MAY 3 – – MASTER ERNIE TEMPLE, 10th Degree Black Belt, will be conducting seminars at our dojo. The seminars for children and adults are supported by the American Isshinryu group. Each seminar will be based upon enhancing movement skills that will help students with self defense and sparring abilities. Master Temple is one of the most knowledgeable and respected people in the martial arts and a friend. This event should not be missed. Plan to attend.

The cost for AI members is $20.00 and for non members is $45.00, which includes a life-time membership ($35). 

The children’s seminar will be from 1 PM to 2 PM. The adult seminar will be from 2:15 to 3:30 PM.

Other than reduced costs for area seminars, students have the opportunity to attend events hosted by member dojos at a reduced rate. Quarterly newsletters are also distributed to members. The cost of the membership may be recovered in a short time.


            As many of you know,  Master Shimabuku has asked us to host the 2015 I.W.K.A. World Karate Championships.  I have put in countless hours since the middle of March to find a venue, negotiate prices  and begin the preparation stages.  Renshi Hughes, adult students and I have started to brainstorm for ways to raise the funds needed to host an event of this nature.  The two world events we have hosted have been two of the most successful the Association has had.  We will start having practice sessions for those who wish to participate.  Like our tournaments in April, age and rank categories are established so each competitor may have a chance to excel.  There are THOUSANDS of people attending the event as spectators, vendors and competitors.  Within  a 30 minute drive from our dojo there are at least 25 Isshin-ryu Karate Schools all of which will be at the event and seeing the sponsorship booklet.  If you know someone who has a business that may benefit from helping to sponsor the event, see me for sponsorship information.

          One fund raiser that we are doing is creating a cookbook.  If you have a recipe that you would like to share  give it to me.  At present there are sections for appetizers, main dishes, deserts, pastries, soups and more.

          Watch and Listen for updates, meeting times and practice schedules.



I have been thinking about character development and the development of a positive self image lately.  As parents, responsible adults and members of the greatest society in the world, we must be accountable for our actions and at times work to influence the actions of others.  We must work to be the candle’s light and not just the reflection of the light. 

            We should stop and think about the VALUES necessary do develop CHARACTER and a positive self image.  We must understand that the hope for the future is found in the power of the present and through proper, positive, development of our children.   A person’s attitude can change when the input changes because – Where you are and what you are is because of what has gone into your mind.  Do not let people think for you.  Stand on your own two feet. 

            We work to develop the intrinsic value system in the karate students at this dojo.  We work long and hard to earn each and every rank  which is awarded  at the time when the student knows and understands the material, at his or her level.  

            We must work to make our training, family development and personal insights meaningful.  Something cannot be made important to someone else, SO we must make what we do important and meaningful to ourselves.

April 29th’s tournament was a success in many ways.  We had a great number of place winners and the tournament was well attended, 207 competitors.  All events ran smoothly and there were no incidents – – – most everyone went home happy.  If you did not get a participation certificate, see Mrs. Hughes or myself.  Thanks for your help, contributions to the success of the day and friendship.

Also, my sincere thanks to the black belts for their continuing support and friendship through the things we have done to help the community and the dojo are appreciated. The cake, card and promotion present were unexpected and greatly appreciated.


How to Transform Your Thinking and Your Life – by Jim Rohn

The key to make life really unique and worthwhile is to share. It has a certain unique magic of its own. This is what I learned in sharing ideas:

If you share an idea with 10 different people, they get to hear it once and you get to hear it 10 times. Share ideas—share with your family, share with the people around you, share with other employees, share with your colleagues.

When one person shares with another, two things could happen. If you share with someone else, they could be transformed—you may have dropped in at the right time. This may be their moment. They’ve got three numbers dialed into the lock already, and if you say it well and say it right, you can be the fourth number that they can dial into the lock of their personal experience. The door will come open, and there will be opportunity they never saw before. The person who hears could be transformed.

But here’s what else is exciting. The person who speaks could also be transformed.

Guess what we’re all looking for… transformation for our new life—the new life tomorrow, the new life this month, the new life next year, the new life this year.

One day, the caterpillar says, “I think I was made for more than crawling on the ground.” So the caterpillar climbs the tree, attaches himself to a leaf and spins the cocoon. Who knows what disciplined effort it takes to spin a cocoon? But something inside the caterpillar says, “I was designed for something more than being just a caterpillar.”

And then when the cocoon is ready and it opens up, out comes a butterfly that flies away, maybe singing, “I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch the sky! I used to be a caterpillar on the ground, now I can fly.”

I’m asking you to go through such a metamorphosis. I’m asking you often to go through a period where you say, “New skills, new things are waiting for me,” and part of this will come if you’ll translate for other people what you feel in your heart and in your soul. As awkward as your language might be at first, don’t hesitate to do it.

Sharing makes room for more. Key question: If this glass is full of water, can it hold any more? And the answer is yes. Yes, if you pour some out. So jot that down. If you want more, you’ve got to pour out what you’ve got, and then you have the opportunity to receive more.

Now, unlike the glass that remains the same size when you pour some out, it’s not so in conscious human beings. Your capacity will increase the more you share. You’ll get bigger and bigger and bigger.

Why the self-interest wish to be bigger? Here’s why… to hold more of the next experience. Some people can’t hold much happiness because they’re too small. Their thinking is too small, their activity is too small, they’re too small in their ability to share—they’re just too small. They can’t hold much.

But the bigger you get, the more you will receive. When happiness is poured out, you’ll get more. When joy is poured out on the nation, you’ll get more. When bounty is poured out from the economy, you will get more.

Now some people are not only small, but they have their glass turned upside down. It’s hard to get anything in. But here’s what you’ve done in reading this: You’ve come with an open mind, an open consciousness—you’re ready to receive.


APRIL 27 – – OUR 29th BENEFIT TOURNAMET AT HACKETTSTOWN HIGH SCHOOL – – register early and save $$$$$

MAY 3 – – MASTER ERNIE TEMPLE, 10th Degree Black Belt, will be conducting seminars at our dojo.  The seminars for children and adults are supported by the American Isshinryu group.  Each seminar will be based upon enhancing movement skills that will help students with self defense and sparring abilities.

The cost for AI members is $20.00 and for non members is $45.00, which includes a life-time membership ($35).

The children’s seminar will be from 1 PM to 2 PM.

The adult seminar will be from 2:15 to 3:30 PM.

Other than reduced costs for area seminars, students have the opportunity to attend events hosted by member dojos at a reduced rate.  Quarterly newsletters are also distributed to members.  The cost of the membership may be recovered in a short time.

