purpose and potential. Or as my friend Sharon Hull says, “A dream is the seed of possibility planted in the soul of a human being, which calls him to pursue a unique path to the realization of his purpose.“

Sadly, far too many people have dreams that are not genuine, but simply wishful thinking that fills their thoughts but will never fulfill their lives. ~ John C. Maxwell.

Are you putting off living the life you’ve always longed for? Do you find yourself saying things like:

“When things slow down…when I finish my degree…when I get certified… as I acquire a deeper knowledge base…when I have kids…when the kids are grown…when I get well…when I marry…when I divorce…when I retire…when I get that promotion…that raise…that job…that house…that whatever the fill-in-the blank is for your specific postponing of life?”

You don’t have to wait until you become old to become wise. You can discover life’s secrets at any age… and lead a more fulfilling life.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up to it yourself.” Many of us pin our happiness to external factors: if only we had more money, or a better house, or whatever our latest “want” is…but your happiness has been and always will be right inside yourself.


JUNE 2017

As we get ready for the summer months and as the school year draws close to another ending, it is the beginning of time away from the classroom and a time for sun, fun and frolic. Remember to make time to continue to read. Schooling may end but learning never does.

        Please help us reach new students, both children and adults. Please take a few of the flyers by the front door and place them in appropriate locations. THANKS!


“Choice: Reaction or Response” from “Getting the Best from Yourself and Othersby Julie Davis-Colan and Lee J. Colan

The power of choice is one of the greatest gifts we are given. Although we make many choices every hour of the day, we rarely make neutral choices. Each choice has a positive or negative consequence for us at some level. Our attitude toward life is the most important choice we make! Let’s look at why such a simple choice—embracing a positive or negative attitude—is more challenging than it appears for many people.

Just think of the last time you were in deep thought about plans for the evening while daydreaming or driving home from work. As you arrive home you wonder to yourself, “How did I get home?” If driving, the car seemed to practically drive itself. Driving is a relatively complex task, requiring many choices along the way—turn right, turn left, slow down, stop, change lanes. Still, driving home can be successfully performed almost subconsciously. If in a classroom, the teacher may jolt you back to consciousness by asking a question that was not heard.

So, consider the multitude of much smaller choices we make each day that we don’t really think about: waking up, brushing our teeth, saying “good morning” to a colleague, eating our lunch, performing a repetitive job duty, and so on. Subconscious actions are useful most of the time, but we must also consciously choose our attitude to control our results. Our ability to choose is a gift, but it is also a huge responsibility. No matter what today’s “it’s not my fault” culture encourages, we are all ultimately responsible for our own choices. In fact, we like to write the word responsibility as response–ability. As humans, we have the unique ability to respond.

Here’s a scenario repeated daily. Family dinners are important at the Smith house. Jim and Jane Smith and their two children (John, age three, and Janie, age four) just sat at the table. Before the first bite of dinner is enjoyed, John spills his milk and it goes everywhere.

A reaction to this event: “Not again, John! Every time we eat, this happens. Think, son, think! Do you want to eat in your room from now on?” A response to this event: “Uh-oh, John. Let’s get a sponge and clean this up so you can eat your dinner.”

When you react, you make a purely emotional and subconscious decision. Often, because of how your experiences and prior choices have programmed your subconscious mind, your reactions do not help you achieve the best results.

On the other hand, when you respond to a situation, you make a constructive and conscious decision. That’s why there are emergency response teams, not emergency reaction teams.

When you simply react, your emotional instinct is in control, with little thought of the long-range consequences.

When you respond, your brain is fully engaged and your self-awareness is high. You have the long-term consequences in mind.

We all experience negative situations and people. Choosing to respond instead of react helps positively orchestrate our attitudes—and our lives.


From our karate training, we learn to think and then act. From the repetition of basics, kata, kumite and kobudo, we begin by consciously thinking about each move. With time the thought process becomes refined, natural and instinctive. In time actions become second nature. Though there must be a thought process, we are able to respond to outside stimuli without judgment or conscious thought. Work and school are enhanced because our minds focus on the tasks at hand and we react and respond in a positive nature. It takes work to remain positive instead of negative in the face of some life issues. Think about when we have learned the most. Often this happens when a stressful event happens or possible failure is encountered. With the positive rather than the negative approach, much more may be learned and related to others. One gets more with sugar than vinegar.



