Parents of current students – as a Thanksgiving gift to you, please accept our thanks for permitting us to train your child or children at our dojo. We extend a free month of training to you between now and the New Year. Kyoshi and Renshi Hughes
Congratulations to the people who earned promotions since our last newsletter. Junior Green Belt #1 – Jake Brader Junior Purple Belt #1 – Shayne Davies Senior Green Belt – Jay Brader, Jeff Brown
GREAT MOMENTS IN ONE’S LIFE
It’s been said that there are two great moments in a person’s life. The first is when you are born and the second is when you discover your life’s purpose. The great architect Frank Lloyd Wright said that: “the thing always happens that you really believe in, and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” One of my favorite stories is the amazing Gold Medal Athlete Jessie Owens. In high school, he was just an ordinary scrawny black kid. Until his school held an assembly featuring the great Charley Paddock. At that time, Charley was the fastest human being alive! During the assembly, Charley asked the student body “Do you know who you are?” He asked this a couple of times. “Who are you?” Then answering himself: “You are a child of God, you live in the United States of America and you can become anything that you truly want to!”
When Jessie Owens heard these words, a burning desire was awakened inside him and he resolved then and there that he, Jessie Owens, would someday become that fastest human being in the world! And he did go on to achieve a life of athletic and personal greatness. The belief in a thing does make it happen!
All of us have those moments in our lives where, if we believe and decide, we can change in wonderful new directions. In any moment you can change your life just by changing your thoughts.
Decide to hold onto the higher ground you have claimed! This really does work but only if you keep a hold fast to your new thoughts and expressions. It has also been shown that people who return to their former daily habits, going back to their same old associations, adopting the old habits and settling into the life that they had before, within a week or two, all of those new thought patterns – all of those new resolutions simply fade away.
Don’t go back! Keep that flame of success alive. Fill your mind with positive things.
People are measured not by what they say but what they do. Go out and do those new activities; see new people and success will accumulate. All of those good thoughts will be reinforced by the new reality that you are creating.
Many important decisions were made by ordinary people who started taking Isshin-ryu karate for a number of reasons: to get in better physical condition, to be better prepared if one has to use self defense skills, to learn a art that is hundreds of years old, to advance physical activity in a way that is not like going to a gym and lifting weights or doing an aerobics’ class. Some of those people are still in the dojo more than 20 years later. Others have wanted to start but find a reason to not get started now. Make the decision to go beyond the ordinary. REMEMBER – the difference between ordinary and the extraordinary is that little EXTRA.
This is powerful stuff!
Kata training has its place in karate. The reason is that it represents the knowledge that has been developed by the early masters of the martial arts. Throughout history the katas are what define the style.
In Isshin Ryu, the katas represents the fighting techniques of the style. Within the kata, there are moves that are not performed, as they would be in a fighting situation. Certain moves are performed the way they are to strengthen different parts of the body. Some are there to develop balance, etc. A good example is the stances. Because hand techniques often rely on strong legs for their own strength, it is very important to strengthen one’s legs. CH
Sense of Achievement – Entitlement
We achieve things in our practice. Each promotion earned is an achievement. One desirable milestone is achieving the level of black belt – Sho Dan. This has a great significance for almost everyone who trains in a martial system that utilizes the graded belt system. Sometimes this is the end goal of many. People now know that this is merely the beginning and this may be the most difficult stage of all in the martial systems both classical and traditional.
We increase our level of proficiency by diligent practice and discipline. This is a difficult transition as it can take us down a path we choose to make, which will lead to understanding the true spirit of karate. This includes such things as mentoring, training, practicing, and assumption of a leadership role. This is a great responsibility to you as a student of the art, as well as to those whom you lead, guide and mentor to find their own path.
There are dojo practices and training; there are seminars with other knowledgeable instructors; there are competitive encounters; there are actual threats and conflicts that must be traveled to reach a milestone post along that highway – the path. Our perceptive filters build, modify and expand as we travel this road. It has effects – psychological.
How we deal with both the physical and psychological can determine our leadership abilities. It involves an awareness of our ego’s and our pride. The side I sometimes use the term coined in the writings of Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung – the monkey. If we allow it to assume a controlling position then we may fall into that grievous state where we assume a “sense of entitlement.” For leaders; for leadership – this is dangerous.
Do you encounter emotional reactions when someone does not treat you with respect? Do you assume that you should receive recognitions such as rank, titles, etc. because you believe you have earned them? Some instructors become emotionally stressed if their dojo or practitioners are overlooked for recognitions, promotions, and awards. A false sense of entitlement creates an egoistic prideful attitude that sends a clear signal to all who witnesses it first hand. Be careful to not be guilty of assuming a false sense of entitlement?
A false sense of entitlement creates a persona that transmits the wrong message for those who follow your lead. How seniors of any martial system act, talk, and walk the walk transmit a great deal as to how one practices and acts both in and out of the dojo. It is a tempering process that also contributes greatly to the proper sense of application to those dangerous principles and techniques learned in karate.
A very slippery slope we encounter in the world of martial arts. It is easy if we are not aware and diligent in our own path to enlightenment and it is a choice between either the dark side or the light side of that path. Assuming the mantel of senior, leader, mentor and a higher level of grade can subvert the way with ego, pride and the resulting sense of entitlement. “Choose your path wisely!”
There will be no class on Thursday, November 24, 2011.
If there are weather conditions that may make it unsafe to hold classes I will have announcements mate through WRNJ radio, 1510 on the AM dial and 92.7 on the FM dial (generally by 3:00 PM). When possible I will also use the e.mail list that I have for students. As always be safe and call the dojo or my cell to check (908-797-0087 cell). If you are uncomfortable driving in conditions – call and then make up the class.
Please remember to turn in St. Jude Kick-A-Thon packets and checks – ASAP.