CONGRATULATION to the following students who earned recent promotions:  Emily Huryk, Kimberly Curcio –Junior Yellow BeltLuke Huryk, Izzy Donica and Aryan Motyala – Junior Orange Belt  Alexis D’Ambly, Junior Green Belt

A Short History of the Ranking Systems Used in Karate Today   

Portions of an article by Shihan Juan Buruchaga

Originally, there was no ranking system or uniform used in the art of karate in Okinawa. If in fact rank was established, it was most likely given through the presentation of scrolls.  It was a customary act in the Japanese koryu ju-jutsu schools for these scrolls to be given and each would be inscribed with the “secrets” of the master instructor/ and the style. Some karate styles may very well have adopted this method of designating the ranking member or members of a dojo.

When Gichin Funakoshi traveled to Japan to demonstrate his art of karate in 1917, it was inevitable that he would  make contact with  the founder of Judo, Jigoro Kano. In 1922, when Funakoshi returned to Japan, he would soon realize just how much he and Kano had in common and the two quickly became close friends. Both Funakoshi and Kano were school teachers, both studied the martial arts and both were interested in promoting their arts to the Japanese public. Being educators, there is no doubt that both of these men understood the importance of systematic training as well as the importance of using a reward system in order to produce the greatest results in their students. On April 12, 1924, Funakoshi would adopt Kano’s Yudansha ranking system when he awarded the first sho-dan ranks to Tokuda, Otsuka, Akiba, Shimizu, Hirose, Gima, and Kasuya . The adoption of the kyu/dan system and the adoption of a standard karate-gi (uniform) which  was modified and based on the judogi were 2 of the 6 conditions which the Dai-Nippon Butokukai (Governing Martial Arts Authority) required before recognizing karate as a “Legitimate” martial art.

Many styles of karate, especially Japanese styles will make use of horizontal stripes on one end of the black belt to designate the level of the Yudansha grade holder. These stripes are normally 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide and will totally encircle the belt.

Yon-dan & Go-dan:

Some systems will identify 4th & 5th Degree Black Belt grade holders by the wearing of a Black Belt with wide red sections approximately 5 to 6 inches apart on the belt. The red/black stripes or blocks will run the entire length of the belt from tip to tip as black, red, black, red, etc,.

Yon-dan, Go-dan and Roku-dan:

Some systems will identify 4th, 5th or 6th Degree Black Belt grade holders by the wearing of a belt that is red and black. The color stripes on these belts will run the entire “vertical” length of the belt from tip to tip and in this case either the red or black may be worn facing up to designate the rank of 4th,5th or 6th dan and then when the student advances to the next level in rank the belt is worn with the opposite side facing up. This belt will may also be solid black when totally flipped over which allows the student of change their colored belt to solid black simply by turning the belt over.

Some systems will identify 6th, 7th & 8th Degree Black Belt by the wearing of a Red & White Belt with each striped section approximately 4 to 8  inches in length.  These Red/White stripes or blocks  will run the entire length of the belt from tip to tip as white, red, white, red, etc,.  Some organizations will make use of a striped belt as described in the paragraph above except that the red sectioned area is instead, black. These black/white, black/white sections will run the entire length of the belt from tip to tip. When this type of belt is used it generally designated and identifies the wearer between the ranks of Go-dan (5th Degree Black Belt) to Hachi-dan (8th Degree Black Belts.) This belt is worn by some karate organizations, but more often by Jujutsu or Aikijujutsu systems.  Whether the white/red or white/black sectioned belts begin at the tip of the belt with red or black and move to white or begin with white and move to red or black is inconsequential.

1.    Mudansha: (Kyu-Grade) Term used to describe those students below the grade of Black Belt.

2.    Yudansha:  (Dan-Grade) Term used to describe those students who have acquired the rank of Black Belt.

1.     Sensei: – “Teacher or One who has gone before”: This title is by far the most often used title in karate and generally refers to someone of Yon-Dan level (4th Degree Black Belt.) Many senior instructors including Hanshi Masami Tsuruoka, will state that this is the most honorable title that a student can use when referring to the senior as their teacher. The title Sensei implies a close bond between the student and teacher’s relationship.

2.    Shihan: – “Master or Expert Teacher”:  It is important to understand that the meaning Master as used in the martial  arts is someone who has mastered the basic and advanced understandings {Principles} of a particular style or system, thus the title Shihan means someone who has mastered the basic and advanced techniques as well as the principles, concepts, and theory of their respective style of karate. The title Shihan does not mean that this person has stopped learning because they know all of the answers. On the contrary, they are considered to be the most serious and dedicated students in any style of martial arts. The title Shihan is generally considered to be an organizational title alone and has little meaning (May not be recognized) outside of the holder’s style or organization.

3.    Doshi: – “Leading Teacher”: Title sometimes used before Renshi

4.    Renshi: = “Senior Expert Teacher”: This is the first of the three generally (Most Often) used teacher titles. Although this title is independent of rank, it is seldom given to anyone below the rank of Go-Dan.

5.    Tasshi or Tesshi: – “Apprentice Master Teacher”: This title was originally the title used instead of Kyoshi. It is now sometimes used between the levels of Renshi and Kyoshi by the Dai-Nippon-Butoku-Kai.

6.    Kyoshi: – “Master Teacher, Teacher of Teachers”: This is the second of the three generally (Most Often) used teacher titles. Although this title is independent of the ranking system, it is seldom given to anyone below the rank of Roku-dan and in most cases Shichi-dan).

7.    Hanshi: – “Senior Master Teacher”: This is the third and highest of the three generally (Most Often) used teacher titles. Although this title is independent of the ranking system, it is seldom given to anyone below the rank of Hachi-Dan (8th Degree Black Belt )

Ren =  Trainer of the Way – Kyo = Teacher of the Way  – Han = Model of the Way

Uchi Deshi: – A personal student who lives and trains with the Master of a martial art.

Kohai: – A title used to refer to one who is lower in rank than oneself. The opposite of Sempai

Sempai: – A title used to refer to one who is higher in rank than oneself. The opposite of Kohai.

Kancho: – A title sometimes given to the head of a dojo or organization. This title is independent of any rank, but in most cases this person will be a very senior student of the arts. In most cases the person holding this title will be the highest ranking instructor of a specific Ryu-Ha or Kai-Ha.

Soke: – Founder of a system or style. This title may also be used by the successor of the founder of a style or system. This person will be a Ju-Dan (10th Degree Black Belt) in most all cases.

Shoshu:  –  The title used to designate a Master of a particular art.

