March Newsletter

March 2019

Doug King’s Tournament, Merriam Avenue Elementary School, Newton, NJ – March 24th.

Brown Belt and Black Belt session Friday, March 15th.

Make Monday Positive – paraphrased from “Simple Truths

Positivity is more inspiring and valuable than negativity; however, it always seems harder to look on the bright side. The good news is, you can change this and be surprised by how easy it is to be positive with everyone. Focusing on the good in life by saying and doing positive things. By asking a simple “why not?” matters may change and negativity is let go. Consciously, put positivity in the world this month. When life feels out of reach, try turning it into a “why not?” and see where it leads. Lastly, think back to someone who made a difference in your life and call, write or email to let him or her know. See what happens when you’re a true force of positivity, because being positive matters and so do you.

Live with Purpose

Although we can’t choose how we’re born, we do get to choose how we live.
This means that choices matter. Understanding that you matter is the first step in living a life with purpose. After that, it’s about taking one Monday, one action at a time – leading to a change in your life and those around you.

Start Here: Make Monday Joyful

Joy surrounds us – we can create it, experience it and share it. It comes in different forms! When was the last time you did something just for the fun of it? How often do you laugh until it hurts? Can you recall taking a moment to love the little things? If you can’t remember, make it a point to start each day taking a few minutes to think about joyfulness and what it means.


Congratulations to the people that participated in the January 17th Golden Rule Tournament.

Winners were: Tom Schroeder – 3rd Place Weapons, Kristyn Wheeler, 3rd Place Weapons and 4th Place Kata, Jake Brader – 2nd Place Kata, Daniel Tankel – Third Place Kata, Rachel Tankel, 3rd Place Kata, Dominic Jovino – 2nd Place Kata and Sparring, Trinity White – First Place Kata (tie).


There have been discussions at the dojo lately about the starting and ending points when performing katas.

The following is a short text has been taken from the Encyclopedia of Okinawa Karate and Kobudo. It was written by senior Uechi-ryū practitioner Tōbaru Keich and it gives a good overview about the topic of enbusen. With uke-waza (defenses), tsuki-waza (strikes), and keri-waza (kicks), the kata of karate also include skills such as tsukame-waza (seizing), nage-waza (throwing), and kansetsu-waza (joint locking, grappling). In addition, every kata has a so-called enbusen 演武線, or “trajectories of martial kata performances”. Assuming attacks from the front, back, left and right, and performing defenses, strikes, and kicks etc. against a visualized opponent, individual techniques are being combined into a series of techniques. Kata is the representation of lines systematized as a whole. The course of the footwork used to perform these attacks and defenses are the enbusen.

Envisioning effective and appropriate techniques of offense and defense against opponents from all directions and integrating it with footwork into a series of movements, the performance of the enbusen is one of the key elements for the acquisition of techniques in Karate. As the basic forms of enbusen, there is the ‘I-shaped enbusen‘ (ijikei)  which assumes the enemy in the front and back, the horizontal enbusen (yokoichijikei) which assumes the enemy on the left and right, the cross-shaped enbusen‘ (jūjikei) which assumes the enemy from four directions, the all directions enbusen (shihōhappō) which assumes the enemy in all directions, and the enbusen in which the directions and footwork radiates to all directions’ (happō hōshakei). Additionally, depending on the type of kata, various other enbusen exist, such as the ‘T-shaped’ (teijikei), the ‘reversed-T-shaped’, and the ‘tree-kanji-shape’ (kijikei) enbusen.

In addition to the aesthetic or practical ideas of the inventor, from the perspective of larger and smaller training places as well as from the specific martial arts tradition, the starting point and the end point of the enbusen – referred to as matomari 纏まり in the Japanese language, meaning both consistency and conclusion – have to be consistent. That is, the start and end points are assumed to have been designed so as to return to the original starting spot when finishing the kata. However, due to differences in the physique, expressive power, stepping, footwork of the performer, the start and end point are not always exactly consistent. Especially in old kata of Kobudō, such a consistency in the start and end points is even harder to find. Therefore, this consistency might be a more modern necessity.

