11/17/2013 13:16:13 PM
Yes...yes I do. Sometimes I forget. Just a quick note to say "Hello!" to all the readers who still stumble upon this blog from time to time.
04/25/2013 20:49:14 PM
My daughter turns 14 years old next week.
01/22/2013 09:09:05 AM
Listen...to your body.
In mid December, my sister Kim had surgery on her foot to correct a Haglund's Deformity and Plantar Fasciitis.
01/14/2013 19:38:29 PM
A few weeks ago, I was handed a white envelope
01/11/2013 11:46:39 AM
An article from Science Daily:
11/08/2012 11:06:54 AM
Hello blog readers!
I received a kind email from Carolyn and she asked the following question:
"What if the fear of injury...isn't your own?"
I ask because... I've seen students leave martial arts because
their parents don't want them to start
11/06/2012 15:37:05 PM
This blog is too quiet.
I miss writing.
I miss my blog friends.
I miss the exchange of ideas.
08/29/2012 13:52:56 PM
It has been about 8 weeks since I was in the dojo. This was the first time I decided to take a break. In the past, my breaks from training were due to my work schedule or an injury (ACL). Since the dojo is attached to my house, taking a break is significant.
However, I am feeling miserable because my life is out of balance.
These weeks have been extremely busy. I coordinated a raffle, worked a full-time and two part-time jobs. A large portion of time was spent transporting my daughter to camp, [..]
08/08/2012 06:37:44 AM
A karate friend asked me to post a question on the blog.
07/11/2012 08:26:51 AM
I am trying to catch up on everything from paperwork to my Google Reader.
07/02/2012 10:40:44 AM
It has been a busy few months.
In March, I was notified by my instructor that I would be testing on June 29, 2012 at the IKKF Annual Training in Reading, Pennsylvania. I spent a lot of time training over the last few months. There has been little time to write a cohesive blog post. As I reflect over the preparation, seminars and formal testing, the phrase which immediately comes to mind is Thank You.
Thank You to my instructors, Hanshi and Kyoshi Heilman for your encouragement, support a [..]
06/04/2012 11:26:15 AM
Over the last few months, I have been training more and writing less.
05/20/2012 22:04:49 PM
May 15, 2012 was the 5 year anniversary of my ACL surgery.
05/10/2012 09:31:54 AM
In my work life, everything has a spreadsheet:
04/28/2012 08:33:26 AM
From Science Daily:
04/27/2012 11:03:45 AM
We count a lot in karate class.
04/20/2012 08:46:29 AM
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
04/11/2012 11:14:19 AM
I am a parent,
03/30/2012 10:56:22 AM
Last weekend, I led a small group session on the topic of womens self-defense. The group was great because they added to the discussion and asked good questions. The exchange prompted me to remember and share an incident which happened years ago.
I have been thinking about
03/29/2012 09:28:53 AM
Wow...it has been three weeks since I posted!
03/08/2012 11:07:54 AM
These words are used regularly in a dojo setting. We practice basics, drill basics, learn advanced techniques, attend advanced class, basic bunkai, advanced bunkai and so on...
Basic - of, relating to, or forming the base or essence: fundamental
Advanced - far on in time or course, being beyond others in progress or ideas
Do you remember your first karate lesson? During my first class, a black belt was pulled out of class to work with me individually. He showed me how to punch, a few stances, b [..]
03/01/2012 10:52:43 AM
I handed my 12 year old daughter a crisp new gi and white belt. If my calculations are correct, this will be her fourth uniform. The gi have ranged in size from 00 - 2. She has progressed through 8th kyu twice and almost made it to yellow belt.
We have been down this path before.
Perhaps she needs a little non-parental encouragement...
If you were given the task of encouraging a potential student to learn karate, what would you say?
02/28/2012 22:40:57 PM
A new study about ACL injuries.
From Science Daily:
Much orthopaedic research has been devoted to determining why women are far more susceptible to knee ligament injuries than men. According to a new study, the answer may lie in geometry -- the length and shape of a patient's knee bone -- more than gender
The study found that most of the women (those who had ACL injuries and those who did not) and only the ACL-injured men shared a common geometry on the outside of their knee joint: The upper p [..]