Saiko Shihan or Shihan-Dai:  This title refers to the person who has been designated as the Senior or Head Shihan. Shihan-Dai is sometimes issued prior to the recipient receiving the full Shihan title and therefore in this situation it would be considered a lesser or lower title than the title of Shihan itself.

O-Sensei or Dai Sensei:  This title means Great or Greatest Teacher, Highest Respected Teacher. This title is spoken by students in honorable reference to the traditional martial arts founder.


MARCH 2014

 Isshin Ryu Kata Information

 Kata are sequentially designed, pre-determined defense, attack, and counterattack forms used against multiple opponents.  In addition to giving students practice in “street” techniques, kata develops speed, breath control, balance, calm mind, rhythm, motion, and coordination.  Until this century, kata was the only and ideal method of karate training.   Students learn kata in the following order:

I.                     Seisan
From Shorin Ryu.  It derives its name from Master Seshan.  Emphasizes a straightforward stance, seiken tzuki blocking, the mae geri, and rapid techniques.

II.                   Seiuchin
From Goju Ryu.  Emphasizes a strong, low stance in which the heels are shoulder-width apart and the feet are pointed out on a 45-degree angle.  It also stresses reinforced blocks and punches, breath control, and powerful techniques.

III.                  Naihanchin
From Shorin Ryu.  It is known for its “Toe-inward” stance (uchi hachiji  dachi).  Designed for fighting with one’s back against a wall or on a ledge.   Most Movements are performed in a lateral direction.

IV.                Wansu
From Shorin Ryu.  It is referred to as the “dumping form” because of the throw it contains.  The technical term for this throw is kata garuma.

V.                  Chinto
From Shorin Ryu.  This kata emphasizes pivots and fighting on angles.   Chinto is one of the most difficult kata to perform while maintaining good balance.

VI.                Kusanku
From Shorin Ryu.  It derives its name from Master Kushanku.  Designed for fighting under conditions with limited-light, and teaches evasive techniques.

VII.               Sunsu
This is the kata that Master Shimabuku personally developed, and bears his nickname.  It is the longest and most difficult kata to perform.

VIII.         Sanchin
From Goju Ryu.  It emphasizes strong technique and breath control.  The names means “three battles”, and refers to the control of mind, body, and breath during the performance of the kata.

      In karate, instructors speak of manners, of proper behavior or, etiquette.  Obviously, good manners are displayed, especially in the dojo.  Is it because we are told to do so or because it is a part of the rules?  Is there something within us that wants order, which is an intrinsic need for proper behavior?  We possess an internal sense that needs proper behavior, and thus there should be no need to impose it from the outside.

      In our study karate we find that, if we are to progress along the right path.  We must combine the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspects our lives.  It takes the unity of the love of family if we are to understand the value of love and if we are to be able to love others and ourselves. We should continually strive to improve mentally through education and meditation so we will be able to adapt to the rigors of daily life, at home, on the job and in our changing society. The pursuit of a physically fit body has been the desire of “man” since the beginning or recorded time. It was found that the more fit a person was,  the better able he or she was to think, act and adjust to the demands of the world.  Lastly,  to cope in today’s world there is  the need for spiritual guidance.  Unexplainable things happen to us or within our lives.  The larger scheme of life often has no explanation but needs to be accepted as the will of a higher being.  The growth in life and karate are ultimately the same.  The end of the path or way, the “do” in karate-do is never reached, as we never reach our ultimate potential in life if we strive to improve ourselves. 

      A step-by-step process of development is used in karate, if one is to attain skill in the physical aspects, the movement of power expressed in the Karate forms.  The foundation called basics is simple repetitious practice of blocks, punches, kicks or strikes.  This foundation is built upon by the combination of two or more basic movements.  These combinations are further elaborated upon when they become formalized in Kata. Too often, as a student progresses in the perfection of technique, he or she becomes bored with the basics and wants to move past form to study advanced kata, sparring or weapons, forgetting the essence of practice.  Nevertheless, if we are truly to study the ART then we must adopt the attitude of always being a beginner, of being able to do the basics anew each time.  It is difficult, not because it takes effort but rather because it does not.  What is difficult is the urge to do more, to accomplish more just for the sake of accomplishment.  We need to understand the boredom, OUR restlessness, found in the need to BE COMPLETE.

      Do not become a victim of yourself. Forget the thief waiting in the alley, what about the thief in your mind?   Walk away from the 97% crowd. Do not use their excuses. Take charge of your own life.  It is not what happens that determines the major part of your future. What happens, happens to us all. It is what you do about what happens that counts.  This one you must take like it comes.  Take personal responsibility for yourself. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. You do not have control of many things in life, but you do have charge of whether you read, develop higher-level skills, and ACCEPT NEW CHALLENGES.

      Study your present situation thoroughly.  Go over in your imagination the various courses of action possible to you.  Visualize the consequences that can follow from each course.  Pick out the course of action, which give you the most promise and begin.

      Many successful people use this skill of mental visualization.  They mentally run through important events before they happen.  Picture yourself in your mind’s eye as having already achieved your goal.  See yourself doing the things you will be doing when you have reached your goal.  Put your subconscious to work toward making your mental pictures come true.  Go over your day in your imagination before you begin it.  You can begin acting successfully at any moment.

      See the things you want as already yours.  Think of them as already in your possession.  You can live your dreams when you believe in yourself.

DOUG KING’S TOURNAMENT – Sunday, March 16, 2014 – Newton High School – see Mr. Hughes for more information.

 From February 20 – 22 I was in Hamburg, NY at the Defensive Arts Dojo with Sensei Downs and his students.  Numerous training sessions were conducted that were well received and friendships were renewed and created.  Thanks to Sensei Downs and his students for an enjoyable time.


February 2014


 The study of karate is a journey in martial art’s training and within one’s being.  The greatest success is experienced not over an opponent, but internally as we begin to understand ourselves.  Karate builds one’s 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.

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

 In solitary practice, karatekas must learn to concentrate on their own movements, letting everything else go. This is a powerful form of meditation. In fighting competitions, karatekas need to react quickly to any action by their opponent. This quickly teaches the karateka to be open and attentive to whatever he or she may encounter.  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 is been lost in dojos where the emphasis is placed on being fast without much emphasis on proper technique. 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 and sparring drill is performed. Timing is also heightened so the moves in kata may be used in kumite and self-defence applications.  Next breathing correctly, inhaling while in transition and exhaling while blocking or attacking, is necessary for power to be developed.  Then 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.  Beyond this one must strive over time to perfect the form, combining form, speed and power.  In time the student should understand the possible meanings for each move (bunkai) and combination of moves. 

