JULY NEWSLETTER

There will be no classes on Thursday, July 4th.  

There will be the final IWKA Tournament Practice on Friday, July 5th starting at 6:45 PM.

 Congratulations to Erik Stopka for earning his Junior Orange Belt since our last newsletter.

HAPPINESS & SUCCESS PERSPECTIVE   

   In 1998 (15 years ago), in addition to being a husband, father and sensei, I was an English Teacher, the Athletic Trainer for 17 sports’ teams, the Director of Athletics at Hackettstown High School and owner of a home-based business.  The sports responsibilities were taken away from me, which should have given me a great deal of time that previously used to fulfill my remaining responsibilities.  In part this was true, but I found that something was missing.  During a business trip to California I met two men, Dave Johnson (owner of a multi-million dollar home-based business) and Zig Ziglar (world-renown motivational speaker and success coach).  At the end of a meeting with these two men who asked me one question (over and over) ‘what do you need to be happy and successful?’  An answer eventually became evident and eye-opening.  The answer is similar for everyone and is most necessary if one is to be successful and happy in life.

     Life is not just the passing of time. Life is the collection of experiences and lessons. Be like a sponge and be ready to absorb each new experience. To be able to live well, one must first be able to absorb it well.  Develop a positive attitude to do as much as is possible with the 86,400 seconds in every day.  Think of life as an investment in developing one’ self.  Invest every second in the creation of the future. Desire to gain new knowledge and acquire useful skills. Each contact made enhances or detracts from life.  Chose those people that will enhance life.  As has been said, “You can’t choose your enemies, so choose your friends wisely.”  With this understanding, four simple words lead to what is truly necessary for living and for and for one’s life to be worthwhile and be complete.

     Life becomes worthwhile as one learns realizing what is not known will cause problems as one matures.  Beyond what parents and teachers relate in class, life’s experiences—negative or positive often prove beneficial. Making mistakes is a way many people learn because we do not want to make the same mistakes more than once.  We also learn from other people’s experiences. Learning from other people’s experiences and mistakes is valuable information because we can learn what not to do without the pain of having tried and failed ourselves. However, many people believe that the negative things that happen to others will not happen to us.  We learn by what we see, so pay attention. We learn by what we hear, so be a good listener.  We learn from what we read, so learn from every source: from lectures, from songs, from sermons, and from conversations with people who care.  Don’t let the learning from your own experiences take too long. If you have been doing it wrong for the last ten years, I would suggest that’s long enough!  Take time to gather up the past so that you will be able to draw from your experiences and invest them in the future.  Always keep learning.

     Second, life is worthwhile if one tries to apply what has been learned. Try to make a difference, try to make some progress. It doesn’t mean you can do everything, but there are a lot of things you can do, if you just try. Try your best. Give it every effort. Why not go all out?

     Third, life is worthwhile if you stay the course. A farmer plants seed in the spring and must wait until fall for the harvest. Everyone starts karate training one is a white belt.  As one practices there are successes and failures.  As one stays the course, not becoming disillusioned, one will find progress and improved ability because the choice to see it through was made.

     Lastly, life is worthwhile if one cares. Zig Ziglar said, “you can have anything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want.”  If you care enough, you can get incredible results. Care enough to make a difference. Care enough to help someone else.  Ruth Smeltzer said,   “You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you. Care enough to start a new experience. Care enough to change. Care enough to always do one’s best. Care enough to set records. Care enough to win.

     Four powerful little words: learn, try, stay and care lead us to the final insight.  The answer is simple; one needs to feel fulfilled to be complete.  What difference can you make in your life today by putting these words to work?

* * * 

We have received new Isshin-ryu Patches (for the left chest of the gi top) and new Dojo Patches, (for the right sleeve of the gi top).  Thanks to Mr. Brader and B & R Uniform of Hackettstown, we can sell them for a reduced cost . . .

     Isshin-ryu Patch was $8.00 NOW $5.00

     Dojo Patch was $5.00 NOW $3.00

Get yours soon!

* * *

Along with the thoughts about how to be happy and successful are things that many of us do that attack positive efforts from within our bodies.  A major factor is Indifference.  This lack luster attitude causes us to drift along – – – staying the same as we were.  The problem is, if we are not striving to move forward we are ultimately moving backward.  Restarting any endeavor is always hard.

Another inner detractor from success is Indecision, which steals our opportunities move forward and takes occasional chances. 

Once indifference and indecision come into play we generally begin to doubt our abilities. Trying to improve and advance takes Will, Heart and Desire.  We will need to look no further than the steps taken in each class, the positive rewards from working hard and succeeding in an event or earning a deserved promotion.  (             WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE AUGUST CAMP.  ) Other than an opportunity not to be missed . . . the possible promotions will be uplifting and encouraging to all students.

Another culprit to happiness and success is permitting us to worry. Instead of letting worry become a stumbling block; let it become an alarm.  Just like the clock in the morning that gets many of us out of bed, this concept should be met head-on and conquered, realizing it is just our subconscious reminding us that we are not in our comfort zone any longer.

Hand in hand with worry is over-caution. This form of inaction stops success. Being timid with our lives is not a virtue; it is an illness. We tell students not to brag about their studies and achievements.  We do not tell students to be afraid of being positive and standing up for what is good in school, family and work.  Build your courage to fight what is stopping success, keep striving for goals, success and dreams.

It’s your life.  Invest in it and build a positive and worthwhile future.  OR move blindly through each day without focus or direction and get what comes. Each moment wasted with effortless, unfocused, endeavors is lost and can never be regained.   ‘If you head out and do not know where you are going you will end some place else and not realize it.’

JUNE NEWSLETTER

SAVE THE DATES – – FRIDAY, AUGUST 2ND AND SATURDAY, AUGUST 3RD, WHICH ARE THE DAYS FOR OUR FIRST OVERNINGT TRAINING SESSION AT OUR HOME. 

This overnight camping and training experience is open to all students.  Those students, under 10, are encouraged to bring an adult for the overnight portion of the event.

                    You will need:     

 A tent (if you wish) (OR make plans to share) 

Sleeping bag or blanket

Sleeping clothes                                    

Flashlight

Toothbrush, insect repellent, etc

Karate uniform           

Gym bag to put items in when not being used

Old sneakers & socks – mandatory for the river

Extra socks – t-shirts – sneakers                                                                     

Clothes to change into after the workouts          

* * *  LABEL ALL UNIFORMS &  GYM BAGS * * *

 

            Parents are welcome to come and watch any portion of the day.  Lawn chairs are recommended for the family gathering at the end of the session.  We will be setting up tents, etc at 7pm.   Organized classes and experiences will be conducted both Friday and Saturday.

