Seminar with Master Brian Fitzgerald


Master Brian Fitzgerald conducted a seminar at the main dojo on Sunday, May 24, 2009. Master Fitzgerald, currently the Police Chief for Branchburg Township, began training in Isshinryu in 1970 with Frank Brita a second-generation student of Nagle. In 1974 he began training with Master Nagle at the Central Ave. dojo. Sensei Brita and Master Ungie Uezu signed his Ni Dan Certificate. His Third Dan through Eighth Dan certificates were awarded by Master Nagle and most recently his Ninth Dan was awarded by Hanshi Ed McGrath .

Master Fitzgerald covered many topics in the two hour seminar, including:

  • Master Nagle’s approach to fighting and matching
  • Master Nagle’s unique way of kicking
  • How and why Master Nagle used his guard and hands
  • The advantage to angles in fighting
  • Nagle’s original 11 upper body basics and 5 kicks
  • How Master Nagle developed hand speed
  • General questions from the group regarding my experience and training with him

23rd Annual Invitational Benefit Tournament Results

[postcasa] Isshinryu School of Karate Benefit Tournament[/postcasa]

Our annual benefit tournament was held on Sunday, April 26, 2009 at Hackettstown High School. More than 180 competitors had a great time, and helped raise money to benefit the American Diabetes Tour de Cure, American Cancer Society and The Mountain Lake Fire Department in Memory of Lee Mills.

A few hundred competitors performed kata and weapons kata, and tested their skills in kumite. You can download the results to see all the winners.

See you next year.

Hanshi Duessel’s Seminar

0903-hanshiduesselseminarHanshi Duessel’s Seminar – In March, 2009, we attended Hanshi William H. Duessel’s annual spring seminar in Pittsburgh, NJ. Hanshi’s seminar covered breathing, the step-slide and reminded us all of the importance of a strong foundation in our basics. After the seminar, everyone was invited back to the dojo for some food and camaraderie.

It’s always great to see so many people from different schools working hard to perfect their training. Hanshi’s seminars are always informative and inspirational. If you have a chance to go to one, go. Check out Hanshi Duessel’s web site.

In Memory of Mrs. Mary Duessel. April 10, 1927 – August 19, 2008

mrsdMary Duessel a friend with the willingness to listen, laugh at a good story and would also say things like they are.


And if I go,
While you’re still here . . .
Know that I live on,
Vibrating to a different measure
Behind a veil you can not see through.

You will not see me,
So you must have faith.
I wait for the time when we can soar
together again,
Both aware of each other.

Training in Okinawa

From June 19th – 29th, 10 people from the Isshin-ryu School of Karate went to Okinawa to train with Master Kichiro Shimabuku, learn about Okinawa and spend a few days in Tokyo. We all had a great time. Master Shimabuku was very gracious, welcomed us to his Dojo, and we had the opportunity to train with him several times during our trip. We’re already thinking about going back in 2 years.

Karate Camp and Black Belt Testing

On July 25th and 26th, we spent a few days at Kyoshi’s house training in the woods (and in the field, and in the river, and up the hill, and down the hill, and up the hill…). There was good training, good friends, good food, good fun, and quite a few promotions.

Congratulations Kyoshi

2008-8thdanpromotionsOn March 1, 2008 Master William H. Duessel, 9th Degree Black Belt, with whom he has been studying since 1985, promoted him to 8th Degree Black Belt. He is one of 7 people who have earned this rank from the Isshinryu World Karate Association (IWKA). The promotions took place at Hanshi’s annual spring seminars in Pittsburgh, PA.

Left to Right
Marvin Prentice – 8th Dan
Chuck Wallace – 8th Dan
William H. Duessel – 9th Dan
John E. Hughes – 8th Dan
Robert A. Kristensen – 8th Dan (not pictured)


By John E. Hughes

Do you remember playing “hide and seek?” I enjoyed it as a child and I liked playing it with my own children. You know how it works. One player closes his eyes and counts in a loud voice to some designated number. All the other players run and attempt to find a place to hide. When the counter finishes counting, he calls out, “Ready or not here I come!” and begins to try to find all those who are hiding.

When playing “hide and seek,” what kind of a hiding spot did you want to find? Most of us wanted the perfect place where no one could find us. But, did you ever find a spot that was so good, you could not be found? What did you begin to do after several minutes of not being discovered? You called out, made some noise, whistled, or threw something. Why did you do this? Because you had hidden in a spot that was so good, it was boring! You wanted to do something to bring a little excitement back into the game.

Some of our students are still playing hide and seek. They seek a place that is safe and secure and then hide there. “Hiding” is also being done by those who pretend to be putting forth an effort but are not truly trying to do the basics completely, with complete form and focused concentration. They do their basics, kata and sparring drills with a lack-luster effort. Over time, some people discover that these hiding places are so excessively safe, that they are boring. There is no excitement and little chance of being discovered, developed, or challenged. At some point, these people will make a decision to remain safely hidden or to make some noise. If they are content with being a mediocre student, they are happy. If they want to succeed and improve, they must decide to get involved, practice on their own and make a commitment to shine through use.

A disciplined, traditional karate dojo is the gathering place for individuals who don’t want to spend their lives hiding. It attracts those who want to make some noise, take some risks, and taste success.. These people are doing more than becoming part of the easy way. They are making a statement that they want to be active players in the game of life. It is a moment of boldness and courage. These people deserve to be respected. These karateka deserve our finest help and best assistance as they take continued steps on a journey that will wonderfully change their lives.

If I were to wear a hat, and at times I do when I am fishing or working around the farm, I would take it off to these individuals.


Find a life that cherishes the SUN and leave the SHADOWS of mediocrity.


Focus Comes Before Personal Success

By John E. Hughes

In January I wrote that I hoped the arrival of the new millennium would be accompanied with a new quality of life more success, freedom, love, and laughter. I was correct to be filled with hope and positive expectations. I made a mistake in assuming there is a correlation between the beginning of a new year and the beginning of a new life. SO I am redirecting my focus, not on the calendar, but on the values that will help create a new quality of life.

The single most important of the elements of success, which creates change and brings success, is the ability to sustain the FOCUS in our daily lives.

A dream that is wished for is very different from a dream that is worked for.

A FOCUS comes BEFORE personal success.

“People say that getting there is half the fun. They are wrong. It is ALL the fun.”

Look back and:

  • Remember how nervous you were when you first started YOUR karate training.
  • Remember the time you thought you knew a technique or kata only to discover it needed constant work to keep it
  • Remember training sessions when you thought of quitting. – – but worked through the self doubt or self-centered ideas to try to find the beginner’s mind.
  • Fondly recall how you felt when your skills started to improve and you began to see the fruits of your labor.
  • Be grateful that you never quit pursuing your dream because the journey to success has proven valuable inwardly and outwardly.
  • Be thankful that all of the struggles, disappointments, small victories, and major accomplishments have done more than strengthen you and enrich your life.

Follow the wisdom of Coach Landry. Enjoy your journey to success. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you cannot be content, excited, optimistic, or proud until you have achieved your desired level of success. Enjoy these attitudes TODAY. Give yourself permission to stand tall and stay confident. Keep a light heart while pursuing your dreams. Bring humor to the hassles. Bring faith to the frustrations. Learn to laugh at life. One day the moments that now seem so bitter will be your sweetest memories. You might as well enjoy them now.