During individual or group training there is difference between inspired action and activity. Activity comes from the brain-mind and is rooted in disbelief and lack of focus – we are taking action to “make” a desire thing happen. Inspired action is allowing the law (where anything one wants and desires will become reality) to work through you and to move you.   Activity feels hard. Inspired action feels wonderful. (Excerpt from “The Secret”)     In the dojo it is evident when a student is training with activity or inspired action.  Whether it is a junior or senior student, everyone has good and not so good days.  Each of us has questioned our involvement in an exercise program or training in the dojo.  These times are often when progress or improvement is going to be made.  These challenging times occur because of the repetitive nature involved in exercise programs and in traditional karate programs.  Progress, advancement or growth may not happen when we want it.  Students, regardless of age, need outside help at times from the sensei to refocus our commitment when personal desires or doubts interfere with the nature of self-development.  Life is not always easy and full of fun.  Most people engage in the belief that compensation should be immediately following any effort.  Superior students believe every effort yields some form of accomplishment at some point. When a goal is set, they are expecting to work toward achieving success.  This willingness to delay reward makes them valuable.  This lesson is one that is learned through the study of the martial arts.  Instant gratification generally is not a part of the training.  Achieving a promotion is something worked for, something that is earned in time.  Practitioners realize their possibilities and potentials are limitless.  If they pay the price, they can accomplish any goal or dream.  There is a razor’s edge between the average competitor and the champion.  The question is not one of possibility of success, but of demonstrating the will to succeed.  Most people will not rise to the challenge. If they do, it is an emotional and mental movement from one’s comfort zone.  Those who stay the course have a superior belief in the SELF and a solid mental foundation.  For these outstanding individuals, once decision is made that is it and success will follow. 

Look for the successes that create a smile or a sense of inner happiness.  Work toward improving skills and abilities knowing that these elements will help us succeed at whatever we put our minds to.  Be happy with what is done and strive to take steps toward improvement and inspired action will become natural.  Superior individuals have a never-ending desire to learn more. Superior students do not limit their achievements to their own scope of knowledge and experience. They seek those who have the advanced abilities to educate and challenge to them to advance to higher levels. They delay their gratification as long as necessary working diligently in order to appreciate their achievements and dreams.  Each of us has the ability to establish goals and to live those dreams. What makes this powerful is that we have also been given the ability to pursue those dreams with the cognitive ability to actually create a plan and strategies (setting goals) to achieve those dreams. Be daring and desire to never be satisfied with a static existence.  The training received through karate with the direction and motivation of each sensei, we have the abilities to move forward in a purposeful and meaningful way.

Congratulations to Jesse Micari who earned the rank of Senior Brown Belt #3.

Mark your calendars to attend the Golden Rule Karate Tournament at Warren Hills High School on Sunday, February 9th.  Doors open at 9 a.m. and the event begins at 11 a.m.  Arrive early to get a closer parking spot.

Black belts please check the web site and check your bio under the instructor heading.  If it needs to be updated please meet with Kyoshi. 

Parents and students – check the dojo web site for information about the dojo, etc. – –   

 Friday, January 24th, Shihan Downs and Mr. Glenn Kulesza traveled from Hamburg, NY (near Buffalo) to train with our black belts and socialize.  Mr. Downs was promoted to 6th Dan during our summer camp in 2008.  It is our desire to train together to continue to produce quality traditional Isshin-ryu Karate as it was originally taught and as Hanshi Duessel shares with us.  This is accomplished during these visits and also when I travel to his dojo.  Feel free to look at his dojo web page from t he link on our dojo web site, as well as the MIKA site, which is another karate school in Maine whose students I am also training.



Quality and Depth in Isshin-ryu Karate Do.

     Each martial art is made unique by its methods of teaching.  Many styles use similar structures to help students grow into the style.  These areas are: basics – (kihon), stylized hand and weapons forms – (kata), self-defense and sparring – (kumite).  Initially, these segments are learned as independent and separate parts of the puzzle, but in time many of the parts are joined for a deeper understanding.  As the student grows into the art, each of these components of karate also helps to develop the student’s – body, mind and spirit.


1) Grounding: feeling the support of the ground through the feet.  A) The feet are firmly and directly repositioned in each stance after each movement.  B) The feet plant and root themselves into the ground (lifted toes or “loose” heels weaken this grounding).  C) The feet are in a dynamic relationship with ground and body. This means that the energy of intent – incorporating both mindfulness and intrinsic energy (chi) – reaches from the feet into the ground and flows upwards into the whole body.    2) Centering: the understanding of the dan tien or belly in karate.  A) The weight of the body positions itself appropriately in each stance.  B) All movements connect to and radiate outward from the dan tien. (Reliance upon upper body strength as the primary strength negates the connection to the dan tien.)  C) General emptiness in the dan tien is usually caused by a lack of intent being placed there or through the presence of tension or fear, both of which will cause the center to rise into the chest area or higher.  D) All movements are supported by the slight firming or compacting of the dan tien in coordination with the movement to activate the flow of chi.   3) Flow: the ease of movement in all of its various stages and positions is the activation of appropriate body mechanics in support of each individual movement.  A) Tension creates rigid or uneven movement.  B) The transition from movement to movement or stance to stance needs to occur with fluidity.  C) The use of individual (not meaning personal) “flavors” creates a rich vocabulary of movement as opposed to sameness of movement. Sameness arises from the tendency to want to make all movements feel strong in the same way. If the function of each movement is understood and felt, its unique “flavor” will show.    4) Power: the natural heaviness in all movement as well the impact of each strike as the body supports the completion of each extension.  A) The whole body responds and supports the movement as it begins, transits and finishes.  B) There is an integration of body mechanics and intent.  C) Movements of the limbs do not occur in isolation from the rest of the body.  D) Body habits (poor posture etc.) are corrected.  E) The body supports but does not compensate (i.e., by leaning in an opposite direction) for each movement.  F) There is an alignment of structure (bone, ligament, tendon and muscle) to support each movement and impact.   5) Precision: all movements have a clear beginning, middle and end point.  A) All movements demonstrate their potential with detail and refinement.  B) There is a sharp, vivid quality to each movement.  C) Gaps in the mindfulness of a movement (i.e., lifting the shoulder with a punch) are seen and eliminated.   6) Speed: the velocity of a movement to support power and flow and to create impact.  A) Speed issues forth in a manner that is appropriate to the effectiveness of a movement.  B) Unequal speed in the extension and retraction of a movement is avoided.  C) Too much speed in which a movement’s fullness is sacrificed is avoided.  D) Too little speed in which an opponent’s body is not shocked (an important aspect of contact which allows for deep penetration) is avoided.  E) The creation of an appropriate pause in the cycle of extension/retraction allows the transference of power and intent.