            We will provide Friday snacks, Saturday breakfast, lunch, drinks, snacks and hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as turkey burgers for dinner.  All cups, utensils, plates will be provided.

            Saturday at 2:30 P.M. demonstration and promotion ceremonies (including black belt promotions, hopefully) will be followed by dinner.  Please sign up with Kyoshi or Renshi Hughes to bring a cover dish for the dinner.  Please put a nametag on dishes you want returned so we may get them back to you quickly . . . or take them before you leave.

* * * FURTHER INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION FORMS WILL PROVIDED SOON * * *  

Ideas become Reality

Many great advances in history have started with ideas created within the imagination of individuals. Ideas that are powerful within the mind become so real that they are almost tangible.  The person who is afraid of what monster may be in the closet or under the bed, especially when it’s dark, at times can not be convinced that there is nothing of which to be afraid.  As has been said, ‘whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.’  An idea is not tangible but the creation of the vision may become real.  Ideas that are created within the mind may become a part of one’s consciousness.  For some the imagination is strong enough that what is thought about can be seen mentally and may become real.  Kata is a real fight against imaginary opponents.  There are at least four opponents we encounter in our katas.  If they are seen our training becomes more real than if we just go through the prescribed motions without seeing the opponents and the attacks.  Isshin-ryu Karate started with the ‘vision’ though a dream by Tatuso Shimabuku prior to 1957.  There is a bit of a mystery behind the story where one version finds him being challenged to a fight by a stranger while sleeping after a training session. Being a gentleman he declined and what happened next is a part of what created the patch we wear on our gis. 

For a thought to become real we must BELIEVE what we imagine IS possible.  Some people say that idea is  “nothing” because it cannot be seen except with the inner eye. It cannot be held because it is not tangible in the early stages.  It is possible to turn this “nothing” into reality, especially ideas and imaginations, into something through believing that it is now possible.  The concepts of personal ideas becoming reality are found within the teachings in Rhonda Byrne’s Secret.

A result of one’s sincere belief is the creation of PASSION and INTENSITY toward the idea.  This desire to create a real thing needs the inner fire to drive one forward beyond any negative thoughts from others.  Too often in our society people try to stop the creation of new or different ideas.  Being unique or different is not seen in today’s world as being a positive trait to be promoted.  The thoughts expressed by Marianne Williamson fromA Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miraclesis also found in the movie “Coach Carter”, showing it is proper to have the Passion and Intensity to want to succeed.

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ”

            Karate training instills the qualities of DISCIPLINE, PERSISTENCE AND FOCUS within each person who trains properly.  Our art is an intrinsic endeavor, finding the highest rewards to be the mental and emotional growth within the individual.  Being able to overcome self doubt about one’s ability to learn the moves of each kata is a struggle many students face.  As discipline is developed, the student creates the abilities to form proper stances,  utilize advanced angles that may be transferred into sparring techniques and find the mind is able to focus on individual concepts or tune out distractions that may be helpful in competition, school or work situations. 

            Lastly, for ideas to become reality there is need for ACTION AND MOMENTUM. If one only thinks about an idea and does nothing to work toward making it real, nothing will occur except frustration.  Again, thinking about O’Sensei Tatsuo Shimabuku, the dream to create a form of karate that emphasized the best aspects of Goju-ryu (a strong rooted style) and Shorin-ryu (a quick flowing style) became in time what we study, Isshin-ryu (One Heart Way).  The masters on Okinawa did not embrace Master Shimabuku’s desire to create another style.  Many roadblocks were placed in his way, but with belief in his desires, dedication to karate and his new art, passion to see his dream realized and accepted, as well as the discipline, persistence and focus to rise above criticism, he began to teach Marines based on Okinawa.  Many of these Marines returned to their homes and started to teach about this new style and the unknown elements found within karate.

            Today we do not suffer the rejections faced by the forerunners of karate and Isshin-ryu.  Many styles like Jui-jitsu, judo, MMA, Mixed Martial Arts and numerous self-created ‘karate’ styles are found in most places across the country and the world.  Some have a foundation that may be traced back hundreds of years, while others are the dream of someone to create a way to promote one’s self to a high rank and maybe stand the test of time.

            When I started to study the martial arts, the numbers of people in classes could be counted on one hand, but those individuals were dedicated and passionate about their art.  In 1973 when I  started to study Isshin-ryu, again, classes were small until the “Kung Fu” movie craze and then class sizes exploded.  Today there are many high ranking black belts because of this popular program’s influence and their continued desire to advance within their chosen art.  There are more than eight black belts who have been training consistently in our dojo for more than 25 years.   What is your dream or vision for the future?  Will you be the next wave to continue to promote good traditional, unchanged, Isshin-ryu?  The instructors of the dojo are here to help lead and motivate.

Prozac dosage

CONGRATULATIONS to the students who earned promotions since our last newsletter.  Junior Green Belt #1 – Nic Curcio, Abigail Brown, Wyatt  & Ben Almer, Tristen Christiano     Junior Green Belt #2 – Morgan Bell   Junior Blue Belt #1 – Shayne Davies 

 Our 28th Benefit Tournament was a success because of the participation and help from students and family.  There were 27dojos attending with 225 competitors.  Every student who participated should consider herself or himself a winner.  Though placing in an event is what most people look toward, the elements of preparation prior to the event along with the spirit of challenging one’s self to improve and do the best of which one is capable are equally or more important.  Rising above the bumps and bruises from a kumite event or the disappointment from not doing well in a kata event shows character.  Remember – scoring by judges is subjective whether in kata or kumite.  In kata each judge, parent and participant may see what is being done in a different way. In kumite points are missed because at times the judge does not have a clear view or simply misses a technique that lasts fractions of a second.  The friendship I have developed through karate have lasted 40 years.  Be proud that you participated and did your best. Many people made comments to me about the level of ability demonstrated by our students and the amount of help given by students, parents and friends. Renshi Hughes and I are proud of every one of you!