May 2017

Our 32nd Benefit Tournament is in the record book. There were 23 dojos in attendance from New Jersey, New York & Long Island, Pennsylvania and Maine. There were 134 competitors in 57 divisions. Our students won 29 awards. Thank you to all who competed, attended and helped during the day to make this tournament a success and run so smoothly. Many comments were made about how people were pleased to attend and participate.

Karate is about more than competition. It is about developing the intrinsic nature of perfecting the “self” through the discipline found within the “art”. So, why compete? Competition and the desire to do well creates stress and puts the individual in a situation where he or she must deal with the stress to succeed. Looking beyond the stress a challenge creates, one can recognize the simple solution. It is often overanalyzed an issue that it is no wonder we sometimes miss the obvious fix

  • focus on the training that has been done.
  • focus on the skills that have been learned though good, focused, instruction.
  • focus on the fact that each person is prepared and will perform to the best of his or her ability.

focus on the fact that not everyone wins and not everyone get an award – the intrinsic nature and satisfaction of doing one’s best.Competition gives the individual a gauge to see how one’s style and ability compares to others of a similar age and level of ability. (rank) I meet people at events that I have known for more than 40 years. As we do not train together at this time, it is a time to catch up on our lives and what we are doing. Vince Lombardi’s philosophy transcends football. His powerful words capture the fundamentals of success in any sport, business, or life :

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” Vince Lombardi  


“There is only one way to succeed in anything and that is to give it everything.” Vince Lombardi

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” Vince Lombardi

  • “Winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.” “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” “Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, and a customer will recognize both.” “If you don’t think you’re a winner, you don’t belong here.” “Don’t succumb to excuses. Go back to the job of making the corrections and forming the habits that will make your goal possible.” Vince Lombardi


Each of Vince Lombardi’s thoughts tie into our Isshin-ryu training. We are training our thoughts and actions to become instinct through the habits learned through class and individual practice. We work hard, build confidence, don’t make excuses, work to correct mistakes but accept them and move on. When each individual on the team accepts full responsibility and speaks truthfully about his or her performance, it builds team trust. Once the self-critique is over, the team reviews their performance. Most importantly, when deficiencies are noted, action must be taken to improve and correct.





  • Champions are driven by emotional motivators
  • The great ones chose discipline over pleasure
  • The great ones believe they cannot fail…they can only learn and grow
  • The great ones take responsibility
  • Champions have an immense capacity for heightened concentration
  • Common sense is the foundation of high performance
  • The great ones make the complicated simple

Champions are driven by a heightened belief systemAgain, congratulations to everyone who competed, supported and helped during the tournament. You are NUMBER ONE in my book.


APRIL 2017






“The 3 Rules of Simplicity” from Keep It Simple by Joe Calloway

One of my clients is a national trucking company. This is a business that involves logistics, systems, schedules, and details that could easily become overwhelmingly complicated. Yet this trucking company, which is one of the largest in the country, has harnessed the power of simplicity and focus to drive consistent success for years.

They have boiled it down to three simple rules that they abide by every single day.

  1. Pick it up when you said you would.
  2. Deliver it when you said you would.
  3. Deliver it intact and all there.A successful drive-in restaurant chain has done much the same in getting clarity on what is most important:
  1. Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods they can buy.
  2. Provide meals with friendly service.
  3. Serve in a comfortable, sparkling clean environment.These companies are great examples of the power of having a team with a shared, and simple, vision. It’s actually quite easy to come up with a wordy, complicated vision, mission, or goal. It’s much more challenging to create a goal that is simple and easy to understand. Resist the temptation to over think things. Boil it down to the essence of what matters most. We should strive to focus on the essential and minimize the rest. So what are the three most important things in your life, your work, or your business?  You can stop overcomplicating. Boil it down to those three most important things that you must do well every day to create success, happiness, or fulfillment. This can, and should, take some time and thought, but it’s well worth the effort.  Will this help me to create positive relationships?
  4. Will this assist me in reaching my goal?
  5. Will this get me where I want to go?
  6. Look at your daily choices, activities, and decisions and ask yourself your own version of “Will this make my life better?” 

