Inspired Action or Just Activity?

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

3rd Friday Training Sessions


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


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

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


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

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

2010 IWKA Championships

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

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


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


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

He is able who thinks he is able. – Buddha

Inspired Action or Activity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Gugler awarded Sho-Dan and other ISK promotions

Congratulations to the people who earned promotions at our June 19th training sessions at our home.

  • Junior Green Belt #1
    • Riley Kamm
  • Junior Green Belt #2
    • Arshdeep Singh
  • Senior Brown Belt # 3
    • Bridget Driscoll
    • Clairanne Arcaro
  • Senior Brown Belt #1
    • Anthony Curcuruto
  • Sho Dan (1st Degree Black Belt)
    • Lee Gugler

A few thoughts from Mr. Gugler:

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

He is able who thinks he is able. – Buddha

May 2010: Karate and Energy

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

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

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


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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 2010: Which Wolf Will You Feed?


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

Hanshi Duessel’s SUMMER AFFILIATION SEMINARS are June 26th and are being held at Shihan Carmona’s dojo in Landing, NJ. The cost for the symposium including lunch and dinner will be $50. Shihan Carmona asks that registrations be handled by each individual WHD school and passed along to me no later than May 30th, 2010. With this in mind adult Brown and Black belts must register with Kyoshi Hughes no later than Thursday, May 20th. Ask if you have any questions.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


February, 2010: Seminar and Tournament Announcements

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December, 2009: Promotions

Congratulations to the students who have earned promotions since our last newsletter.

  • Junior Yellow Belt:  Vlad Kuz
  • Senior Green Belt:  Bridget Driscoll

October, 2009: Promotions

Congratulations to the students who earned promotions since our last newsletter:

Aidan Johnson Senior Yellow Belt Clairanne Arcaro

  • Junior Yellow Belt
    • Aidan Johnson
  • Senior Yellow Belt
    • Clairanne Arcaro

August, 2009 Promotions

Don Dixon's Black Belt and Kyu Rank PromotionsCongratulations to those who earned and were awarded promotions at our Karate camp on August 7 – 8, 2009.

  • Sho Dan (1st Degree Black Belt) – Don Dixon
  • Ni-Kyu (2nd Degree Brown Belt) – Anthony Curcuruto
  • San-Kyu (3rd Degree Brown Belt) – Joseph Reinbold
  • Senior Junior Blue Belt #2 – Kristyn Wheeler
  • Junior Purple Belt #2 – Katherine Waldman