 Use your training and tournament experience to help create the enterprising person within you.  This person is one who sees opportunity in all areas of life.  Keep your eyes open and your mind active. As is related in the Codes Of Isshin-ryu Karate, ‘The Eyes Must See All Sides & The Ears Must Hear In All Directions’.  Strive to skilled enough, confident enough, creative enough and disciplined enough to seize opportunities. Be prepared. Be resourceful. Do all you can in preparation for what may come. Occurrences in life are not always planned, which is why there are Surprises at times.

Enterprising people develop the creativity to see beyond what is in front of them and then shape it to one’s advantage. Dare to be innovative and to be different.

Enterprising people work to develop the courage to be creative. Karate teaches us to have the strength to go against the crowd at times and to stand for what is right and to choose activity over inactivity.

 Enterprising people see the future in the present. Enterprising people find a way to take advantage of a situation.  And enterprising people aren’t lazy. Enterprise means always finding a way to keep actively working toward established goals, not being satisfied with today’s capabilities.

 Beyond these ideas being enterprising means to feel good about capabilities and challenges , accepting what can not be changed and changing what may be changed to create a better life experience. Develop self-worth to seek advantages and opportunities that will make a difference in the future, not just for one’s self, but for others.  By doing so confidence, courage, creativity and self-worth will increase. 

Keep a Journal

If you’re serious about becoming an outstanding and informed individual, keep a journal. Don’t trust your memory. Think for a moment . . . what did you have for lunch Monday and Wednesday of last week?  When you listen to what is said and taught in the dojo, at seminars, put noteworthy ideas in the notebook. When you read about martial arts history and find interesting information, write it the notebook.

When I was in the classroom during high school and college keeping a notebook and listing of daily activities in class was a necessity.  Now that I teach at Warren County College, I must keep track of what I do in class daily and what I intend to accomplish during each semester.  I am not just committed to teaching karate. I am committed to learning and advancing concepts and skills. I want to see what I can do to help others learn, become successful inside and outside of the dojo and become productive and fulfilled individuals.  This can be accomplished if I keep a journal of what I plan in the dojo.

Keeping a journal, including my monthly newsletters that I have created for more than 30 years, is important. This information that may become numerous volumes should become a part of one’s personal library.  Information that is not reviewed is information that will be forgotten and lost. Books, magazines and articles read for personal development, to enhance my karate knowledge and things for my schooling become a part of my notes.  At times I would re-read the same information and see something that I did not see during the previous reading.  Did someone magically add that previously unseen information when I was not looking?  Obviously not . . . but as has been said, ‘when the student is ready to learn, the teacher will appear.’  When the brain is ready to understand something that information will become available.

Beyond books, articles and notes keep pictures of events.  Each will become a cherished memory.  One seldom knows when a picture may become a challenge to dedicate one’s self when situations become a problem.  Pictures and journal notes may become the encouragement needed to rededicate one’s self to a forgotten desire, or they may be the catalyst to rededicate one’s self to further study. 

Keeping a journal will aid the development of self-discipline, which is the key to developing personal greatness. It is the quality that opens all doors for and makes everything else possible. It aids the development of talents, intelligence that help us to become successful.

Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, ‘Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.’

Lamictal

April 2013

CONGRATULATIONS Anabeth Fernandez who earned her  Junior Yellow Belt  since our last newsletter.

 

UPCOMING EVENT – Sunday, April 28 – Our 28th Benefit

Tournament at Hackettstown

H.S. – – Entry Forms at the dojo

 

     Jim Rohn said, “Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” I believe one of the greatest and perhaps one of the simplest lessons in life that must be learned.  To be thankful for what we have already received and accomplished is just the beginning; we must challenge further to produce more ideas than are needed and then share the ideas. This is called fruitfulness and abundance.  

     Zig Ziglar in a seminar brought an old water hand pump onto the stage to demonstrate that if a person wanted water from it, the person must move the pump handle up and down causing the water to flow.  The more vigorously the person pumped, the greater the amount of water.  We must go to work to produce more than what is needed so other and we may be blessed.   The major value in life is not what we get in life but what one gives and becomes. Zig Ziglar says, “You can have anything in life you want if you help enough other people to get what they want.”

All values must be won by contest, and after they have been won, they must be defended.

Don’t sell personal virtue and value for something you think you want. Work to obtain what has value and importance to enhancing life.

Values are meant to be costly. If it doesn’t cost much, we probably wouldn’t appreciate the value.

Obstacles are the Stepping Stones of Success – by Harvey Mackay

A man was walking in the park one day when he came upon a cocoon with a small opening. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It looked like it had gotten as far as it could, so the man decided to help the butterfly. He used his pocketknife and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily, but something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to emerge was natural. It was nature’s way of forcing fluid from its body into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives.  If we were allowed to go through life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly.  History has shown us that the most celebrated winners usually encounter obstacles before success is achieved. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.

Thomas Edison tried more than 2,000 experiments before he was able to create a light bulb that worked. Upon being asked how he felt about failing so many times, he replied, “I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2,000-step process.”

Persistence paid off for men like Hanshi Duessel who started training in jujitsu in 1957. Then in 1962 he started training in Isshin-ryu Karate with Harry G. Smith, who lived in Harrisburg, PA.  Hanshi traveled to the dojo on weekends to begin to learn karate.  In 1964, at the age of 37, he met Tatsuo Shimabuku and trained with him extensively. At the conclusion of the three months Shimabuku was visiting and training in the Pittsburgh area, the founder of Isshin-ryu Karate personally promoted Mr. Duessel to Sho Dan.  He has diligently practiced and studied the art for 51 years.  Because of his dedication to detail and desire to understand Isshin-ryu Karate, keeping the style as the founder taught it, he is one of the most outstanding students and Masters within the Isshin-ryu World.

Helen Keller, the famous blind author and speaker, said: “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. Silver is purified in fire and so are we. It is in the most trying times that our real character is shaped and revealed.”

Habits Die Hard

Here’s a little test to understand the power of our habits. Cross your arms as you normally would, and look down to see which one is on top. Invariably about half of the people will have their right arm on top and the other half will have their left on top. When you crossed your arms for the very first time, you might have been still in your playpen, and you’ve been crossing your arms the same way ever since. Now, cross your arms again, but this time put the wrong arm on top. It feels extremely weird! If I were to challenge you to cross your arms the “wrong” way for the rest of your life, could you do it?  Probably. Would it be difficult? You bet it would!