Stop and ask yourself:

  • How do you see the world?
  • How do you see yourself in the world?
  • How do you see your relationship with the world?
  • Do you see the opportunity?
  • Do you believe it is yours for the taking?
  • Do you feel worthy of success?
  • Do you feel deserving?
  • Are you asking for it?
  • Are you looking for it?
  • Are you listening for it?
  • Are you open to it?
  • Are you allowing it to manifest in your life and your presence, or have you convinced yourself that you do not qualify for one reason or another?
  • Are you seizing the opportunity to advance yourself and the world in a mutually beneficial way or are you putting it off for another day?
  • Are you expecting success or suspecting it?
  • Are you even aware the choice is up to you?


    • Success is the intentional, premeditated use of choice and decision. Unless you choose—with certainty—what it is you want, you accept table scraps by default!
    • The world is plump with opportunity. With boldness and conviction, stick a fork into the goals you want by being decisive.
    • You are born with great capabilities, but you will not achieve your potential until you call upon yourself to fulfill it. You will rise to the occasion when it presents itself; yet, to assure self-fulfillment, you must provide occasions to rise to.
    • Clearly defined goals allow you to travel toward another horizon that represents the end of one experience and the transition to a new and better existence. The objective is to choose the right goals, and then to create the necessary causes—the effects will follow!
    • The DIFFERENCE between what one person and another achieves depends more on goal CHOICES than on ABILITIES.
  • The profound differences between successful people and others are the goals they choose to pursue. Individuals with similar talents, intelligence, and abilities will achieve different results because they select and pursue different goals.


  • Each decision affects WHAT YOU BECOME. We form our decisions and our decisions form us.
  • There is no escaping this; the smallest choices are important because—over time—their cumulative effect is enormous.
  • Never overlook the obvious: The nature and direction of your life change the instant you decide what goals you want to pursue.
  • Once you make a decision, you start down a path to a new destination. At the moment the decision is made, your decision to pursue a goal alters what you are becoming. Just one spin of the lock’s dial—a single choice—can alter your life, your destiny, your legacy.
  • Think about it—your goal decisions represent and express your individuality. You seal your fate with the choices you make.
  • Your dialog with success is ultimately a solo one. Decisions and goals made must be your own if you are to call your life a success.
  • Always establish the best goals you can. Goals are the seeds of success—you become only what you plant. The quality of your harvest is a direct reflection of the quality of your seeds…your decisions!
  • Indecision is the big eraser of opportunity and potential. Risks and costs accompany every decision; however, the price of decision is far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction. When it comes to decisiveness, squatters have no rights.
  • Everyone has an official wish list of things they think are “reasonable.” What about the unofficial wish list? The one that common sense tells you to ignore? The list that exists deep in your mind, the list that keeps you up at night, the list that makes your toes wiggle when you think of it? Why not choose that list for a change?
  • How long have you dreamed of being, having, and doing what you really want? Think big, as when it comes to your goals, the size of your ambition does matter.
  • Choose a path, commit to success, and you’ll rise to the occasion.


The fact is, you have more potential than you could use in a hundred lifetimes. And the more of your potential you use, the more potential becomes available to you. You have the ability right now to achieve more than you ever have before, as long as you incorporate essential mental skills into your life: clarity, focus, and concentration. These are the three essential requirements practiced by all successful people throughout history to accomplish extraordinary results and great achievements. Just as you can strengthen your muscles through hard work and concentration, you can develop mental toughness through discipline and repetition.

Think about what is being done at our dojo. Each class has a clear pattern that leads toward success. Learn basic fundamentals and then practice them. Repetition heightens concentration, strengthens the body and mind leading to improved focus and improved ability. This improved focus positively impacts the success each student finds in the dojo, school and work.


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead


MARCH 2017

Self-motivation…what does it mean? There’s a simple definition for a complex subject: Self-motivation is an inner drive that compels behavior. What makes it complex, however, is that little word “inner,” because what works for me may not work for someone else, and vice-versa. There are, however, some common denominators; some basic fundamentals when it comes to motivating ourselves. These fundamental ideas have worked for successful people. As we know, it’s not what is said, but how a statement is said that can turn the switch from “off” to “on.” One idea, if you are ready for it, can change one’s life forever. Just remember…people are like sticks of dynamite; the power is on the inside but nothing happens until the fuse is lit. 