While there are various trajectories based on the inventor’s viewpoint and ideas of martial arts, none of the enbusen of kata shows large deviations from the standard. Every kata includes a martial performance flowing along the enbusen, and even if there is some deviation, the kata ends within the radius of about 1 meter from the starting point. As a part of traditional kata, together with functionality and combative characteristics, the matomari has become something for handing down information.

There are some things to consider when it comes to pre-1900 Karate. First of all, while the (almost) identical start and end point is certainly a classic feature of kata in Karate, the term matomari 纏まり doesn’t seem to be that old. Secondly, there are variuos possible reasons for the (almost) identical start and end point. For example, one might argue that it is the result of boundaries, such as in indoor training or when training larger groups of people. While the starting and ending points of kata are almost identical, it is said that with Kobudo or weapons kata, this is not generally found.

February Newsletter

February 2019


There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.” A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us. Show your friends how much you care.

Author Unknown

To succeed in life, karate or any endeavor, each person must accept the responsibility to live life each day and strive to improve daily. When one’s temper is not controlled, the outside forces in life take control. The holes in the fence are the gaps in life when others are hurt by our action or inaction. Can we replace friends as easily as we would replace the boards in the fence?   Is this a realistic option, especially if you are that piece of wood?

As Steve Jobs once said “simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean and simple. But it’s worth it in the end because when you get there, you can move mountains.” Once you start, you can succeed in anything you set your mind to. Change your life by eliminating distractions and focusing on the task at hand to streamline your processes and get results.


CONGRATULATIONS to Skye and Trinity White on their promotion to Junior Green Belt.

 Brown and Black Belts – There will be a training session on Friday, February 15th – starting at 7 PM. Let me know if you will be attending.


            MONDAYS FOR ADULTS – 6:00 to 7:30 PM


                        OLDER / ADVANCED CHILDREN STILL 6:30 – 8:00 PM

                        ADULTS STILL 8:00 to 9:30 or 10:00 PM


SATURDAYS – ADULTS – STILL 10:00 to 11:00 AM

                                       CHILDREN – STILL 11:00 AM to NOON



January 2019

As this newsletter is coming to you prior to January, Mrs. Hughes and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2016.

          As I type I think back on the training that we have done in the Hackettstown area since 1979. A number of the original students are still involved in our training. The training has remained traditional in nature, which is uncommon in these days because most directors of schools look to make money, sacrificing the “art and the tradition of self discovery and intrinsic improvement.”

            One of the strengths of a karate training session is that the process is mental as well as physical, so the whole person benefits from the time spent in the dojo as well as during the disciplined practice at home. We cannot attempt to stay at the same level that we are at today. We must try to improve our abilities at kata, kumite, and self development.

            Another strength of traditional karate training is seen when the student can focus his or her energies on the inner qualities that set our training apart from other forms of exercise. Goal setting is not unique to karate training but is at times different because we cannot look at just the physical benefits of an exercise program. We must take into account that we want to improve ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Think about what you want to accomplish during this year and write it on a piece of paper – – – put it away in a safe place (with your monthly dojo newsletters) and look at it every so often to see if progress is being made toward accomplishing the desired goal.

            Accept the challenge of setting realistic short and long term goals. Be prepared to work toward the goal and step by step improvements will be made.


“Remind thyself, in the darkest moments, that every failure is only a step toward success, every detection of what is false directs you toward what is true, every trial exhausts some tempting form of error, and every adversity will only hide, for a time, your path to peace and fulfillment.” Og Mandino


Traditions for New Years In Japan

The New Year’s is a great time to celebrate the end of a year and the beginning of another year. For many, there are so many traditions associated with how they celebrate. In Japan, there are also customs and traditions associated with bringing in the New Year. Here are just a few of them.