Here’s the point: Habits—good or bad—are difficult to break. Aristotle said it best: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act…it’s a habit.”

 SUCCESS – – Everything we need to become rich and powerful and successful are within our reach. The major reason that so few take advantage of our abilities is simply because of neglect.  Neglect is like an infection. Left unchecked it will spread throughout our entire system of disciplines and eventually lead to a complete breakdown of a potentially joy-filled and prosperous life.

Not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty and guilt leads to an erosion of self-confidence. As our self-confidence diminishes, so does the level of our activity. And as our activity diminishes, our results inevitably decline. And as our results suffer, our attitude begins to weaken. As our attitude begins the slow shift from positive to negative, our self-confidence diminishes even more… and on and on it goes.

I recommend  that when given the choice of “easy way” and “the not so easy way” accept the challenge and experience the potentially life-changing activities and disciplines. Take the road less traveled.  Karate training in our dojo emphasizes each of the issues discussed in each of the newsletter segments.  The people who work to emphasize the positive and improve personal abilities are the ones who will be successful for the rest of their lives.  The self–confidence, discipline, positive attitude and personal growth are personal qualities that are enhanced by the habits learned here and at home.  Do what must be done. Help others who need help without expecting anything in return.  Accept help when it will not adversely hinder personal growth; sometimes the struggle will enhance life and learning.

Think renewed enthusiasm in training as April marks the beginning of spring.

MARCH NEWSLETTER

March 2013

CONGRATULATIONS to the students who earned promotions since our last newsletter.  Andrew Stroessenreuther, Mckayla Brown  – Junior Yellow Belt,  Kristyn Wheeler – Brown Belt #1,  Anthony Curcuruto – Second Degree Black Belt

  UPCOMING EVENTS

 Saturday, March 9 – Hanshi’s Seminar in Pittsburgh – – Adults if interested see Kyoshi

Sunday, March 10 – King’s Tournament – Newton H.S. – – Forms at the dojo
Sunday, April 28 – Our 28th Benefit Tournament – Hackettstown H.S. – – Forms at the dojo

 Our dojo will be producing an advertisement for the 2013 IWKA tournament booklet.  If you would like your name on it please add $20.00 to your March dues and let Kyoshi know so he will make a notation.

 Thinking Like a Farmer by Jim Rohn

One of the difficulties we face in our industrialized age is the fact we’ve lost our sense of seasons. Unlike the farmer whose priorities change with the seasons, we have become impervious to the natural rhythm of life. As a result, we have our priorities out of balance. Let me illustrate what I mean:

For a farmer, springtime is his most active time. It’s then when he must work around the clock, up before the sun and still toiling at the stroke of midnight. He must keep his equipment running at full capacity because he has but a small window of time for the planting of his crop. Eventually, winter comes when there is less for him to do to keep him busy.

There is a lesson here. Learn to use the seasons of life. Decide when to pour it on and when to ease back, when to take advantage and when to let things ride. It’s easy to keep going from nine to five year in and year out and lose a natural sense of priorities and cycles. Don’t let one year blend into another in a seemingly endless parade of tasks and responsibilities. Keep your eye on your own seasons, lest you lose sight of value and substance.

The concepts related in the above article relate directly to our karate training.  We have no off-season.  The training we do at the dojo during the warmer months of late spring, into summer and autumn have activities that may be done outside at the dojo or at my home.  This training, often on uneven terrain or in the Pequest River, forces the student to focus attention not only on proper technique, but also on maintaining balance.  Dojo training does have benefits but the training done outside causes the student to work a bit harder.  The occasional vacation with family and friends away from the dojo often finds the student re-energized upon return.  Hanshi has said that we must train our bodies and minds like a military person to be physically and mentally ready to do what is necessary during dojo training, competition or self-defense situations.

 Lead by Example – Mac Anderson

I’ve always been fascinated with the qualities and characteristics of great leaders. History has identified many qualities and characteristics of great leaders, and, of course, no person embodies them all. But the great leaders I’ve known, or read about have one simple thing in common: They have developed their leadership styles around their personalities and their values, and in the end, their actions are consistent with what they truly believe.

The goal of many leaders is to get people to think more highly of the leader. However, the goal of a great leader is to help people to think more highly of themselves.

John Maxwell said there are three keys to becoming a great servant leader:

Let go of your ego.
The truly great leaders are not in leadership for personal gain. They lead in order to serve other people.

Become a good follower first.
Rare is the effective leader who didn’t learn to become a good follower first. That is why a leadership institution such as the United States Military Academy teaches its officers to become effective followers first—and why West Point has produced more leaders than the Harvard Business School.

Give your power away.
One of the ironies of leadership is that you become a better leader by sharing whatever power you have, not by saving it all for yourself. If you use your power to empower others, your leadership will extend far beyond your grasp.

Rule #1…………..Think Serve…Not Lead
Rule #2…………..Companies Don’t Succeed…People Do
Rule #3…………..Simplify Your Vision for Success
Rule #4…………..Remember “Old Warwick”
Rule #5…………..Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Rule #6…………..Set the Stage for Innovation
Rule #7…………..Commit to Excellence
Rule #8…………..Take Full Responsibility
Rule #9…………..Measure Results
Rule #10…………Your Example is Most Important

 

 

We have four (4) of Hanshi Duessel’s books remaining @ $15.00 and a number of his DVD’s demonstrating all the Isshin-ryu hand and weapon’s kata @ $40.00.  If interested – see Kyoshi.

FEBRUARY 2013 NEWSLETTER

February 2013

 Upcoming Events:   

Sat – February 9th  – Free IWKA tournament training session at the dojo – 12:15 to 1:1

   Fri – February 15th – Sparring session 6:45 to 7:30 and Brown & Black Belt session @ 7:30

     Sun – February 17th  – Golden Rule Tournament – Warren Hills H.S. – Washington, NJ

     Sat – March 9th – Hanshi Duessel’s seminar in Pittsburgh

     Sun – March 10th – King’s Tournament – Newton H.S.

Ending Procrastination by Jim Rohn

     Perseverance is about as important to achievement as gasoline is to driving a car. Sure, there will be times when you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, but you’ll always get out of the rut with genuine perseverance. Without it, you won’t even be able to start your engine.

     The opposite of perseverance is procrastination. Perseverance means you never quit. Procrastination usually means you never get started, although the inability to finish something is also a form of procrastination.