            A few days ago a professor at Warren County Community College shared a small book with me because he heard talking to my class about positive imaging and improving their performance. Below is a small summary about a part of an article in the book.

What Is Your Pebble?” from The Pebble in the Shoe by Jim Fannin

Everyone has had a pebble in his or her shoe. There may have more than one. These pebbles are the small, nagging, thoughts that eventually cause lack of motivation and stress. Some pebbles have been hidden, undetected for years. Others push, prod, and make their presence felt every day. Each pebble intrudes into the lives of the unsuspecting. At different times in life the pebbles arrive. Although they are small and mostly undetected, they represent many unresolved thoughts, images and experiences. Some are pebbles of doubt. They form from a single thought that occurred years, months or weeks before. Some pebbles are lodged only in business, school or training shoes. Some reside in one’s house slippers that are tucked under one’s bed. Some pebbles find their way into the shoes worn by a parent. Unfortunately, some pebbles travel in all of our shoes regardless of where we walk or run. Some pebbles are because of fear. Others are created from guilt or rejection. Maybe not today, but they eventually arrive unannounced and usually at the most inappropriate time. What challenges do they present?

To run the marathon race of life at the most efficient speed, one must be free of embarrassment, guilt, rejection, fear, envy, jealousy, anger, impatience, frustration and worry. Pebbles can be lodged in any shoe, from a pair of loafers worn by a city dweller in Manhattan, to a pair of boots on a farm in Montana. These intangible pebbles are crippling. They destroy relationships. They contribute to overeating and gaining unhealthy weight. They coax us into drugs, alcohol and other addictions. They destroy families and alienate friends. They thwart the potential of our children and physically snuff extra years from our life. These are the pebbles in our shoes.

The pebble can cause one to quit or perform with complete indifference. It can help instigate a fight or add disrespectful silence to an otherwise dynamic relationship. Even the desire for fame, fortune or power can turn into a pebble if left undetected. Most pebbles stir up the past, cloud the future and keep the present to a blink of the eye. Like a garden that has been freshly tilled, a pebble can reappear without warning or detection. Prevention and removal are the only options for simplicity, balance and abundance. Each of us must work to clear the mind of indecision, uncertainty, confusion and fear?

How do these thoughts relate to our Isshin-ryu Karate training?

The key words are Self-motivation, inner, fear and rejection.

             The intrinsic (inner) 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. These help the student (young or old) to build confidence within the individual, knowing he or she must perform the skills individually, not relying on others to support one’s abilities. 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.

The study of karate is a journey in martial arts training and within one’s being, which needs self-motivation. The greatest success is experienced not over an opponent, but internally as we begin to understand ourselves. Karate builds one’s balance of body, mind and inner spirit. Karate teaches lessons of life, starting in the dojo and then following each individual into his or her daily life. Attitudes and feelings developed and expressed in the dojo tell everything about one’s behavior. In the long history of martial arts, practitioners have used their physical skills as a means of building mental, emotional and physical skills. The art is primarily a path towards personal fulfilment rather than a primary means of self-defense and self-satisfaction.

Karate and its martial arts forerunners are historically linked with Zen philosophies where people achieve enlightenment through everyday activities. By experiencing every moment for itself and leaving the mind open to all experiences, inner peace is found. The cornerstone of these philosophies is being in-tune (mushin) with the world around the individual.




 Information at the dojo

 Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter. Ellalynn Aten – Junior Orange Belt, Kassandra and Samantha Lee – Junior Yellow Belt.




2017 Circuit Participating Events

American Isshinryu Point Circuit Qualifying Tournaments

 King’s Karate Tournament – $5 AI Discount

Sunday, March 26, 2017; Newton High School

More Information: Call 973-786-5199

 Isshinryu School of Karate

32nd Benefit Tournament – $5 AI Discount

Sunday, April 23, 2017; Hackettstown High School

More Information:

 AOKAINC 60th Anniversary Tournament & Dinner

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

More Information:

 West Chester Fall Classic

Saturday, October 21, 2017

More Information:


Qualifying Seminars

Master Toby Cooling @ NJ Martial Art Academy $20/$15

Friday, February 24, 2017 6:30pm – 8:45pm

More Information: Call 973-770-4555

Soke Michael Depasquale @ Paskiet Martial Arts Academy $5 AI Discount

Saturday, April 22, 2017 9am – 3:30pm (2 Seminars!)