Deep Cleaning

In Japanese culture, the new year must begin on a clean slate. As a result, Japanese people usually partake in something called oosouji, or “big cleaning.” A lot of times, every inch of the household is cleaned, including places that remain untouched other times of the year. On a personal piece of anecdotal information, I remember my family moving even the fridge during oosouji, and vacuuming under there as well. It was exhausting for me as a child, but satisfying now to think of a house well-cleaned.

Eating Traditional New Year’s food

Another big tradition in Japanese culture is eating certain foods, Toshikoshi soba is eaten on the eve of New Years, while ozoni and osechi are enjoyed the actual day of.


On New Year’s, there is a tradition of handing a bit of money in an envelope to the children. It usually isn’t much, but it is something many kids in Japan look foward to. Sometimes adults will get them to, but I remember it being something reserved for children. It depends on the household how otoshidama’s are given out.


Another fun little tradition for many is to go out and buy fukubukuro on New Year’s. Fukubukuro are essentially surprise bags that many retailers sell at different price points, that people buy without knowing what’s inside. Usually the collective retail value of the items inside are worth more than what the bag was bought for, but part of the risk is not knowing what’s inside. These bags usually sell out fast as there are lines of people waiting to buy one, and it is a pretty popular little New Years tradition.


One of the more traditional New Year’s customs is Hatsumode, or the first shrine visit of the New Year. Many people go to visit a shrine on January 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, in order to pay their respects and also to wish for a happy and healthy year. The shrines tend to get very crowded, and families tend to all go together.


Another New Year’s tradition is to observe the first sunrise of the year. Although there are many people who won’t be able to wake up for this tradition, there are also plenty of people who enjoy partaking in it. There is something magical about watching the first sunrise of a brand new year.

There are many, many more Japanese traditions that weren’t even mentioned on this list. New Year’s in Japan is a huge deal filled with festivities and traditions. There are many festivals and music that go on, and specials on tv that air only once on New Year’s Eve. The customs vary region to region, and household to household, but we hope this list gave some insight into some of Japanese culture.




 As the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are approaching a quick reminder to see me to order equipment that may be desired by December 13th. All items are priced at our discounted rates.

            I have four (4) of Hanshi Duessel’s DVDs of the hand and weapons katas – ($40)

            I have a few of Hanshi Duessel’s Bo and Sai posters – ($15)

            Karate gi’s – sizes 00 – 2 ($20)   3 – 4 ($30)     5 – 6 ($35) – heavy duty gi’s by cost

            School Patch – ($5) – Isshin-ryu Patch – ($8)

            IWKA membership from Okinawa   ($35)

            Safety Hands and Feet – ($38) Head gear ($20)


There will be NO CLASSES on December 24, 25 , 31 and January 1.


Information about our style  and  Founder of Isshin – Ryu Karate

Tatsuo Shimabuku (also referred to as Soke) was born in Okinawa in 1906 and died May 30, 1975. He began his study of karate at the age of 8 when he walked some 12 miles to the neighboring village of Shuri to learn karate from his uncle. His uncle sent him home; obstinately he returned and was sent away several more times. His uncle finally gave in to his persistence and accepted him as a pupil.

For about four years, Master Shimabuku was privileged to study karate in the dojo of his uncle each day after completing the most menial domestic chores.   Having received a certain degree of skill in Shuri-te karate, he went on to formal training in Shorin Ryu. He met Chotoku Kyan, who was already famous throughout Okinawa as a karate instructor and became one of that master’s leading pupils. He also studied karate with Chojun Miyagi of the Goju style of karate, and Choki Motobu of the Shorin Ryu system. Later, he again took up the study of the bo and sai, as well as the tuifa forms from the instructors Taira Shinken and Yabiku Moden, who were responsible for providing Okinawa’s instructors with these particular skills.