     Ask people why they procrastinate and you’ll often hear something like this: “I’m a perfectionist. Everything has to be just right before I can get down to work. No distractions, not too much noise, no telephone calls interrupting me, and of course I have to be feeling well physically, too. I can’t work when I have a headache.” The other end of procrastination—being unable to finish—also has a perfectionist explanation: “I’m just never satisfied. I’m my own harshest critic. If all the I’s aren’t dotted and all the T’s aren’t crossed, I just can’t consider that I’m done. That’s just the way I am, and I’ll probably never change.”

     Do you see what’s going on here? A fault is being turned into a virtue. The perfectionist is saying that his standards are just too high for this world. This fault-into-virtue syndrome is a common defense when people are called upon to discuss their weaknesses, but in the end it’s just a very pious kind of excuse making. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with what’s really behind procrastination.

     Remember, the basis of procrastination could be fear of failure. That’s what perfectionism really is, once you take a hard look at it. What’s the difference whether you’re afraid of being less than perfect or afraid of anything else? You’re still paralyzed by fear. What’s the difference whether you never start or never finish? You’re still stuck. You’re still going nowhere. You’re still overwhelmed by whatever task is before you. You’re still allowing yourself to be dominated by a negative vision of the future in which you see yourself being criticized, laughed at, punished, or ridden out of town on a rail. Of course, this negative vision of the future is really a mechanism that allows you to do nothing. It’s a very convenient mental tool.  I’m going to show you how to turn procrastination into perseverance, and if you do what I suggest, the process will be virtually painless. It involves using two very powerful principles that foster productivity and perseverance instead of passivity and procrastination.

The first principle is: break it down.  No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s writing a book, climbing a mountain, or painting a house, the key to achievement is your ability to break down the task into manageable pieces and knock them off one at one time. Focus on accomplishing what’s right in front of you at this moment. Ignore what’s off in the distance someplace. Substitute real-time positive thinking for negative future visualization. That’s the first all-important technique for bringing an end to procrastination.

     Suppose I were to ask you if you could write a four-hundred-page novel. If you’re like most people, that would sound like an impossible task. But suppose I ask you a different question. Suppose I ask if you can write a page and a quarter a day for one year. Do you think you could do it? Now the task is starting to seem more manageable. We’re breaking down the four-hundred-page book into bite-size pieces. Even so, I suspect many people would still find the prospect intimidating. Do you know why? Writing a page and a quarter may not seem so bad, but you’re being asked to look ahead one whole year. When people start to do look that far ahead, many of them automatically go into a negative mode. So let me formulate the idea of writing a book in yet another way. Let me break it down even more.

      Suppose I were to ask you, can you fill up a page and a quarter with words—not for a year, not for a month, not even for a week, but just today? Don’t look any further ahead than that. I believe most people would confidently declare that they could accomplish that. Of course, these would be the same people who feel totally incapable of writing a whole book.

     If I said the same thing to those people tomorrow–if I told them, I don’t want you to look back, and I don’t want you to look ahead, I just want you to fill up a page and a quarter this very day–do you think they could do it?

One day at a time. We’ve all heard that phrase. That’s what we’re doing here. We’re breaking down the time required for a major task into one–day segments, and we’re breaking down the work involved in writing a four-hundred-page book into page-and-a-quarter increments.

     Keep this up for one year, and you’ll write the book. Discipline yourself to look neither forward (beyond today) nor backward, and you can accomplish things you never thought you could possibly do. And it all begins with those three words: break it down.

The second principle is: write it down.  My second technique for defeating procrastination is also only three words long. The three words are: write it down. We know how important writing is to goal setting. The writing you’ll do for beating procrastination is very similar. Instead of focusing on the future, however, you’re now going to be writing about the present just as you experience it every day. Instead of describing the things you want to do or the places you want to go, you’re going to describe what you actually do with your time, and you’re going to keep a written record of the places you actually go.

     In other words, you’re going to keep a diary of your activities. And you’re going to be amazed by the distractions, detours, and downright wastes of time you engage in during the course of a day. All of these get in the way of achieving your goals. For many people, it’s almost like they planned it that way, and maybe at some unconscious level they did. The great thing about keeping a time diary is that it brings all this out in the open. It forces you to see what you’re actually doing… and what you’re not doing.

     The time diary doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Just buy a little spiral notebook that you can easily carry in your pocket. When you go to lunch, when you drive across town, when you go to the dry cleaners, when you spend some time shooting the breeze at the copying machine, make a quick note of the time you began the activity and the time it ends. Try to make this notation as soon as possible; if it’s inconvenient to do it immediately, you can do it later. But you should make an entry in your time diary at least once every thirty minutes, and you should keep this up for at least a week.

     Break it down. Write it down. These two techniques are very straightforward. But don’t let that fool you: These are powerful and effective productivity techniques that allow you put an end to procrastination and help you get started to achieving your goals.

     The ideas in Mr. Rohn’s article are not new or earth shattering.  The way we teach at the dojo – since 1979 – use similar principles.  Whether we are teaching basics (kihon), forms (kata), weapons (kobudo), sparring (kumite), self-defense (shobu), each area is presented in manageable segments depending on age and rank.  Students are encouraged to keep a notebook and keep a record of:

Ø       what is done in each class?

Ø       what recommendations are made for student improvement by instructors?

Ø       what new elements are taught?

Ø       what students do daily concerning practice?

Ø       what questions students may have during the week when not in the dojo?

     A black belt who has been a consistent part of the dojo for many years was in class a short time ago as we were reviewing bo drills and techniques.  I made mention of the need to think about the need for the same “good form” just as in basics and kata and that when countering an attack to be aware of the stances and angles of the attack and his defense and counter attack.  He looked at me in shock as if this was the first time I had said those things and I assured him that the concepts had been addressed in a number of classes and even brown and black belt sessions.  To his credit he, a few days later said that, when he went home and made notations in is journal he looked back in his book and found similar ideas worded differently but having the same intent.  Other than not procrastinating using the above ideas, remember we all have heard things and not remembered being said later.  Keeping a good journal and reviewing what is written frequently is necessary.    THERE IS NO BETTER THING THAN AN IDEA WHO’S TIME HAS COME.

CONGRATULATIONS to Erik Stopka for earning his promotion to Junior Yellow Belt

Bring in your personal training cards so we may check your progress now that we are two months into the process. 