More Information: Email


 Tournament Circuit Points

5 points for each division entered

30 points for each first place

20 points for each second place

10 points for each third place

Seminars (non-tournament)

Circuit Points

15 points for each individual seminar attended





Authors B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura wrote a great book about achieving success through personal accountability titled “Who Are “They” Anyway?” I like their list showing how each individual in the company can benefit by adopting a “personal accountability attitude”: Something magical happens when we accept personal responsibility for our behavior and our results. Not being upfront or completely honest to yourself or your teammates is unacceptable. It breaks the most important team bond—trust.

On any given day, we can be as shy and withdrawn as Charlie Brown, as pushy as Lucy, as introspective as Linus, as raucous as Peppermint Patty, as zealous as Schroeder, as sunny as Sally, or as self-absorbed as Snoopy. Yet, no matter our mood, each and every day, we all strive to be leaders in our fields, to our family, or of our own goals. Reflecting on what the Peanuts gang can teach us, we can unlock inspiration for each day of our lives.

  • You have more control over your destiny
  • You become an active contributor rather than a passive observer
  • Others look to you for leadership
  • You gain the reputation as a problem solver
  • You enhance your career opportunities
  • You enjoy the satisfaction that comes from getting things done…the power of positive doing
  • You experience less anger, frustration and helplessness—all leading to better physical health
  • You realize a positive spillover effect into your personal life at home
  • Where you end up is entirely up to you.
  • Even though change might be scary, it is definitely required.

The first step to making a quantum leap is making a decision. Many times, the freedom of having so many choices stops us from choosing one. We often find ourselves on the fence of indecision, thinking, “What should I do? What do others think I should do?” We start evaluating our abilities, becoming discouraged about the possibilities before we even commit to a certain goal, or outcome. a clear, specific definition of your intended direction is critical. If the destination is not known, how will we know if we are off course? A goal cannot be reached without clarity of vision.

It was clarity of purpose that helped me succeed — but my path was not a straight one. Everyone has setbacks. Then I did something that changed my life. I went to a series of seminars in an environment that caused change. The speakers and stories made me feel as though it was “my time.” Shortly after that, I prevailed, and my dreams became a reality. Nothing had changed except the clarity of my vision about where I was going. I became committed to making the change happen now. With that decision, obstacles started to move out of my way.

ZIG ZIGLAR was one of the presenters in that related many ideas that caused me to think. It is safe to say that if each of us took  the approach to life where we decided to change, advance and improve, we would accomplish much more. After every mistake, we need to understand that we can look back and learn so that we can move forward with confidence  and avoid making the same mistake again.  Here are three tips from Zig Ziglar about how best to handle a mistake:

  1. See the mistake as a step on the road to a solution. Do not let mistakes depress or discourage you. We must realize that depression and discouragement are negatives that limit the future.
  2. Admit the mistake. I’ll admit that takes courage, but recognition of errors is a sign of maturity. Not to recognize them is to deny them. The reality is that “denial” is more than just a river in Egypt—it’s something that will limit your future.
  3. Know that it is only when you ignore the mistake that it is negative. When we confront mistakes, we are taking full advantage of it as the “positive” they are.

   For example, the student with no hope of passing will not study. Why bother?  This is a limiting attitude and one where success may not be achieved.

Now here is the good news: Hope is a choice. A decision may be made to be a hope-filled person. Make a decision to share hope with others. In the process of doing so, watch what happens. One’s personal hope quotient is bound to rise.

Author John C. Maxwell says, “if there is hope in the future, there is power in the present”. Hope is the great activator! Decide to make things happen, and as we encourage others to make things happen in their lives, rely on hope. Use discipline to see the “hopeful” side of any incident. Include expressions of hope in your self-talk. Share words of hope with the people who surround you. Am I offering you a “head in the sand” approach to life? Am I saying that you should walk around with a smile on your face and a song in your heart, oblivious to daily reality? Of course not. However, we have a choice. Hope is a choice. We can look at any unfortunate or bothersome situation and say it is hopeless, or we can look for the hope in that situation. The choice is always ours. Take a moment today and think about the last 24 hours. Was hope shared, either by words or action? Or did you choose the opposite approach?