Master Shimabuku’s reputation throughout Okinawa had reached its peak when World War II struck. During the early part of the war, he did his best to avoid conscription into the Japanese army by escaping into the countryside where he worked as a farmer. As the situation grew more and more desperate for the Japanese, and as the need to press the Okinawans into the service became urgent, he was forced to flee.

As his reputation in karate spread among the Japanese, many soldiers began a thorough search, as they wanted to study karate under him. The officers who finally caught up with him agreed to keep the secret of his whereabouts if he would teach them karate. It was in this manner that Master Shimabuku survived the war.

After the war, he returned to farming and practiced karate privately for his own spiritual repose and physical exercise. But as one of the island’s leading practioners of both the Shorin Ryu and Goju Ryu styles of karate, he felt a strong need to combine the various styles of karate into one. After consulting the aged masters and the heads of schools, Master Shimabuku founded one of the world’s major styles of karate, the Isshin Ryu system.

Isshin-Ryu Kata Information

Kata are sequentially designed, pre-determined defense, attack, and counterattack forms used against multiple opponents. In addition to giving students practice in “street” techniques, kata develops speed, breath control, balance, calm mind, rhythm, motion, and coordination. Until this century, kata was the only and ideal method of karate training.   Students learn kata in the following order:

  1. Seisan
    From Shorin Ryu. It derives its name from Master Seshan. Emphasizes a straight-forward stance, seiken tzuki blocking, the mae geri, and rapid technique
  2. Seiuchin
    From Goju Ryu. Emphasizes a strong, low stance in which the heels are shoulder-width apart and the feet are pointed out on a 45 degree angle. It also stresses reinforced blocks and punches, breath control, and powerful techniques.
  3. Naihanchin
    From Shorin Ryu. It is known for its “Toe-inward” stance (uchi hachiji dachi). Designed for fighting with one’s back against a wall or on a ledge.   Most Movements are performed in a lateral direction.
  4. Wansu
    From Shorin Ryu. It is referred to as the “dumping form” because of the throw it contains. The technical term for this throw is kata garuma.
  5. Chinto
    From Shorin Ryu. This kata emphasizes pivots and fighting on angles.   Chinto is one of the most difficult kata to perform while maintaining good balance.
  6. Kusanku
    From Shorin Ryu. It derives its name from Master Kushanku. Designed for fighting under conditions with limited-light, and teaches evasive techniques.
  7. Sunsu
    This is the kata that Master Shimabuku personally developed, and bears his nickname. It is the longest and most difficult kata to perform.
  8.  Sanchin
    From Goju Ryu. It emphasizes strong technique and breath control. The names means “three battles”, and refers to the control of mind, body, and breath during the performance of the kata.


November 2018

AMERICAN ISSHINRYU DAY WITH THE MASTERS – $60.00 for the day, INCLUDING LUNCH!  (Non-American Isshinryu members pay ONLY $85 and your AI Lifetime Membership is INCLUDED!)     The schedule of presenters is as follows:  Saturday, November 10, 2018 – DOORS OPEN 8:30 AM      Event will be held at The College of Saint Elizabeth  2 Convent Road  Convent Station (Morristown), NJ 07960   Presenters include: Master Kelly Cere:  Angi Uezu’s Isshinryu Yakosoku Kumite, Master Terry Creamer:  Kumite,  Master John Devine:  Bo-Sai patterns (kumite),  Master Isham Latimer:  Stand-up JuJitsu