1) Intent: the clear commitment to a movement involving both the body and the chi. It is a summoning of all of the resources in an appropriate way.  A) Each movement and stance projects and radiates the resources of commitment. B) The eyes project an intense clarity of commitment. C) There is no self-resistance (i.e., dynamic tension) or ambivalence present in movement.   2) Mindfulness: spaciousness and clarity of being.  A) All aspects of the body are clearly felt.  B) The body and intent is felt in an integrated way at the same time as an individual movement is also felt.  C) The function of each movement is understood and informs each movement.  D) The potential for change is always present in the moment.  E) One is not distracted by thought or emotion.  F) The mind is not “set” but flows freely from thing to thing, moment to moment.    3) Self: the body/mind experience of “me-ness.”  A) One is not conflicted by self-judgment.  B) Feelings of self are relaxed into mindfulness.  C) One does not indulge in the pride of self-inflation and glorification.  D) The bow is practiced with gratitude for the Way of Karate rather than as a formality. E) Fear and anger are no longer binding as both solo and partner work take place. They no longer manifest in the clear spaciousness of being.   THE DEMONSTRATION OF THE “TRUE BEGINNER’S MIND.”   


1)      Martial spirit is the evidence of martial force manifesting upon the integration of mind and body. There is not simply the demonstration of personal physical prowess but the clear flow of one or all of the collective forces of the martial art.  2) There are many practitioners who change or rearrange the forms to suit their own personal needs, desires or dislikes, not recognizing that to do so effectively deprives them of the inherent understanding that can spontaneously come alive in the practice of these physical movements.  Kata have been practiced by for centuries, and as the student aligns and attunes to them in right relationship, then the understanding of karate can fill each one as the movement is occurring. From this depth of foundation, each person can evolve via karate, which is the very means by which karate evolves.  Isshin-ryu is a system that balances the use of each part of the body.  It is effective for close range and distant self-defense situations.  Its use of internal and external strength makes it one system that may be practiced for one’s entire life and after years of study there will always be something to be learned or understood at a deeper level.


Do Little Things In A Big Way –  Bob Proctor, Speaker & Author

 John Kanary is a good friend and business associate.  He and I have worked together for years and have often shared the stage when conducting seminars in various parts of the world.  A few weeks ago, I was reading something he had written and decided I would share it with you.  John was writing about talented people who fail and others who appear quite ordinary are extremely successful.  Quite often very talented people fail because they believe they are too big to do the little things, while the most successful amongst us are quite willing to do the little things.  They truly are big people.  John went on to explain how a successful balanced life is comprised of a lot of successful days put together, and each day is made of a lot of successful activities, each activity completed in an extraordinary way.  Our lives are made of many small parts and we should capitalize on small victories, recognizing that extraordinary achievements come from people who are often considered to be very ordinary.  Realize that nobody is ordinary; every person is extraordinary.  Here are a few simple ruled that John suggests and any person can follow:

            1.  Stop thinking of yourself as ordinary

            2.  Never refer to yourself as an average person because there are no average people.  Our problem stems from acting as though we are average.

            3.  Consider every person a very important person.  Dispense with the status quo in your personal and business life.

            4.  Develop the attitude that there are no small parts in the movie of life; there are only small actors.

            5.  Do the smallest of jobs in the best way you possibly can.

            6.  Organize your small victory list every day and make them all-important activities.  Complete each one enthusiastically.  Everyone expects us to have a sense of urgency for life’s big things.  Life measures us by how we engage ourselves in the little things.



As we enter 2014 realize that one of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the desire to have dreams of a better life. Each of us has the ability to establish goals to live those dreams. We can look deep within our hearts and dream of a better situation for our families and ourselves. We may dream of better financial lives and better emotional or physical lives.  What makes this more powerful is that we have also been given the ability to pursue those dreams with the cognitive ability to actually create a plan and strategies (setting goals) to achieve those dreams. Be daring and desire to never be satisfied with a static existence.






Congratulations to Julian and Aiden Hester who earned their Junior Yellow Belts and Anabeth Fernandez who earned her Junior Orange Belt.

The Rose – by Jim Rohn

Lifestyle is style over amount. And style is an art—the art of living. You can’t buy style with money. You can’t buy good taste with money. You can only buy more with money. Lifestyle is culture—the appreciation of good music, dance, art, sculpture, literature, plays and the art of living well. It’s a taste for the fine, the unique, the beautiful.

Lifestyle also means rewarding excellence wherever you find it by not taking the small things of life for granted. I wanted to illustrate this with a personal anecdote:

Many years ago my lady friend and I were on a trip to Carmel, California, for some shopping and exploring. On the way we stopped at a service station. As soon as we parked our car in front of the pumps, a young man, about eighteen or nineteen, came bouncing out to the car and with a big smile said, “Can I help you?”

“Yes,” I answered, “A full tank of gas, please.” I wasn’t prepared for what followed. In this day and age of self-service and deteriorating customer treatment, this young man checked every tire, washed every window—even the sunroof—singing and whistling the whole time. We couldn’t believe both the quality of service and his upbeat attitude about his work.

When he brought the bill, I said to the young man, “Hey, you really have taken good care of us. I appreciate it.”

He replied, “I really enjoy working. It’s fun for me and I get to meet nice people like you.” This kid was really something!

I said, “We’re on our way to Carmel and we want to get some milkshakes. Can you tell us where we can find the nearest Baskin-Robbins?”

“Baskin-Robbins is just a few blocks away,” he said as he gave us exact directions. Then he added, “Don’t park out front—park around to the side so your car won’t get sideswiped.” What a kid!

As we got to the ice cream store we ordered milkshakes, except that instead of two, we ordered three. Then we drove back to the station. Our young friend dashed out to greet us. “Hey, I see you got your milkshakes.”

“Yes, and this one is for you!”

His mouth fell open. “For me?”

“Sure. With all the fantastic service you gave us, I couldn’t leave you out of the milkshake deal.”

“Wow!” was his astonished reply.

As we drove off I could see him in my rear-view mirror just standing there, grinning from ear to ear.

Now, what did this little act of generosity cost me? Only about two dollars—you see, it’s not the money, it’s the style.