The positive, disciplined, attitudes developed through Isshin-ryu Karate relate to each of the ideas related by B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura, Zig Ziglar and John C. Maxwell. Desire to be successful in each endeavor. Decide to be positive and proactive. Use challenges and setbacks to become the motivators of life. Hope for happiness and success but know each of us must take action – not just sit by waiting.







As I type I think back on the training that we have done in the Hackettstown area since 1979, a number of the original students are still involved in our training. The training has remained traditional in nature, which is uncommon in these days because most directors of schools look to make money, sacrificing the “art and the tradition of self discovery and intrinsic improvement.”

One of the strengths of a karate training session is that the process is mental as well as physical, so the whole person benefits from the time spent in the dojo as well as during the disciplined practice at home. We cannot attempt to stay at the same level that we are at today. We must try to improve our abilities at kata, kumite, kobudo and self development. Training regardless of the reason provides us with an increased confidence in our ability to function at a specific level of competence. 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.

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.

Another strength of traditional karate training is seen when the student can focus his or her energies on the inner qualities that set our training apart from other forms of exercise. Goal setting is not unique to karate training but is at times different because we cannot look at just the physical benefits of an exercise program. We must take into account that we want to improve ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Think about what you want to accomplish during this year and write it on a piece of paper – – – put it away in a safe place (with your monthly dojo newsletters) and look at it every so often to see if progress is being made toward accomplishing the desired goal. Accept the challenge of setting realistic short and long term goals. Be prepared to work toward the goal and step by step improvements will be made.

As we enter a new year (2017), I am reminded of a segment of a segment from “Leading with Passion” by John Murphy. We must all strive to keep the love and passion for our training alive as we desire to improve daily.

” Light a match in a dark room and watch as the light instantly overcomes the darkness. Observe the power and grace of that single, solitary flame dancing with life. Now light several candles or kindle a fire and experience the added warmth and comfort extending from that first, vulnerable flame through others. This is the heart and soul of leadership—the essence of inspiring others. It is about courageously casting off fear, doubt and limiting beliefs and giving people a sense of hope, optimism and accomplishment. It is about bringing light into a world of uncertainty and inspiring others to do the same. This is what we call passion, the fire within. Passion is a heartfelt energy that flows through us, not from us. It fills our hearts when we allow it to and it inspires others when we share it. It is like sunlight flowing through a doorway that we have just opened. It was always there. It just needed to be accepted and embraced. Under the right conditions, this “flow” appears effortless, easy and graceful. It is doing what it is meant to do. It is reminding us that we are meant to be purposeful. We are meant to be positive. We are meant to be passionate. We feel this when we listen to and accept our calling in life. We feel it as inspiration when we open the door of resistance and let it in.”

“Remind thyself, in the darkest moments, that every failure is only a step toward success, every detection of what is false directs you toward what is true, every trial exhausts some tempting form of error, and every adversity will only hide, for a time, your path to peace and fulfillment.”

                                                         Og Mandino

Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter: Liana Torlucci, Skye & Trinity White – Junior Yellow Belt.

Golden Rule Karate Tournament, Sunday, February 19, 2017 – Warren Hills High School



This Winter Season – Be safe! ! ! Remember to listen to WRNJ 1510 M or 92.7 FM radio station for class cancellations due to weather. . . or check the dojo website –

There are no classes on December 24, 25, 26 & 31 and January 1.   Plan ahead and make classes up.



We’ve all had times in our lives where we felt bound by our past and our fear of failure. We know we should change, but…we can’t. Can you relate? I know I can! How would you like to be able to reframe your thinking to “unthink” your past, eliminate your fear and unleash your potential?