The Sagacious Monkey and the Boar
LONG, long ago, there lived in the province of Shinshin in Japan, a traveling monkey-man, who earned his living by taking round a monkey and showing off the animal’s tricks.
One evening the man came home in a very bad temper and told his wife to send for the butcher the next morning.  The wife was very bewildered and asked her husband:
“Why do you wish me to send for the butcher?”
“It’s no use taking that monkey round any longer, he’s too old and forgets his tricks. I beat him with my stick all I know how, but he won’t dance properly. I must now sell him to the butcher and make what money out of him I can. There is nothing else to be done.”
The woman felt very sorry for the poor little animal, and pleaded for her husband to spare the monkey, but her pleading was all in vain, the man was determined to sell him to the butcher.
Now the monkey was in the next room and overheard ever word of the conversation. He soon understood that he was to be killed, and he said to himself:
“Barbarous, indeed, is my master! Here I have served him faithfully for years, and instead of allowing me to end my days comfortably and in peace, he is going to let me be cut up by the butcher, and my poor body is to be roasted and stewed and eaten? Woe is me! What am I to do. Ah! a bright thought has struck me! There is, I know, a wild bear living in the forest nearby. I have often heard tell of his wisdom. Perhaps if I go to him and tell him the strait I am in he will give me his counsel. I will go and try.”
There was no time to lose. The monkey slipped out of the house and ran as quickly as he could to the forest to find the boar. The boar was at home, and the monkey began his tale of woe at once.
“Good Mr. Boar, I have heard of your excellent wisdom. I am in great trouble, you alone can help me. I have grown old in the service of my master, and because I cannot dance properly now he intends to sell me to the butcher. What do you advise me to do? I know how clever you are!”
The boar was pleased at the flattery and determined to help the monkey. He thought for a little while and then said:
“Hasn’t your master a baby?”
“Oh, yes,” said the monkey, “he has one infant son.”
“Doesn’t it lie by the door in the morning when your mistress begins the work of the day? Well, I will come round early and when I see my opportunity I will seize the child and run off with it.”
“What then?” said the monkey.
“Why the mother will be in a tremendous scare, and before your master and mistress know what to do, you must run after me and rescue the child and take it home safely to its parents, and you will see that when the butcher comes they won’t have the heart to sell you.”
The monkey thanked the boar many times and then went home. He did not sleep much that night, as you may imagine, for thinking of the morrow. His life depended on whether the boar’s plan succeeded or not. He was the first up, waiting anxiously for what was to happen. It seemed to him a very long time before his master’s wife began to move about and open the shutters to let in the light of day. Then all happened as the boar had planned. The mother placed her child near the porch as usual while she tidied up the house and got her breakfast ready.
The child was crooning happily in the morning sunlight, dabbing on the mats at the play of light and shadow. Suddenly, there was a noise in the porch and a loud cry from the child. The mother ran out from the kitchen to the spot, only just in time to see the boar disappearing through the gate with her child in its clutch. She flung out her hands with a loud cry of despair and rushed into the inner room where her husband was still sleeping soundly.
He sat up slowly and rubbed his eyes, and crossly demanded what his wife was making all that noise about. By the time that the man was alive to what had happened, and they both got outside the gate, the boar had got well away, but they saw the monkey running after the thief as hard as his legs would carry him.
Both the man and wife were moved to admiration at the plucky conduct of the sagacious monkey, and their gratitude knew no bounds when the faithful monkey brought the child safely back to their arms.
“There!” said the wife. “This is the animal you want to kill-if the monkey hadn’t been here we should have lost our child forever.”
“You are right, wife, for once,” said the man as he carried the child into the house.                                                                                                                                                       “You may send the butcher back when he comes, and now give us all a good breakfast and the monkey too.”
When the butcher arrived, he was sent away with an order for some boar’s meat for the evening dinner, and the monkey was petted and lived the rest of his days in peace, nor did his master ever strike him again.
Ozaki, Yei Theodora. Japanese Fairy Tales. New York: A. L. Burt Company, 1908.




If you think of passion as the flame that burns white hot in the heart of every person, then inspiration is the fuel that keeps that flame alive. What are you doing to continually rekindle the passion in your life? What kind of inspiration are you providing yourself that will keep you pursuing your dream? In Create a Life You Can’t Wait to Live, Zig Ziglar’s motivational thoughts will help ignite the passion, purpose, and peak performance you’ve longed for.