Well, I must have been feeling especially creative that day, so upon our arrival in Carmel I drove directly to a flower shop. As we walked inside I said to the florist, “I need a long-stemmed rose for my lady to carry while we go shopping in Carmel.”

The florist, a rather unromantic type, replied, “We sell them by the dozen.”

“I don’t need a dozen,” I said, “just one.”

“Well,” he replied haughtily, “it will cost you two dollars.”

“Wonderful,” I exclaimed. “There’s nothing worse than a cheap rose.”

Selecting the rose with some deliberation, I handed it to my friend. She was so impressed! And the cost? Two dollars. Just two dollars. A bit later she looked up and said, “Jim, I must be the only woman in Carmel today carrying a rose.” And I believe she probably was.

Can you imagine the opportunity to create magic with those around you, and all for the cost of a few dollars, some imagination and care? Remember, it is not the amount that matters but the thought and care that often has the greatest impact upon those you love.


Though Isshin-ryu is a style of karate, the way each person approaches the study and teaching of Isshin-ryu Karate demonstrates style.  Think about It; do you approach each class striving to get the most from the opportunity to train and TO PERFECT even the smallest element you have been taught?  Do you execute each block, punch and kick with the intensity and precision needed if that technique is what is needed to protect yourself or someone else?  No one knows when it may be necessary to use the skills we hope we never will be called upon to use.

Style is also demonstrated in the way we treat and interact with other people.  It does not take any more effort to be pleasant and positive in nature when talking to and responding to other people.  We are taught from an early age to treat other people in the manner we wish to be treated.  However, there are those who do not do so and bully others.  It is style and personal choice to be or not be this type of person.  It is style to demonstrate the respect that we learn at home and at the dojo at every opportunity.

The most important part of developing an unbeatable style (personality) is YOU.  Our superior training taught by strong, dedicated & capable, black belts helps.  Each person must develop and demonstrate excitement and dedication to improve every day.  There is no magic.  Reading our news letter more than once may help us to understand key concepts or ideas.  If there is magic . . . it is found within YOU and it comes from inside each individual.  Believe in yourself.  Dare to try to improve.  Accept the responsibility to think for yourself.

The real magic of new disciplines is that they will cause us to amend our thinking. If we were to start today to read more often, keep a journal, attend the classes consistently, listen more and observe more, then today would be the first day of a new life leading to a better future. Start today to try harder, and in every way make a conscious and consistent effort to change subtle and carekess errors into constructive and rewarding disciplines. In doing so we would never again settle for a life of existence—but one of style and success.


“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn” ―  Orson Welles

“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ― Thomas Jefferson



The Benefit Children’s Kata Tournament held at Long Valley Middle School was a tremendous success.  Parents and friends of our dojo, along with members and friends of the Washington Twp PBA #301 and the Hackettstown PBA #369 worked cooperatively to support the venture.   The day started with Carolyn Kulick singing the National Anthem, followed by brief remarks by Mr. Wheeler and myself.  After this attendees exited the rear of the gymnasium to watch the K-9 demonstration.  The tournament followed with good quality competition and the awarding of medals for the place winners.  Children had the opportunity to visit the face painting area and also paint a pumpkin.   The two police departments and the S.W.A.T. team had vehicles and equipment to be viewed by all the people who attended the event. The PBA’s also had food available for people attending the event.  As is evident this event was much more than just a kata event.  Many groups and individuals gave freely of their time to help raise funds for the cause.  Once the kata competition was completed, Master Fitzgerald conducted a sparring and self-defense seminar for interested adults explaining how kata moves may be used for actual fighting situations. 


Doing the Remarkable – by Jim Rohn

 When it comes to meeting and conquering the negativity in your life, here is a key question: What can you do, starting today, that will make a difference? What can you do during economic chaos? What can you do when everything has gone wrong? What can you do when you’ve run out of money, when you don’t feel well and it’s all gone sour? What can you do?

Let me give you the broad answer first. You can do the most remarkable things, no matter what happens. People can do incredible things, unbelievable things, despite the most impossible or disastrous circumstances.

Here is why humans can do remarkable things: because they are remarkable. Humans are different than any other creation. When a dog starts with weeds, he winds up with weeds. And the reason is because he’s a dog. But that’s not true with human beings. Humans can turn weeds into gardens. 

Humans can turn nothing into something, pennies into fortune, and disaster into success. And the reason they can do such remarkable things is because they are remarkable. Try reaching down inside of yourself; you’ll come up with some more of those remarkable human gifts. They’re there, waiting to be discovered and employed.  With those gifts, you can change anything for yourself that you wish to change. And I challenge you to do that because you can change.

If you don’t like how something is going for you, change it. If something isn’t enough, change it. If something doesn’t suit you; change it. If something doesn’t please you, change it. You don’t ever have to be the same after today. If you don’t like your present address, change it—you’re not a tree!  If there is one thing to get excited about, it’s your ability to make yourself do the necessary things, to get a desired result, to turn the negative into success. That’s true excitement.

            These ideas by Mr. Rohn tie in will with our martial arts training because each of us chooses to be in the dojo working to improve ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally.  It is evident that we all cannot win or place in martial art’s event.  Some people are more athletically gifted or some simply work harder than the average person.  Some people work harder on the foundation skills necessary to develop advanced skills when the time is right.  Isshin-ryu training helps to teach each person to take responsibility for his or her physical, mental and emotional growth.  The senseis are in the dojo to assist each student develop necessary abilities, but the proper mind set from the individual is necessary if the guidance is to be effective.  Challenge yourself daily to improve inside and outside the dojo.  Help others when the opportunity presents itself.  Be a leader by example.


A note after Sunday’s events in Dunellen from the head of American Isshinryu, Inc.

 I would like to thank all responsible for today’s successful children’s kata tournament and seminars.  It was truly a Day with the Masters of Isshinryu.  This day was designed to bring the best of the best together to learn from another and share technique.  I commend everyone who attended for your attention and respect to all presenters.   When we unite, we cannot be beat.  There is an old saying that I am sure that you have heard before, “seven times down, eight times back up”.  Today, you have shown that strength and resilience. 

Best Regards,

Ernie Temple

10th Degree Black Belt-Isshinryu Karate  

Congratulations to all the students who attended the events.  Participation is its own reward in events of this nature.  Jake Brader was awarded an autographed bo by Master Temple for having the best kata during the event. 




Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter.  Junior Yellow Belt: Izzy Donica, Luke Huryk, Aryan Motyala   Junior Orange Belt:  Elizabeth Galladay


     A martial artist knows his skills, weaknesses, values and priorities. He knows in advance what is worth fighting for and will never try and figure that out in the heat of a conflict. This knowledge must be gained through experience and participation. Knowing why you behave based on your values and thought is the basic step to self-knowledge.