02/24/2012 13:50:35 PM
As a kyu rank, I remember being in a class of 15-20 people. The class instructor was leading the group through drills, kata and basics. He would often pause and offer pointers to the class. The instructor would tell the group to check your stance, bend your knees or fix your hand position. After each suggestion, students would check their technique and make corrections as needed. This pattern went on for a few minutes until he stopped the group.
The class instructor announced he wo [..]
02/22/2012 13:18:11 PM
From the "Draft" folder dated May 2010:
A teacher can present information, give examples, share stories, discuss concerns, make corrections and answer questions. Students can learn by seeing and hearing, reflecting, practicing, repeating, analyzing, visualizing, in pieces or in chunks.
My own experience is from being a student, a parent and a karate instructor. As a student, I feel learning is my responsibility. I need to pay attention, receive the information, ask questions, practice. [..]
02/01/2012 09:37:55 AM
Our dojo opened in 1995. The building was a bar/restaurant which we converted into a house/dojo. The very first class had two students. Through the years, class sizes have varied from 1 person to 20+. When class size reached space capacity, we split up the kyu ranks and added more classes. If class size was too small, we consolidated the classes. The student population has varied over the last 16 years due to economics, trends, fads and interest.
There are advantages and disadvantages t [..]
01/31/2012 10:26:51 AM
Is your training where you want it to be?I was asked this question by a karate friend during an email exchange. I responded by talking about the dojo, a black belt student's recent testing and promotion, upcoming training camps and new students in the dojo.
A few hours after I sent the email, I realized I answered his question without answering the question.
Is your training where you want it to be?I have fantastic instructors who guide and share their knowledge.
I have a great group of tra [..]
01/25/2012 10:15:36 AM
The movement of a karate student is tense and stiff. Movement is slow and transitions are difficult. The instructor tells the student that they need to relax. Sound familiar?
My tai chi instructor would take one look at my movement and identify where I was holding stress. It usually manifested in my right shoulder. My movement was stiff and restricted. At work, I notice the tension in my right shoulder when I sit at my desk. I relax my shoulder and step away from my desk for a fe [..]
01/18/2012 10:41:19 AM
A co-worker shared a story about advice she was given ten years ago on the topic of women's self-defense. At the time, my co-worker worked as an executive for a large retail department store chain. She would often travel to store openings and promotional events. She was given the following advice by a security professional:
You are a women and at the end of the day it doesn't matter. A man will overpower you. You have to remember...men are stronger than women. Regardless of size, a man c [..]
01/11/2012 13:44:21 PM
I think teaching a temporary student is challenging for the karate instructor. In the dojo, there were several occasions when students wanted to learn karate but only had a limited amount of time. It may be a parent who wants their teenager to learn basic self-defense before heading off to college. It could be something a person has always wanted to learn but never had the time and are able to give it a few months. The temporary student is usually forthcoming about their time constraints. "I [..]
01/10/2012 08:29:33 AM
My plan was to start off 2012 differently than prior years. My daughter and I were going on a trip over New Year's weekend. Our initial plan was to drive to Niagara Falls with my sister and her husband. After many phone calls and Internet searches, our New Year's destination changed to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is my sister's favorite place. We had a busy itinerary:
1. Fly from Philadelphia to Phoenix.
2. 1 night in Phoenix.
3. Visit Sedona/Montezuma's Castle/Tuzegoot
4. Drive to [..]
12/17/2011 16:28:35 PM
My car stopped inches away from hitting a large deer this afternoon. I was taking a back road by the lake to avoid the holiday traffic. A deer jumped over the railing to cross the road. I slammed on my brakes hoping the truck travelling behind me would see the deer too. The deer ran across the road in a scattered manner. When my car was stopped, I noticed several more deer running away from the road. It was mid-afternoon on a cloudy day.
Most of the roads I travel are marked with deer cr [..]
12/06/2011 10:03:23 AM
When I was a brown belt student, the dojo offered Intro lessons to prospective students. The Intro was taught by a black belt or 1st kyu brown belt. I remember being asked to lead an Intro session as a brown belt. I was handed a clip board with a detailed sheet listing the items to be covered in each lesson. The instructions
Stick to the list and try to resist offering too much information.
