CONGRATULATIONS to Daniel DePaul – Junior Yellow Belt, who earned a promotion since our last newsletter.


Linda and I thank everyone who helped teach the karate classes while we were in Maine on vacation.  This time away is enjoyable visiting the spot (Castle Island Camps) in Belgrade Lakes, Maine we have visited for more than twenty years.  It good to share time with people we see only during this time and now also spend time with our children now that they are grown.  It is also good to visit the Maine Isshinryu Karate Academy in Manchester, Maine to socialize and train.





The Law of Sowing and Reaping
by Jim Rohn
Here’s the first of the basic laws of leadership: Whatever you sow, you reap. Now here’s another way to put it on the positive side: In order to reap, you must sow. Reaping is reserved for those who sow, who plant. To deserve the harvest, you must plant the seed. Take care of it in the summer. Carefully harvest it and then do wise things with the harvest. Now, here’s the rest of the law of sowing and reaping. If you sow good, you reap good. If you sow bad, you reap bad. You can’t sow bad and hope for good. You can’t plant weeds and hope for flowers. Here’s something else about the law of sowing and reaping. You don’t reap only what you sow. That’s important to understand. You reap much more than what you sow. If you just reaped what you sow, what’s the exercise for? An important thing to understand about that is it works both positive and negative. The old prophet said, “If you sow the wind, you don’t reap wind, you reap a whirlwind.” You’ve got to be careful sowing the wind. It comes back as a whirlwind. That’s on the negative side. But now it also works on the positive side. If you plant a cup of corn, how much do you get back—a cup? No, a bushel for the cup. You get back much more than what you plant. That’s the reason for planting—for the increase. Now here’s the next key to the law of sowing and reaping. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. Everybody has to understand. The farmer plants the crop in the spring and takes care of it all summer. He’s an honorable man. Loves his family and is a decent citizen. But the day before he sends the combines into the field, a hailstorm comes along and beats his crop into the ground. And it’s gone. It’s lost. So this time it didn’t work. Now what must the farmer do? He’s got to decide whether to do it again or not. “Shall we take another chance the next spring?” We would advise him to do so even though he lost everything in the last harvest because more often than not, you’ll have a harvest if you plant in the spring. There’s no guarantee, but it’s pretty good odds. It’s better than Las Vegas. Incredible! The law of sowing and reaping.



      The concept of sowing and reaping also applies to our karate training. As I go to tournaments and other dojos during the year, I find that many instructors do not emphasize the proper use of stance and proper use of technique during kata, kumite and kobudo training. I seems that if what is being done is close enough it is OK. If proper structure and technique are not demonstrated and taught, how can the student be expected to develop and demonstrate quality karate skills. So, as “The Law of Sowing and Reaping” states, If you sow good, you reap good. If you sow bad, you reap bad.” Karate is a thinking endeavor that unites body, mind, spirit and much more. The student must consciously strive to perform the techniques (from the ground up) the way they were taught. everything must be done in a thoughtful step by step manner without worrying about how quickly things are learned. learn things properly . . . emphasize the correct form . . . and learn it once. neglect the details and one will find that earlier skills will have to be revisited over and over before more advanced skills may be taught.



As you read this, think about the way you are breathing. Most typically, you will fall into one of three categories: Clavicular (very shallow), thoracic (slightly less shallow) or deep abdominal breathing. With clavicular breathing, the worst type,  inhalation has the shoulders and collarbones seem to rise, almost as if they are being filled with air.  Instead of the abdomen expanding, it tends to actually contract, and only a minimum amount of oxygen is obtained. With thoracic breathing, the shoulders and collarbone area are less involved, and more work is done by the muscles used to expand the rib cage. Although better than clavicular breathing, it is still incomplete. Deep abdominal breathing involves taking slow and deep breaths using the diaphragm, the large sheet-like muscle at the bottom of the chest cavity. This is by far the best way to breathe; it allows air into the lowest and largest part of the lungs.

Taking in sufficient amounts of oxygen is important no matter what you are doing, but particularly during exercise. We normally breathe approximately 6 liters of air in and out of the lungs every minute. From there, the blood transports oxygen to every cell in the body. When your body is under stress, as with exercise, it requires extra amounts of oxygen. Meeting these demands is important for muscle growth and energy.

The vast majority of people are shallow breathers, using only a fraction of their lung capacity. These people barely take in enough oxygen to expand the ribs. Without being aware of it, they may also hold their breaths, breathe unevenly, or tend to over breathe as the intensity of the workout increases. If left unchecked, this may result in headaches, fuzzy thinking, dizziness or fainting. By making an effort to breathe more deeply and naturally, you can actually increase your exercise capacity – the body’s ability to do more for a longer period of time with less effort.

If you normally exercise outdoors, keep in mind that environmental factors can make breathing difficult. Studies have shown that exercising under smoggy conditions can decrease lung capacity by as much as 20%. Ground level ozone increases susceptibility to respiratory illnesses, while air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, high pollen counts, and hot, humid air increases the likelihood and severity of wheezing during or following exercise. Exercising in cold air and low humidity can also worsen breathing-related symptoms. Many people with allergies or exercise induced asthma have mild to severe problems with breathing during or following exercise. Physical activity in itself can cause a temporary constriction of the airways in such individuals, causing noticeable shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest. Such symptoms may develop during or after working out, and may even reappear hours later. It is estimated that 21% of people in this country suffer from exercise induced asthma. It occurs in approximately 80 to 90% of people with asthma and in almost 1/2 of people with hay fever.

Some people suffer more extreme symptoms when they exercise. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis occurs exclusively with exercise and includes symptoms such as flushing of the skin, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. In severe cases, swelling in the throat and upper-airway obstruction occurs. Symptoms are usually hastened by moderate-to-hard exercise and typically begin within the first 5 minutes of exercise, diminishing anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours afterwards. Exercising soon after a meal or in a warm, muggy, environment seems to increase the likelihood of attacks.

Posted in Dojo Newsletter.