Before you can be successful, you must identify what it is you want. Many people set goals to be financial successful but once they are there they realize that their family life is not a very good one. In goal setting, first identify your true values, and then do long range planning and work backwards to quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Know what you want, know what it is going to cost, and be willing to pay the price.

One thing that all humans want is to be happy. The ideal of happiness hasn’t changed that much in the last few thousand years, the key to happiness.

Being happy requires that you define your life in your own terms. Only you can do the things that will make you happy. Happiness is an inside job.

When happiness becomes a key element in your goal setting and your personal mission statement, life will become much easier. You will only feel happy when you are moving, step-by-step, toward the accomplishment of a clearly defined goal. In order to achieve goals, it is important to constantly evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses.  You can never be happy until you know that what you are doing is making a difference in the world.


The Two Choices We Face   by Jim Rohn

Each of us has two distinct choices to make about what we will do with our lives. The first choice we can make is to be less than we have the capacity to be. To earn less. To have less. To read less and think less. To try less and discipline ourselves less. These are the choices that lead to an empty life. These are the choices that, once made, lead to a life of constant apprehension instead of a life of wondrous anticipation.

     And the second choice? To do it all! To become all that we can possibly be. To read every book that we possibly can. To earn as much as we possibly can. To give and share as much as we possibly can. To strive and produce and accomplish as much as we possibly can. All of us have the choice.  To do or not to do. To be or not to be. To be all or to be less or to be nothing at all.

Like the tree, it would be a worthy challenge for us all to stretch upward and outward to the full measure of our capabilities. Why not do all that we can, every moment that we can, the best that we can, for as long as we can?

Our ultimate life objective should be to create as much as our talent and ability and desire will permit. To settle for doing less than we could do is to fail in this worthiest of undertakings.  Results are the best measurement of human progress. Not conversation. Not explanation. Not justification. Results! And if our results are less than our potential suggests that they should be, then we must strive to become more today than we were the day before. The greatest rewards are always reserved for those who bring great value to themselves and the world around them as a result of whom and what they have become.

Someone once said to me that success isn’t everything and I think I know what he or she really meant. I believe they really meant that money isn’t everything, and I certainly agree with that. But I do believe that success IS everything.


Each of us needs to succeed to survive. As we look at the seasons we should learn how to use them with the seed, the soil and the rain of opportunity to learn how to sustain our family and ourselves.

Once this is learned we must succeed to flourish in every part of life. A good question to ask mature people is: “If you could do better, should you?”  Almost everybody would answer the question in the affirmative. If you could improve your health, shouldn’t you do that? If you can learn more, shouldn’t you do that? If you could earn more and share more, shouldn’t you do that? If you can improve your relationships and spirituality, shouldn’t you do that? And that is what success is all about.

      It is not just   a destination that is set for everybody to try for. It is like Zig Ziglar   said, “improving in every area of your life to see if you can’t say with   satisfaction at the end of the day, week, month and year, ‘I have made   excellent progress this year, for myself, for my family, for my business, my   career and my health.’” I think that kind of success everybody recognizes   is legitimate and something we should all strive for.

Interesting   phrase in the Bible that says strive for perfection—not that we can   ever reach it. But it is in the striving, to be a little bit better today   than yesterday, in our speech, our language, our health, everything we can   possibility think of.

So yes, in my   opinion, Success Is Everything





I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start.

While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

‘Oh, that’s my trouble tree,’ he replied ‘I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again.’ ‘Funny thing is,’ he smiled,’ when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. We all need a Tree!







September 2013


Junior Green Belt #1 – Smyan Chinnam & Jarod Gajada   Junior Green Belt #2 – Mikey Donica

Junior Purple Belt #1 – Jake Brader   Senior Green Belt – Jesse Micari   Senior Brown Belt #3 – Ashley Banks, Carolyn Kulick & Tom Schroeder   Senior Brown Belt #1 – Jay Brader   Sho Dan – First Degree Black Belt – Kristyn Wheeler, Shirley Zavala, Scott Conroy, Robert Kulick & Trevor Silva   Roku Dan – Sixth Degree Black Belt – Adam Masur

 Our August training overnight and Mission I’mpossible Theme Event (August 2nd & 3rd) were a TREMENDOUS success. The importance may be easily seen because Shihan Downs from Hamburg, NY and Shihan Pushard from Manchester, ME arrived early and participated in each section and also conducted sessions of their own.

 Being a part of training sessions and additional events enhance a student’s enjoyment of our program and Isshin-ryu Karate.  Each event suggested is one that Renshi Hughes, the black belts and I have investigated and approve. 




Pre-register by September 7th and save $ $ $ $






Thoughts regarding the IWKA 2013 Championships:

Despite being unsatisfied with the hotel and having some issues with the judging, I had a great weekend. I was very glad to have been there to see Hanshi Duessel accept his promotion to Ju-Dan (10th Degree Black Belt), which was a very moving experience. During Hanshi and O’Sensei’s seminars, it was refreshing to witness both of them stressing fundamentals we know and have practiced for years. Having met the majority of the individuals in my division from prior tournaments, the competition was fun and friendly. I even was given the opportunity to demonstrate my backup kata, after tying with Lee Gugler! I was happy with my performances in all the events; the months of extra practice paid off. We even got a chance to socialize a bit with karate students from other schools that we haven’t seen since the 2011 World Tournament. I’m looking forward to finding out where the 2015 event will be held, as it was not announced at the banquet.

 Artist Creating a Sculpture – by Jim Rohn

Could creating your character be likened to an artist creating a sculpture? In my opinion, I believe that character is not something that just happens by itself, any more than a chisel can create a work of art without the hand of an artist guiding it. In both instances, a conscious decision for a specific outcome has been made. A conscious process is at work.

Character is the result of hundreds and hundreds of choices you make that gradually turn who you are, at any given moment, into who you want to be. If that decision-making process is not present, you will still be somebody. You will still be alive, but may have a personality rather than a character.

Character is not something you were born with and can’t change, like your fingerprints. In fact, because you weren’t born with it, it is something that you must take responsibility for creating. I don’t believe that adversity by itself builds character and I certainly don’t think that success erodes it.

Character is built by how you respond to what happens in your life. Whether it’s winning every game or losing every game. Getting rich or dealing with hard times. You build character out of certain qualities that you must create and diligently nurture within yourself. Just like you would plant and water a seed or gather wood and build a campfire. You’ve got to look for those things in your heart and in your gut. You’ve got to chisel away in order to find them. Just like chiseling away the rock in order to create the sculpture that has previously existed only in your imagination.