Good things are happening with the American Isshinryu Inc., group.  The second newsletter was just distributed to members after the January 30th meeting.  There are now in excess of 600 life members, quarterly seminars are being organized, reduced pre-registry fees for member tournaments (4 in the area currently) and much more.  If you are not a member and wish to be see Kyoshi

JANUARY 2013

The Key to Making Life Unique and Worthwhile by Jim Rohn

The key to making life really unique and worthwhile is to share. Sharing has a certain unique magic of its own. Here’s what I learned in sharing ideas.

If you share an idea with ten different people, they get to hear it once, and you get to hear it ten times. So here’s part of self-interest for yourself, getting you even better prepared for the future. Share ideas. Share with your family, share with the people around you, share with other employees, share with your colleagues.

Because, by sharing, two things happen. Here’s what we call it. I don’t know how to explain it, but I do know it happens. And I don’t know all about how it happens or why it happens, it just happens.

When one person shares with another, two things happen. The audience could be transformed, and so could the speaker. 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’ll be the fourth number that they can dial into the lock of their personal experience and the door will come open and there’s opportunity they never saw before. The person who hears could be transformed.

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

The caterpillar one day says, “I think I was made for more than this 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 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.

Here’s what sharing does… makes room for more. Key question: If the 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 the consciousness of human beings. Your capacity will increase the more you share. You’ll get bigger and bigger and bigger.

Now, 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. Can’t hold much. They’re too small.

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, if you share what you’ve got and become bigger and bigger and bigger.

            The thoughts related in Mr. Rohn’s article fit very well with our karate training.  When I started training in Isshin-ryu Karate in 1973, I did not know anything about the style.  I was traveling to Ledgewood to get thing that were needed for our apartment and saw people wearing white that were punching and kicking.  After I bought what was needed, I stopped at the dojo, watched a part of the class, spoke with the sensei and started training the next day.  Information from more experienced students was shared with me and I started to learn.  What was being taught was much different from any other type of martial arts training that I had previously done, so I accepted what was being taught and progressed through the ranks.  After earning my yellow belt I assisted with classes and found, as in teaching at the high school, teaching at the dojo added insight and understanding to what I had been taught.  Sharing Isshin-ryu insights with newer students, reinforced what I had been taught and I had to be certain what I was sharing was correct.  After earning my black belt and opening the Isshin-ryu School of Karate in 1979, added pressure was put on my shoulders to continue to learn, advance my skills and understanding and to strive to improve daily to best help the students in the dojo.  Training with two first generation students of the founder of the style, Tatsuo Shimabuku, (Walter VanGilsen and William H. Duessel – my current instructor-) has added great insight and understanding to advance my abilities and to help be teach the style the way it was originally taught.

            I was transformed physically, mentally and emotionally by the teachings of my first instructor and those developments have positively affected my life outside the dojo.  Setting goals along the way have helped me continue to make continued steps toward perfecting the elements taught within our style, specifically in kata, kobudo and kumite.

            Each student has the capacity to learn and share what is learned with others in the dojo.  Each student has the capacity to use the internal developments taught within our dojo to positively affect one’s daily life.  As we carry the discipline and teachings found in the dojo into our daily lives, we may be able to positively affect others by our good example.  As my grandfather said many years ago, “You look at other people as you truly see yourself.”  Making small steps every day toward becoming a more positive person, we will interact with others and positively influence them. 

            As we enter 2013, chose to share your positive attitudes with others, transforming yourself and others to see the capacity that each of us has to become a positive influence in our schools and community.

 

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

Believe in miracles.

                        Find the Secret to life within yourself. 

                                    Live to help others and you will truly help yourself. 

Congratulations to the students who earned promotion since our last newsletter:  John DeHuff – Junior Yellow Belt,  Thomas Schroeder – Senior Green Belt 

 

Weather Reminder:  As we approach the winter season, listen to WRNJ Radio 1510 AM, 92.7 and 104.7 FM if the weather is questionable.  I will make class cancellations by 4 pm on days when weather conditions may not be safe.  Also, I will post information on our dojo web site, What is seroquel .

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Weather Reminder:  As we approach the winter season, listen to WRNJ Radio 1510 AM, 92.7 and 104.7 FM if the weather is questionable.  I will make class cancellations by 4 pm on days when weather conditions may not be safe.  Also, I will post information on our dojo web site, What is seroquel . 

Our annual kick-a-thon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was held during October.  We have kicked 34,690 times and have raised $1972 so far this year, which makes our grand total  $15,847 since we started Kick-A-Thons.  WELL DONE EVERYONE and get those final forms in.

My thanks to the Tony Curcuruto, Shirley Zavala, and Tom Schroeder who took time November 11th to help John Snyder, a church elder, and myself put new shingles on the roof over the kitchen.  Hopefully, this will make it possible for this area to receive insulation and new sheetrock – to make it more useable. 

There will be no classes at the dojo on December 24, 31 and January 1.  Please plan ahead and make up these classes.

 

THE KARATE STUDENT and HOW TO PRACTICE

 

     As is stressed in the student booklet and during many classes at the dojo, it is imperative for students to practice skills learned to be able to retain material and to prepare to learn new and advanced skills. Karate is a thinking endeavor that helps students learn and grow in areas that are not effectively stressed today in our schools. This is evident when I work with athletes at the high school and at Warren County College where I teach. All to often the easy route is taken. Tasks are not done to best ability of the individual or the tasks are done with minimal effort; the outcome is acceptable.

     From the first day at the dojo students are asked to arrange shoes neatly as they enter the dojo. Gis are to be kept clean, which is not often easy with a white uniform and obis are to be tied a particular way. This starts to prepare the student to take care of the “little things”.  Every element is crucial for the proper mental development. Each student learns that there is one way: to make a proper Isshin-ryu fist, to place feet a certain way to establish the proper stances, to move arms and legs in a certain way to punch, block or kick properly. Beyond these areas, proper posture is needed to enhance balance and efficient movement. Appropriate breath control is also needed to develop and enhance wellness and karate power.