I was fortunate enough to attend a number of seminars that Zig Ziglar presented. Each one focused on necessary ideas to succeed in life and how to become positive influence at everything I wanted to do. I remember he had an old chromed well pump attached to a wooden stand. As he talked about success he would pump the handle showing that if one wanted success work had to be accomplished. Nothing would happen (no water would be produced) if the pump was not primed and if the handle was not moved with energy and enthusiasm. Just like the well pump, if success is desired in life – work must be done with effort and enthusiasm.

People with goals succeed because they know where they are going and do not let outside influences affect their actions. People that write the goal and then visualize the goal being accomplished have a better chance of success than people who just want to succeed. Think what your last accomplishment was. What started the desire to succeed. What steps were necessary for success to be accomplished? Success in not an accident.

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” Marcus Aurelius

What we plant is what we will harvest. The thoughts we cultivate cause the outcome of our actions. “Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are our gardeners.” Shakespeare




 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.





 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.


JULY 2018



CONGRATULATIONS to the students who earned promotions: Junior Yellow Belt – Michael & Nikolas Hollman, Petey Donica     Junior Green Belt #2 – Madeline Ridge, Dylan Schulze     Junior Purple Belt #1 – Daniel & Rachel Tankel, Anthony Coletta     Junior Purple Belt #2 – Izzy Donica     Senior Brown Belt #3 – Angelina Goncalves, Kyle Coletta


 As summer is beginning. School has ended for the year. Vacations and time with family and friends become an important part of the next few months. After reading about perfect moments, I recreated a synopsis of the author’s thoughts. What most excites you?

 “Creating Your Perfect Moments” from The Perfect Moment by Andy Andrews

Once you start noticing your life’s perfect moments, there is only one thing you are going to want to do—create them intentionally. How many times have you planned an afternoon with your family or friends that you thought was going to be perfect, only for some unforeseen interruption or setback to derail the whole occasion? If planning perfect moments rarely works, how can we go about creating more of them? It’s simple: we create an environment conducive to perfect moments. The first step is to determine what this environment looks like. These three questions will get you started!

  1. What excites you more than anything else?
  2. What people do you particularly enjoy being around?
  3. If this were your last day, what would you do?

Based on your responses to these three questions, one may see the type of environment where most perfect moments would occur. After answering these questions, you may also find that your current life situation and your perfect moment environment are not aligned. It could be that the beach excites you more than anything else, but you live in a highrise in the city. Or maybe a relationship just ended with the person you want to be around and love the most.

Look at the circumstances of your life: What’s holding you back, and what can you do?


Beyond attempting to create “perfect moments”, it is important to be aware of what is needed to live the life we are intended to have. Let your passion lead you to your purpose. Decide what makes you happy, find a way to do that now. Work through fears and blocks that are holding you back.  Finding that life is more than being mindful of your thoughts or transcending your ego. It’s about being able to tune in to your own inner compass and determine what feels right for you. The result is the ability to live abundantly and create your life as you dream it. It often requires a leap of faith to confidently declare that you deserve to be abundant, happy, and free. But that leap means the difference between a whole life and holding yourself back out of fear.


Mastering the Three Great Illusions – “Valuable Secrets to Present Moment Awareness” from The Best Is Yet to Be by George and Sedena Cappannelli

Three illusions significantly limit our lives and prevent us from living the life we were born to live. These are control, safety, and security. Learning to master them can be your next and most important step on this journey.


In this world where science and technology are revered, many of us live under the illusion that we can control things—our physical environment, our financial future, our careers, and in some instances, even the people around us. Yet, if we look closely at the most important events in our lives, most of us will admit that for all intents and purpose, life has been outside of our control. We did not control our birth, and the majority of us will not control our death. Even the basic physical functions that allow us to stay alive—respiration, digestion, elimination, and circulation—are autonomic. And some have suggested this is a very fortunate thing.