But do you want to know the really amazing thing about character? If you are sincerely committed to making yourself into the person you want to be, you’ll not only create those qualities, but you’ll continually strengthen them. And you will recreate them in abundance even as you are drawing on them every day of your life. Just like the burning bush in the biblical book of Exodus, the bush burned but the flames did not consume it. Character sustains itself and nurtures itself even as it is being put to work, tested, and challenged. And once character is formed, it will serve as a solid, lasting foundation upon which to build the life you desire.

Our instructors emphasize doing the right things inside and outside the dojo.  We wish to support and augment the good lessons being taught at home.   Our student handbook stresses the issues of character development during classes and during other training events.  “ . . . As the student is guided through the levels of understanding, he or she will develop the strength physically and mentally to accept the challenges of karate and life, developing and demonstrating positive influences upon others by the character that will become a part of his or her daily life.  Spiritual and emotional growth will become possible as the student develops the mental and physical tools to resist the adverse challenges of the world. . .   It is our belief that children and adults need structure in their lives and a strong support system of family, friends and mentors to encourage and enable them . . .  Our goal is to help define this structure in a way that provides our younger students with well-defined guidelines, equipping them morally, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually for the everyday challenges of growing up. Having structure allows the child to focus on improving themselves within acceptable guidelines, reaping the rewards of good behavior and understanding the consequences of inappropriate conduct.  Structure provides a foundation for growth allowing children to become strong, self-disciplined, self-confident and self-reliant as they become young adults. We have been very successful in helping children become responsible young adults, and this is only achieved with your help and support.



  • Work hard each class.  There may be times when you want to stop but put your mind to and push forward.
  • Practice at home to supplement what is learned in class.
  • Do personal conditioning.
  • Nothing is too hard or too big for you to handle.
  • Have an open mind to learn and want to learn.
  • Involve yourself in the dojo family.
  • Everyone is here to help you succeed.





August 2013




DON NAGLE AOKA TOURNAMENT – Date:  Saturday 21 September 2013  –  MARIST HIGH SCHOOL GYM  – 1241 KENNEDY BOULEVARD –  BAYONNE, N J   07002 – Pre-register by September 7th and save.


SUCCESS is no riddle but here is one to ponder. 

Have you heard this riddle?
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper, or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Half the tasks you do you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly and    correctly.
Who am I?  (          read on)


Achieving Your Dreams – by Jim Rohn
While most people spend most of their lives struggling to earn a living, a much smaller number seem to have everything going their way. Instead of just earning a living, the smaller group is busily working at building and enjoying a fortune. Everything just seems to work out for them. And here sits the much larger group, wondering how life can be so unfair, so complicated and unjust. What’s the major difference between the little group with so much and the larger group with so little?

Despite all of the factors that affect our lives—like the kind of parents we have, the schools we attended, the part of the country we grew up in—none has as much potential power for affecting our futures as our ability to dream.

Dreams are a projection of the kind of life you want to lead. Dreams can drive you. Dreams can make you skip over obstacles. When you allow your dreams to pull you, they unleash a creative force that can overpower any obstacle in your path. To unleash this power, though, your dreams must be well defined. A fuzzy future has little pulling power. Well-defined dreams are not fuzzy. Wishes are fuzzy. To really achieve your dreams, to really have your future plans pull you forward, your dreams must be vivid.

If you’ve ever hiked a 14,000-foot peak in the Rocky Mountains, one thought has surely come to mind: “How did the settlers of this country do it?” How did they get from the East Coast to the West Coast? Carrying one day’s supply of food and water is hard enough. Can you imagine hauling all of your worldly goods with you… mile after mile, day after day, month after month? These people had big dreams. They had ambition. They didn’t focus on the hardship of getting up the mountain.

In their minds, they were already on the other side–their bodies just hadn’t gotten them there yet! Despite all of their pains and struggles, all of the births and deaths along the way, those who made it to the other side had a single vision: to reach the land of continuous sunshine and extraordinary wealth. To start over where anything and everything was possible. Their dreams were stronger than the obstacles in their way.

You’ve got to be a dreamer. You’ve got to envision the future. You’ve got to see California while you’re climbing 14,000-foot peaks. You’ve got to see the finish line while you’re running the race. You’ve got to hear the cheers when you’re in the middle of a monster project. And you’ve got to be willing to put yourself through the paces of doing the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. Because that’s how you realize your dreams.


Ants have an amazing four-part philosophy, and the first part: ants never quit. If they’re headed somewhere and someone tries to stop them, they’ll look for another way. They’ll climb over, they’ll climb under, and they’ll climb around. They keep looking for another way.

Second, ants think winter all summer. That’s an important perspective. They are not naive as to think summer will last forever. So ants gather their winter food in the middle of summer.  An ancient story says, “Don’t build your house on the sand in the summer.” This is good advice because it is important to think ahead. In the summer, think storm and what lies ahead.

The third part of the ant philosophy is that ants think summer all winter. During the winter, ants remind themselves, “This won’t last long; we’ll soon be out of here.” And the first warm day, the ants are out. If it turns cold again, they’ll return underground, but then they come out the first warm day. They can’t wait to get out.

The last part of the ant philosophy is that an ant will gather all he possibly can during the summer to prepare for the winter.

What a great philosophy. Never give up, look ahead, stay positive and do all you can.


The ideas in the two articles relate to our training.  A student must desire to achieve. One’s desire often begins with a dream hoping for success.  Because it is not happening yet, it is in the future and something desired.  From this point one must practice and prepare if the dream of success is to be achieved.  A student cannot wait until the overnight camp to begin to prepare for possible promotion and the fitness needed to train between five to twelve hours during the course of the weekend.  The same is true as one investigates the intrinsic nature of karate.  The most rewarding aspects of the art do not come from thinking about receiving a promotion but from the learning and improvement that comes from disciplined training. One must look beyond personal gain and strive to develop the maturity and unwavering dedication to dream to achieve perfection in the future. The major emphasis is upon personal growth. The difference is personal—inside, not outside.  Work harder on yourself mentally and physically and results will occur.  To find success look to the strong leadership demonstrated by those who have succeeded.  The magic is in believing. The magic is in daring. The magic is in trying. The magic is in persevering. The magic is in accepting. The magic is in thinking.  Karate is developed to be a life-long pursuit to achieve physical, mental, and emotional perfection.

The answer to the Success Riddle is  . . . “I am a habit!”