No two students at any rank are the same in ability, intelligence, maturity and time in Isshin-ryu Karate.  In karate, as in life, one often thinks of gaining something. How far has one progressed and how far it is to obtain a higher rank? The student and parent ask how long is it going to take to become a certain rank and how often do students gain promotion?  If the student concentrates on promotion and gain, a conflict is created between karate’s intrinsic ideal and the reality of how things actually are.  The conflict enters the karate world when one creates a picture of what one wants, what one expects and then one establishes his or her own time line for attaining the goal. Each student must allow himself or herself to be guided through this knowledge, and not become concerned with how fast one learns but how well one learns.  Being concerned with how fast one learns will create anxiety, which will inhibit learning. Each student must progress through the FOUR STAGES OF KARATE DEVELOPMENT.

 1. Learn the basic techniques (kihon).

2. Learn breathing techniques (nogare and imbuki) are found in kata.

3. Understand Chinkuchi or power is found in Sanchin kata.

4. Understand the technique (waza) is found in all aspects and phases of karate.

     The Japanese and Okinawans often use the following terms for teaching and learning. They liken karate and kobudo training to woodworking.

1. Arakezuri – rough grinding and shaping still in the process of being formed.

2. Nakakezuri – middle planning.

3. Hosokezuri – fine planning and sanding.

4. Shiage – being finished. BUT STRIVING FOR PERFECTION IS NEVER FINISHED. The advanced student understands (in time) that he is not at the top of the mountain but somewhere along the side of the mountain and each advancement will be more challenging as well as rewarding.     

     The intention of traditional karate is to end conflict, at its root, psychologically.  Traditional karate places the focus on perfecting the physical body, through performing better techniques.  The technique is the basis for perfection, because as one tries to perfect the form of the technique, the intellectual and psychological sides of the student must work together to aid and join the student into a cohesive unit.  As the individual technique is perfected, it is joined with other techniques, adding form, timing, rhythm, speed and focus of power when the student study’s kata.

     As the student studies kata, self-defense and sparring techniques, the individual moves become stronger, more focused and improved or the student opts to stay at the level he or she has attained where it may be comfortable.  Karate is not mystical or easy.  It demands concentration, effort, focused intention and dedication. HOWEVER, anyone may work to attain any goal and succeed if the proper effort and mind set are applied, with the continued support of the family. 

     The beauty of Isshinryu Karate is that it is a very basic style where as one develops directness of power that may be generated, the simplicity challenges each of us to perform better technique and to be able to execute the kata, kobudo and kumite skills effortlessly.  The challenge is to strive to understand the many levels of learning and interpretation.  The purpose of karate is to find peace, not from fighting, but from the inner confidence we gain as we work to perfect, not change, the system created by Tatsuo Shimabuku.  As is evident through watching Hanshi Duessel, my instructor who is 85, that karate training is ageless; we can grow old with it and never exhaust its dimensions.  In this way the mirror will always need polishing.

     With black belt supervision and instruction it is reasonably easy to train in the dojo when one keeps the concepts mentioned above in mind. Each student must maintain “the beginner’s mind” and be open to constructive comments.  At times it is not easy to accept constructive criticism, however, each one is an attempt to help the student improve.

     At home and in the dojo at times the student’s mental concentration is not at the appropriate level to train effectively.  “Just going through the movements” is no going to help a person train. In fact haphazard practice does more harm than good.  It has been said that it takes twenty-one days to create a habit.  If a person trains improperly, what is being learned is that is “OK” to do things improperly . . . and this will carry over into the dojo, a student’s schoolwork and an adult’s job performance.

 To learn the student must Understand that there something to be learned — Knowledge to be gained.  We must create the Will to learn; develop the Intention to learn plus Enthusiasm – Remembering there is no substitute for continuous participation in class.

The more a student knows, the more time that is needed to practice properly.  A calendar helps students chart what is done in class and at home.  This is necessary so each area of study is covered, not just the areas the student likes.  Areas that must be practiced individually are: Basics, Basic Kicks, Kick Combinations, Stretching, Body Building Calisthenics, Stance Drills, Kata (including weapons for advanced ranks), Bag Work (if the student has one), and Meditation.

            A sensei is responsibility to check, instruct and correct – looking for efficiency of movement, effective techniques, meeting performance standards, improvement of attitude and knowledge.  Praise comes in many forms beyond the verbal.  So, how does the student know if a good job is being done where rewards are intrinsic?   If a student is asked to help another it means that student has the capability and understanding to help another student.  Promotion shows that the student is ready for advancement and further responsibility.  This is high praise because not every student is capable of being responsible.

 

            WELL, the information included in this month’s newsletter is formidable.  I ask adult students to read it more than once and then revisit it in the future.  I ask parents of younger students to read it and understand what they are able to, because some of the concepts need training to help deeper understanding.  (The door is always open for new students ones who whish to return).

Holiday gift reminders:

            Hanshi Duessel’s Kata and Weapons DVD – $40.00

            Hanshi Duessel’s Book – $15.00 (only 5 left)

            A second gi

            Training equipment (available at our wholesale cost)

 

 

NOVEMBER 2012 NEWSLETTER

November 2012

THIS MONTH’S NEWSLETTER IS BEING POSTED A LITTLE LATER THAN NORMAL BECAUSE OF THE STORM THAT TOOK OUT THE POWER (WHICH IS STILL OUT AT OUR HOME).  REMEMBER TO LISTEN TO WRNJ RADIO, 1510 AM, 92.7 FM AND 104.7 FM.  WE WILL CALL THEM AFTER 1:00 PM AND ASK THAT THEY ANNOUNCE CANCELLATION OF CLASSES.  ALSO LOOK AT OUR DOJO WEB PAGE, www.isshin-ryu.com –  WE WILL POST THERE ALSO.

 Congratulations to the students who earned promotions since our last newsletter – Junior Yellow Belt –  Zoe Arluna, Anthony Morin

 A few years ago I had the privilege to meet and attend seminars by two successful life coaches, Bob Proctor and Zig Ziglar.  Their teachings and philosophies struck a cord with my own beliefs and added depth to my approach as to how one should live.  Since our initial meetings, I have found many other individuals that also share their beliefs, which also support my continued growth.

 The Seasons of Life   by Jim Rohn

      “It is the promise of spring that as we sow, so shall we also reap. Faith further provides to us an irrevocable law decreed in heaven which assures that for every disciplined human effort we will receive a multiple reward. For each cup planted, a bushel reaped, for every good idea given to another, many shall be given to us in return. For every demonstrated act of faith, a multiplicity of the rewards; and for every act of love given, a life of love in return.” — Jim Rohn

      Life is about constant, predictable patterns of change. For the six thousand years of recorded history, as humans have entered this world, received parental instruction, classroom instruction, and gathered the experience of life; many have set for themselves ambitious goals, and dreamed lofty dreams. As the wheel of life continues its constant turning, all human emotions appear, disappear, and appear once again. A major challenge faced by us all is that we must learn to experience the changing of life’s cycles without being changed by them; to make a constant and conscious effort to improve ourselves in the face of changing circumstances.