Introduction – from Unchain the Elephant – by Erik Wahl

Several years ago, I had the privilege to go on safari outside Nairobi, Kenya. As I ventured into the vast, unregulated openness of the Masai Mara, I experienced life from a completely new perspective. I witnessed the grace of a pack of gazelles, the migration of the wildebeest, and the clever stealth of the cheetah. But the most memorable encounter by far was when I crested a hill and unexpectedly came face-to-face with the overwhelming size and unparalleled raw power of an untamed elephant. This was not a petting zoo elephant quietly behaving in a crowded room. This enormous elephant was wild and completely unrestrained to explore, to discover, and to enjoy the beauty of its natural habitat. How did this massive, powerful, free creature succumb to a life tethered to a chain in a circus tent? When an elephant is born into captivity, the owner ties the animal to a tree or post with a thick chain to prevent the 250-pound infant from escaping. During the first few weeks of his life, the small elephant tests the chain that binds him, again and again, in an attempt to free himself and wander as his nature urges him to do. His efforts, however, are no match for steel links. Over the course of a few weeks, he eventually learns that his resources are no match for the hardiness of the chain. He gives up any further attempts to free himself, and thus relegates himself to a life within a small circle. As an adult elephant conditioned by a past experience, he can now be tethered to a small tree with the thinnest of ropes or, in some cases, no rope at all. He makes no attempts to wander because he carries with him, for life, the belief that he does not possess the power to break the ties that bind him. The adult elephant could easily snap the rope or uproot the tree to which it is attached, but he makes no such effort, because early in life, he was taught that true freedom was not available to him. For the remainder of his life, he is tame and nothing like the captivating, powerful creature he was born to be. Can you sympathize with this elephant? Do you feel your life has been shackled by what you were conditioned to believe when you were young? Maybe the conditioning was even more recent than that.

The time has come to unchain the elephant.


            Whether you reach success or failure in life has little to do with your circumstances; it has much more to do with your attitude . . . with your faithful courage…with your choices! Non-achievers blame their circumstances; winners rise above their circumstances. Some concentrate on the blank wall that boxes them in; winners always look for a way to get under it, over it, around it, or through it. The secret is: They had optimism and developed a winner’s attitude! With the discipline developed through Isshin-ryu Karate, we should be able to remove our chains of doubt caused by our past and our fear of failure. Have a positive outlook about life. Strive to improve every part of daily life. Do not settle to be mediocre or average; desire to stand apart from the crowd. Along these thought lines this is a thought I developed for the 2007 World Championships . . . A goal, a dream invisible to all the world except to the person who holds it, is responsible for perhaps every great advance of man. It’s the prime cause of much of what we see in the world around us.

            Everything worthwhile, achieved by man, is A DREAM COME TRUE, a goal reached.

            What the mind of man can conceive, and believe, it can achieve.


Paradigms change you to the core – Bob Proctor

 A few years ago I attended a seminar with Bob Proctor and the following are some of the thoughts he shared that day. These notes were reviewed as a part of a class at Warren County College due to a number of questions raised by students concerning how they might become more successful.

             Organizational culture is founded on habits, work practices, attitudes, beliefs and expectations otherwise known as paradigms. Armed with paradigms, we approach and react to the world around us, interpreting what we see and experience according to our shared understandings and those culturally determined guidelines. A paradigm, in a sense, tells you that there is a game, what the game is, and how to play it successfully. A paradigm shift then, is a change to a new game, or a new set of rules. And when the rules change, the whole world can be appearing to change.

Ideally, any changes to an organization should be implemented simultaneously with a change in attitude of the members. In other words, the people’s paradigms should be shifted at the same time the organization begins its transformation. It’s unfortunate that most of the organizations in the world are not preparing their people to make the personal paradigm shifts that are necessary. There are numerous individuals who lack the understanding required to adapt to the changes that are being forced upon them.

Think of how the world has changed. There are hundreds of thousands of people walking the street today who went to school, worked hard, studied long hours, graduated at the top of their class, secured employment with a major blue-chip company and bought into the promise that just about every major corporation offered: “If you give us loyalty, we will give you security.” Twenty years later, as these loyal and misguided individuals stood proudly near the top of their corporate ladder, shouldering responsibility for big mortgages and small children, the corporate paradigm shifted. The ladder was yanked out from underneath them and they found themselves standing on the street, bruised, demoralized, unemployed and in a state of total shock.

Is there a problem? An enormous problem! It’s called paradigms.

