From The Source

December 21, 2013

This is our last newsletter for the year of 2013. Thank you to Chris Root for putting it together for us every month. Also, thank you each for reading it every month. I say this because I know how many copies I make each month, and I know how many do not get picked up and read. It is not read by the majority of our members, which is a shame because I think we try to impart some important messages through this humble publication. So, besides our usual request that you encourage new members to join and current members to stay, if you do indeed habitually read this, please tell your fellow members about it and the inspirational and educational articles it contains each month so that more people can benefit from reading it.

Over the years I have repeatedly written about progress in our art. I have alway s stressed the need to continue so that solid and permanent changes take place in your martial art expertise. Well, I am very good at what I do. There is only one reason I became as good at this as I am. It is because I never stopped. I remember my first days as a white belt. I was no gifted or perfect karate student. Many people were better and more advanced than I was. If you want to be great there is no magic or secret to it, just never stop. I also didn’t make excuses for not knowing things. I didn’t talk myself into quitting because of things I created to rationalize it. I never pretended to be better than I was, I never acted as if I was better than others and I never told myself I was done making progress. I did other things than just practice karate, but I never decided to stop making karate a priority. I just told myself I would never quit because I knew I would keep getting better, I didn’t know each day if I got better, I just knew I would and left it at that. I always knew that I would improve if I believed in myself. That is it. If it sounds simple to you that is because it is just that simple. Do not ever quit and you will continue to be great and continue to improve for the rest of your life. People quit karate, jobs, marriages, and almost every other thing they do all too frequently. Perhaps staying with your karate practice can help you make longevity in other areas all that more possible.

I won’t begin to discuss in detail all the various and numerous reasons people make for leaving the Dojo. The sad thing is people do leave. Money and time are the dominate reasons, but since dinner out at a restaurant cost more than a month of study here and one class lasts no longer that a tv drama each day, those reasons seem trivial. It is all about motivation and priorities. Many people who leave once thought our Dojo was the coolest place they ever walked into, and their eyes were wide with eagerness and anticipation. They were content and satisfied. Did the Dojo change? No, the motivation and the priorities of the person does. Is it easy to do this for years? No, it isn’t. Unless…you let it be that way. The person who stays with a dojo forever let’s it be the way it was for them at the beginning, something valuable and fun. The real secret is that there is no secret. Every beginning student has visions and dreams of being a karate master. The truth is every student can become a very high ranking master as long as they never quit.

Shakespeare said “to thy own self be true”. Don’t quit and make up reasons why you should and did. Karate is universal, it can live with every race, creed, religion, political beliefs, age, whatever. Karate can make you a better catholic, republican, Jew, white, black, democrat, anything. Why is this? Because continuous uninterrupted karate practice brings you inner peace and the ability to see everyone through positive, peaceful, strong and objective eyes. Karate will just make you better…but you have to be in it to win it…

This month we are asking you, our students, the parent of a student, the friend or family member of a student, to write something for our newsletter. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated, just something from the heart about how you feel or what you think of our Dojo and our practice. Every January we publish all of the contributions in the Annual January members edition. Writing your thoughts or feelings about your school and reading everyone else’s can in itself be motivating for you and inspire you to stay and train harder. So please submit something personally at the Dojo or by email to by the end of December and thank you!