     That is why I believe in the power and value of attitude. As I read, ponder and speculate about people, their deeds and their destiny, I become more deeply convinced that it is our natural destiny to grow, to succeed, to prosper, and to find happiness while we are here. By our attitude, we decide to read, or not to read. By our attitude, we decide to try or give up. By our attitude, we blame ourselves for our failure, or we blame others. Our attitude determines whether we tell the truth or lie, act or procrastinate, advance or recede, and by our own attitude we and we alone actually decide whether to succeed or fail.

     First, life: it’s like the seasons that change. Second, you cannot change the seasons, but you can change yourself.

     Now with those two key phrases in mind, . . . the first major lesson in life to learn is how to handle the winters. They come regularly, right after autumn.  . . . That is never going to change.  There are all kinds of winters – the “winter” when you can’t figure it out, the “winter” when everything seems to go haywire. There are economic winters, social winters and personal winters. Wintertime can bring disappointment, and disappointment is common to all of us. So you must learn how to handle the winters. You must learn how to handle difficulty; it always comes after opportunity.

    You can’t get rid of January simply by tearing it off the calendar. But here is what you can do: you can get stronger; you can get wiser; and you can get better. Remember that trio of words: stronger, wiser, better. The winters won’t change, but you can.

     Next is spring. Fortunately, following the turbulence of winter comes the season of activity and opportunity called springtime. It is the season for entering the fertile fields of life with seed, knowledge, commitment, and a determined effort. However, the mere arrival of spring is no sign that things are going to look good in the fall. You must do something with the spring. In fact, everyone has to get good at one of two things: planting in the spring or begging in the fall. Take advantage of the day and the opportunities that spring can bring.

     It is the promise of spring that as we sow, so shall we also reap. Faith further provides to us an irrevocable law decreed in heaven which assures that for every disciplined human effort we will receive a multiple reward. For each cup planted, a bushel reaped, for every good idea given to another, many shall be given to us in return. For every demonstrated act of faith, a multiplicity of the rewards; and for every act of love given, a life of love in return.

      Just remember it is a natural characteristic of springtime to present itself ever so briefly, or to lull us into inactivity with its bounteous beauty. Do not pause too long to soak in the aroma of the blossoming flowers, lest you awaken to find springtime gone with your seed still in your sack. Get busy quickly on your springs, your opportunities. There are just a handful of springs that have been handed to each of us. Life is brief, even at its longest. Whatever you are going to do with your life, get at it. Don’t just let the seasons pass by.

     The third major lesson in life to learn; how to nourish and protect your crops all summer. Sure enough, as soon as you’ve planted, the busy bugs and noxious weeds are out to take things over. Here is the next bit of truth: they will take it, unless you prevent it.

     There are two key phrases to consider with the third major lesson. The first is “all good will be attacked.” Don’t press me for a reason. I was not in on some of the early decisions, so I don’t know why. I just know that it’s true. Let reality be your best beginning. Every garden will be invaded. The second phrase is “all values must be defended.” Social values, political values, friendship values, business values – all must be defended. Every garden must be tended all summer. If you don’t develop this skill, you’ll never wind up with anything of value.

     But for those who make diligent efforts to plant, protect, and preserve there are not enough birds, bugs, or other obstacles to destroy all the efforts of last spring.

Now, the fourth and season is fall, the time of harvesting the fruits of our springtime labor. Fall also presents us with our fourth major lesson to learn in life, and that is to learn how to reap in the fall without apology if you have done well and without complaint if you have not.

     For nothing is more exciting than a bounteous crop, and nothing more dreadful than a barren field in the fall. We must remember that in all areas of the human existence, what we put into this world, we get back from it. It is nature’s way of evening the score. So regardless of the results, take full responsibility for your crop. One of the highest forms of human maturity is accepting full responsibility for our lives. Which brings me back to the beginning of our discussion. We must remember that life is constantly recycling itself. Much of life is about the balancing of two opposites; like the positive and negative charge on a battery. Life’s balancing of opposites totally surrounds our lives; man/woman, day/night, good/evil, life/death, water/land, summer/winter, recession/expansion, joy/sorrow, etc.

     Yes, I believe we will have major changes, but I also believe we will continue to have just one winter, spring, summer and fall each year. Much of our success will lie in our ability and philosophy to plant in the springtime of opportunity. To weed and cultivate in the testing time of summer, to harvest without apology and/or complaint in the season of fall and to get stronger, wiser, better in the transition and learning times of winter.

     Remember it is not what happens to you that determines your future; it is what you do about it.

The thoughts related by Jim Rohn’s article do pertain to how one must do certain things to become successful and happy in life.  The same is true in our karate training.  We start training with enthusiasm like a clean white board waiting for notes or someone to scribble on it.   Each person’s reason to start training is different from others but the path one must travel is the same and has been for centuries. (This is an amazing thought.)  There are no short cuts to proficiency and eventual mastery.  The more diligent the student, generally the better the student will be able to learn and thus receive preliminary promotions sooner than one who is not as diligent or capable.  The higher the rank – the more the student should know and understand.  With rank comes growing responsibility to the art and to help others of a lesser rank.  With advanced ranks there are prescribed necessary time limits to ensure one becomes stronger, wiser and better able to understand the depth of internal growth and development.  Everyone experiences emotional highs and lows similar to the change in seasons – – balance the opportunities available and press onward to a new and improved “you”.

 There are now books at the dojo that children may borrow to read and then return.  See Renshi Hughes.

 We clean daily at the dojo in the attempts to provide a good environment for student training and a clean atmosphere for everyone.  Please limit snacks and other foods to the tables and away from chairs and couches.  Numerous unwanted presents have been found under cushions and other places.  THANKS.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1

Sorry karate students and parents . . . STILL NO POWER AT THE DOJO . . .  so no class today.  SATURDAY FROM 10 TO NOON WE WILL BE AT THE DOJO (WITH OR WITHOUT ELECTRICITY) COME ON IN – – – BUT BE SAFE.