CONGRATULATIONS to the students who earned promotions since our last newsletter. Junior Orange Belt – Emma and JJ Taylor Junior Green Belt #1 – Ralphie Donica Brown Belt #2 Abby Brown Brown Belt #1 – Ken Aten Third Degree Black Belt – Andrea Aten, Scott Conroy, Bob Kulick

 Many things go into deciding upon each promotion.

            Knowing the required materials (kata, self-defense knowledge, kumite) is an important element –

            The ability to relate information is also important and is developed at different times depending on a person’s attention to detail and how diligently one trains –

            The ability at a higher level to watch what students are doing and have the ability to make comments in a proper manner so each student will be directed to improve abilities in each area of training –

            Attendance is also necessary so each person may be watched and helped –

            Attitude and the desire to constantly improve is demonstrated in many ways while inside and outside the dojo –

            Age is also a necessary component because maturity at higher levels is necessary. From my years with Hanshi Duessel, one never knew when a promotion was going to be earned. However, generally, one needed to be at least 23 to earn a third degree black belt, approximately 29 for fourth degree, 34 for fifth degree, 39 for sixth degree 44 for seventh degree, 49 for sixth degree and at least 60 for ninth degree. These age considerations are adult years of training –

            Know part of the evaluation process is objective and part is subjective. As no two students are the same in ability and discipline, there is no strict guideline for all promotions –

            Know that each sensei wants each student to reach his or her full potential and strives to be as objective and honest as possible –


With the 2018 school year hard upon us, I am preparing for my college classes. I have found during the past 48 years of teaching – most students do not know how to organize their time. At the college one of the first things I do after explaining the rules and regulations is to help the students begin to create an organizational plan. I give them a spreadsheet of a week with hourly grids for the 24 hours in each day. I have them insert:

            What classes they must attend

            What hours they work

            What other responsibilities they have with family, friends and outside organizations

            What time is needed for study

            What time is needed for sleep

            What time is needed for personal time and entertainment

 Many of them never thought to do this prior to the first class of the semester. Often they must do this organizational process weekly, as schedules change.


I found the article below that deals with time.

 I Was Just Thinking About Time. Use it Wisely!” from First Thing Every Morning by Lewis Timberlake

Arthur Berry was described by Time as “the slickest second-story man in the East,” truly one of the most famous jewel thieves of all times. In his years of crime, he committed as many as 150 burglaries and stole jewels valued between $5 and $10 million. He seldom robbed from anyone not listed in the Social Register and often did his work in a tuxedo. On an occasion or two, when caught in the act of a crime by a victim, he charmed his way out of being reported to the police.

Like most people who engage in a life of crime, he was eventually caught, convicted and served 25 years in prison for his crimes. Following his release, he worked as a counterman in a roadside restaurant on the East Coast for $50 a week.

A newspaper reporter found him and interviewed him about his life. After telling about the thrilling episodes of his life he came to the conclusion of the interview saying, “I am not good at morals. But early in my life I was intelligent and clever, and I got along well with people. I think I could have made something of my life, but I didn’t. So when you write the story of my life, when you tell people about all the burglaries, don’t leave out the biggest one of all…Don’t just tell them I robbed Jesse Livermore, the Wall Street baron or the cousin of the king of England. You tell them Arthur Berry robbed Arthur Berry.”

First: Nobody can manage time. But you can manage those things that take up your time.

Second: Time is expensive. As a matter of fact, 80 percent of our day is spent on those things or those people that only bring us two percent of our results.

Third: Time is perishable. It cannot be saved for later use.

Fourth: Time is measurable. Everybody has the same amount of time…pauper or king. It is not how much time you have; it is how much you use.

Fifth: Time is irreplaceable. We never make back time once it is gone.

Sixth: Time is a priority. You have enough time for anything in the world, so long as it ranks high enough among your priorities.

Just think about the familiar complaint, “If I just had more time.” This is exceedingly self-deceptive! Kings have no more time, beggars no less! God gives to every man 24 golden hours per day. That’s 86,400 precious seconds ticket inexorably away.

Here’s the point: If you don’t manage time, time will manage you.


“Man’s finest hour is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle victorious.” Vince Lombardi


“Trust yourself.  Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all of your life.  Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”  Golda Meir





 CONGRATULATIONS to the students who earned promotions:     Junior Green Belt #1 – Ellalynn Aten     Junior Purple Belt #2 – Samantha Herinrich




Success is an important aspect in life. Each person looks for success concerning: school, work, personal relationships, and outside activities to mention a few areas. In Isshin-ryu Karate training – how do we measure success? Some people place emphasis on rank advancement, physical development or winning in tournaments.   These areas are important but if one focuses on internal improvements, success will become more rewarding. These involve improving concentration and the focus of one’s abilities during each aspect of our training. Beyond training in the dojo, each of us must make time to train individually. With this discipline our training and improvement will be evident.

The higher one’s rank finds the focus on the little aspects of training which forces a deeper concentration on the right “pieces of the puzzle.” With this attention to detail, each person will demonstrate better performance. This includes breaking our kata and kumite into principal parts, working toward perfecting those parts, and then putting those highly improved pieces back together.

Beyond these thoughts about success . . . the chances of success will improve if one:

Believes in One’s Self

Has a Positive Attitude

Greets Change as a Friend

Discovers New Paths

Keeps Asking Questions

Never Lets Failure Stop Trying

Spreads Sunshine into Other Lives

Lives with intention.Walks to the edge.
Listens hard. Laughs.

Plays with abandon.

Practices wellness.

Continues to learn.

Chooses with no regret.

Appreciates friends.

Leads or follows a leader.

Does what one loves.

Lives as if this is all there is.


People are like sticks of dynamite; the power is on the inside, but nothing happens until the fuse gets lit.


“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.”

Dr. David Schwartz  –   Author of “The Magic of Thinking Big”


“Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure.  You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.”  Elanor Roosevelt