If you look closely and without ego at your life, you will also admit that many of the really meaningful and consequential events you’ve experienced fall into the category of surprises, unexpected events, and what Carl Jung called synchronicity—”chance exceeding probability.” Here are some examples: the moment the love of your life showed up; the day your career took one of its most surprising and beneficial turns (a turn which might have seemed negative at first); changes in your health that prompted you to adopt new practices and sometimes even a new way of life; chance encounters with people you did not like at first and who later became your close friends; unanticipated intersections with allies and mentors; and sudden flashes of insight and inspiration that brought you wonderful gifts.

Control is pretty much a fabrication, a kind of hoping against hope on the part of a species that likes to think it is “master of the universe” but for whom this complex thing called life remains pretty much beyond comprehension.

Safety and Security

What about safety and security? Many of us spend our lives in search of safety and security as we do trying to exercise control. In fact, if we are honest, we will admit that we cling to this holy triumvirate of control, safety, and security with a tenacity that ranges from the compulsive to the obsessive. On the surface, of course, some of us appear to succeed in our relationship with safety and security. We accumulate a certain amount of wealth and use it to erect buffers between us and the world: gated communities, 401(k) plans and other investment accounts, special insurance policies, extra health coverage plans. With all those buffers in place, we appear, at least on the surface, to be pretty safe and secure. If you look a little closer at these conditions, however, you will also discover that just like control, safety and security are illusions. For no matter how much money we have, how many private clubs we belong to, or whether protective gates surround our communities, no matter how many special health plans or insurance policies we own, in the end, none of them truly protect us from aging, illness, loss of loved ones, intersections with unhappiness, loss of meaning and purpose, and ultimately our own deaths, and none of them ensure that we will be more loving, generous, and conscious.

Surrender Is the Key

Instead, surrender, acceptance, and trust are the real keys to a successful life. This does not mean throwing in the towel and rolling over on life or not paying attention to the upkeep of our homes, payment of bills, making and monitoring investments, taking care of our health, nurturing our relationships, or ordering our affairs. Surrender, acceptance, and trust are not synonymous with indifference, inattention, and disinterest. As many wise beings before us have said, we do the best we can do, hold the highest thoughts possible, live life according to our truest set of values, and ultimately trust in the flow of life and in the higher order of things.

Indeed, a very wise old man, a master sculptor from Spain named José de Creeft, who was still carving and modeling remarkable pieces well into his nineties, said, “It is not our job to worry about the music. It is our job to become the best instruments we can so that the music of God can play through us.”


JUNE 2018

JUNE 2018


Dues should be paid the first week of each month. If you have a problem, let Hanshi know.

There are no promotion fees, but we ask that you pay for each obi (belt).

Respect will be shown to all karate-ka at all times. Respect is to be shown to all ranks.

Kyu ranks should not question Dan ranks, or ones higher in rank.

If a Kyu rank has a question, and the Dan rank doesn’t know the answer, approach Hanshi or the highest rank on the floor.

The head instructor, due to advanced rank, will be called Hanshi and black belts helping to teach are called Sensei.

No one is to bow onto or off the floor without being acknowledged by Hanshi or the highest rank on the floor.

A respectful bow will be given whenever entering and exiting the workout area.

A serious attitude should be maintained during workouts. Never correct the technique of a senior student (If in doubt, ask).

If a Dan rank wants to do something in class, all students must at least try, unless they have a physical issue where they can’t.

When you step onto the Dojo floor, you’re there to train.  Everything should be done to the best of your ability.

Everyone should at least make an effort to attend Advanced Classes, Seminars, Tournaments, Camps, unless it’s not possible due to work, sickness, etc.

Advanced Teens and Adults may ask Hanshi to help children’s classes to assist learning and enthusiasm. These efforts are very important to the growth of each Karateka and the dojo.

Formal and group warm-ups will begin all classes.

Empty-hand kata material should not be added on unless first approved by Hanshi.