Now, I know most people would say, “The problem is the corporation’s lack of loyalty” … but this is not the case. A job doesn’t owe you anything. People work at a job or for an employer in a mutual sort of relationship, but that doesn’t mean that one or the other party is utterly responsible for the other party’s livelihood.

Ninety-some percent of the population keeps getting the same results—year in, year out! This is as true for students in school as it is for the person in business. If there is an improvement in the performance of most people, it’s generally minimal—just a blip on the screen and not enough to make any substantial difference in a person’s life-style. Is there a problem? An enormous problem! It’s called paradigms.

Paradigms can be likened to a program that has been installed in your brain. But you can change that software! The same infinite power flows to and through each one of us, and if we had been taught to develop our higher faculties in the first place, we would understand how and why all things are possible.

You are going to be delighted to learn that just changing a very small part of the old paradigm can make an enormous difference in the results you can enjoy in every area of your life. Think of the areas in your life that money affects. Imagine shifting your paradigm there to substantially increase your income before year’s end. If you have difficulty meeting people and you alter the paradigm so that it’s easy and enjoyable to meet people, this could have quite an impact on your life.

These are just two examples of hundreds that could be done in YOUR life. Today! There will be no permanent change in your life until the paradigm has been changed. Choose one or two limiting ideas that are part of your paradigm and replace them with ideas that represent freedom to you. Consciously keep those new thoughts in your head, and act as if those thoughts are already imbedded in the foundation of your life. Before you know it – you life will begin to change – and dramatically!

The vision represents the total journey that you are taking. Goals are the progressive stepping-stones that help you realize your vision, keeping it crystal clear. You could say the vision represents what you are doing with your life, the goal represents the various aspects of how you’re doing it and your purpose explains why.

Becoming aware of your purpose helps you connect with the higher side of your life, and will uncap a fountain of inspiration. With a definite purpose, loneliness and separation fade away and disappear. You become a necessary part of something much larger. To get in touch with your purpose in life, it is suggested that you find a peaceful environment—a place where the spiritual essence of you will shine. Because many people find it difficult to decide on their life’s purpose, I will share something of a personal nature that you may find helpful.

“Where there is no vision, the people shall perish.” The Bible—Proverbs

Solomon’s wisdom is as accurate today as it was centuries ago. Your vision that you are mentally entertaining must always be clear, larger and more magnificent than the conditions or circumstances which you presently find yourself surrounded by in your material world. It is the vision in your mind … harmonizing with your purpose which creates the inspiration that causes you to stretch. The vision you hold also determines the frequency of your thoughts. The larger and clearer the vision, the bigger, better and more effective the ideas will be that flow into your consciousness.

You must have a goal that will excite and scare you at the same time. Your goal must be something you WANT … and you must really want it. The goal will excite you because it is something you really want … it will scare you because it is not in harmony with your old conditioning (paradigm). Your goal comes from a totally different dimension of thought. When the goal and the old conditioning come together it creates the emotion of fear. This is precisely what keeps people stuck in their tracks, producing the same results year after year. You must face the thing you fear. Proceeding in the face of fear and remaining emotionally involved with the higher ideal is the process that alters old conditioning.

“You will either step forward into growth or back into safety.” Abraham Maslow

“Before you can do something, you first must be something.” Goethe

If you want to have more, you must do more and if you’re going to do more, you have to be more. This is how people improve the quality of their lives. You are stepping out of the box, wandering into an area you have never been before. Understanding enables you to keep on going in the face of fear. You will ultimately realize that when you face the thing you fear, fear leaves you. You don’t have to know how to reach your goal, that is not important. It is, however, absolutely essential that you are able to visualize yourself already in possession of the goal. Your goal must fit into your vision, it will be a stepping stone in the materialization of your entire vision.

Lastly, but certainly not least, your goal must be in complete harmony with your purpose.

             When thinking about our Isshin-ryu training, it is recommended that each person has a notebook in which to write what is done in each session, explanations of new parts of kata as well as sparring and self-defense techniques. Create a section to keep a record of events attended and promotions received. Create a section for the purpose of your training (one’s purpose may change the longer one continues) and for goals to be created and recreated when the previous one is reached. Create a section to write questions that come from personal training, otherwise the questions are generally forgotten by the next time in the dojo.