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.


   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?

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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!

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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.’

Posted in Dojo Newsletter.