Kumite or sparring will be practiced under the supervision of black belts only.

Weapons katas are only to be taught by Hanshi, unless he instructs someone to teach material to another student.

Kyu ranks are forbidden to conduct demonstrations or teach privately without consent from their sensei.

Black belts should clear activities prior to the session as well.

Adults must join the IWKA after attaining their Yellow Belts & prior to earning their Green Belts.  This organization is headed by the son of the founder of the style and sets standards for promotion.  Students may join Hanshi Duessel’s Affiliation after this time.  Children may join the IWKA as well.

It is recommended that all students buy protective hand, foot and head gear.  These are available from Hanshi at his cost.

Shoes are not to be worn on the workout floor. Sneakers and socks should be worn to the dojo during summer months so we can train outside the dojo safely.

Note: If you are not able to attend the dojo, it is your responsibility to call to let us know. If you do this, you may make up the class.  If you do not call, you forfeit the privilege to make the class session up.

“Choice: Reaction or Response” from Getting the Best from Yourself and Others by Julie Davis-Colan and Lee J. Colan

The power of choice is one of the greatest gifts we are given. Although we make many choices every hour of the day, we rarely make neutral choices. Each choice has a positive or negative consequence for us at some level.  Our attitude toward life is the most important choice we make! Let’s look at why such a simple choice— embracing a positive or negative attitude—is more challenging than it appears for many people.
Just think of the last time you were in deep thought about your plans for the evening while driving home from work. As you pull into your driveway you wonder to yourself, “How did I get home?” The car seemed to practically drive itself. Driving is a relatively complex task, requiring many choices along the way—turn right, turn left, slow down, stop, change lanes. Still, driving home can be successfully performed almost subconsciously. So, consider the multitude of much smaller choices we make each day that we don’t really think about: waking up, brushing our teeth, saying “good morning” to a colleague, eating our lunch, performing a repetitive job duty, and so on. Subconscious actions are useful most of the time, but we must also consciously choose our attitude to control our results. Our ability to choose is a gift, but it is also a huge responsibility. No matter what today’s “it’s not my fault” culture encourages, we are all ultimately responsible for our own choices. In fact, we like to write the word responsibility as response–ability. As humans, we have the unique ability to respond.
Here’s a scenario repeated daily. Family dinners are important at the Smith house. Jim and Jane Smith and their two children (John, age three, and Janie, age four) just sat down at the table. Before the first bite of dinner is enjoyed, John spills his milk and it goes everywhere.
A reaction to this event: “Not again, John! Every time we eat, this happens. Think, son, think! Do you want to eat in your room from now on?” A response to this event: “Uh-oh, John. Let’s get a sponge and clean this up so you can eat your dinner.”
When you react, you make a purely emotional and subconscious decision. Often, because of how your experiences and prior choices have programmed your subconscious mind, your reactions do not help you achieve the best results.
On the other hand, when you respond to a situation, you make a constructive and conscious decision. That’s why there are emergency response teams, not emergency reaction teams.
When you simply react, your emotional instinct is in control, with little thought of the long-range consequences.
When you respond, your brain is fully engaged and your self-awareness is high. You have the long-term consequences in mind.
We all experience negative situations and people. Choosing to respond instead of react helps positively orchestrate our attitudes—and our lives.

Coming or not coming to the dojo to train falls into the thoughts above.  Each person has a choice to attend or not attend.  Legitimate family and work situations may stop a person who wants to attend.  A person who arrives at the dojo but does not become positively engaged and aware of his or her practice is wasting that time and negatively impacting the energy within the class.  This also happens in school and at work.  We have 60,000 thoughts a day.  Many are random thoughts.  Some are constructive thoughts dealing with family, school, work or problem solving.  One idea may be dealt with at a time.  Choose to be a positive influence.  Be fully engaged in each activity.  Be aware of surroundings and how each choice is impacting the day.  ‘Those Who Dare, Win!’