I followed the advice of the class instructor even though I did not understand it at the time. The ses [..]
12/01/2011 06:05:26 AM
I am tired and grumpy. The "busy" season at work is soon over. I work for a company in the Christmas business. We distribute seasonal merchandise. Each year, I hire and train seasonal customer service representatives to work seven weeks in a demanding call center environment.
Overall, we have great customers. It is nice seeing our regular customers who stop in for their order. I am sad when I hear an "old timer" in the business has died. This year, a few of the customers have been especia [..]
11/09/2011 05:23:16 AM
A few weeks ago, I was at the Honbu for a kobudo training event. We worked weapon applications for about an hour before the group was split up. Hanshi sent the instructor level students to the first floor to train. There were six of us on the floor led by two Kyoshi.
The workout began....
The Kyoshi led us through material at a pace and intensity level I had not practiced at for a long time.
It was wonderful.
I watched how they trained together. They were great training partners. The [..]
07/04/2011 14:00:20 PM
Happy 4th of July!
I wanted to share a few pictures from the 82nd Airborne Museum on Fort Bragg. I visited the Museum last month. My Dad was in the 82nd Airborne from 1948-1954. Check out the post Thanks For Serving, 82nd Air
06/30/2011 13:39:25 PM
Last night was my first night on the dojo floor in nineteen days. I was surprised when I checked my calendar and counted off the days. Has it really been that long?
June has historically been a slow karate month for me. T
06/26/2011 20:18:26 PM
Six months ago....
The phone rang at midnight. Late night phone calls startle me. I immediately think there is something terribly wrong. I rushed to answer the call.
I did not recognize the voice on the other end of the phone.
06/22/2011 12:52:07 PM
Interesting article about a new "bolt" for ACL Surgery:
GraftBolt aims to improve the patients quality of life by successfully repairing their injury first time and improving the quality of bonding of the graft to the bone, which speeds up the hea
06/19/2011 09:43:23 AM
I am back from a road trip to Miami (approximately 2300 miles round trip). It was great to get away but it is nice to be home. Here are a few photos from the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in De
06/18/2011 20:28:45 PM
Whenever I download pictures from my camera, there are usually a few pictures of paths or roads. I like the point in the image where you can no longer see where the path goes. Where is the path going to take me?&nb
06/09/2011 06:48:10 AM
When parents/guardians bring their children to their first karate class, they sit on the sidelines and watch the session. Our dojo is open so the parents can see and hear what is happening in class. The parents talk to the instructors and ask q
06/07/2011 05:56:14 AM
I have declared this to be my Summer of No and Less. My revelation happened when I was cleaning out a wardrobe closet looking for a specific item of clothing for my daughter. I emptied the closet and was surprised by what I found:&nb
06/03/2011 11:24:17 AM
The dojo has two students preparing for dan rank testing in July. During the weeks leading up to black belt testing, I am always asked questions about my testing experiences. I have shared advice on this blog about Preparing for
06/02/2011 08:56:11 AM
Summer is around the corner! The kids are out of school and vacations are planned. Some people may find it harder to maintain their regular training schedule. For others, the summer provides more opportunities to tr
05/26/2011 08:41:08 AM
Here is a post from my Draft Folder originally dated 06.29.08.
A key part of learning karate is patience.
I have heard audible groans when I told the class that we were going to review earlier material. There have been many students who leave behin
05/17/2011 11:25:47 AM
Teaching karate students how to fall properly is part of our curriculum. We drag the mats out and practice our falls
front, side, back and roll. The kids in the karate school love to practice falling almost as much as they like to spar. As an instr
05/15/2011 09:39:49 AM
May 15th is the anniversary date of my ACL surgery. I almost forgot about writing my anniversary post! I remembered yesterday when I saw a person walking around the grocery store with an ACL brace.
For the most part...my k
05/09/2011 20:12:33 PM
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar taught by Kyoshi William Hayes. Major Hayes is the author of My Journey With The Grandmaster. I wrote about a previous seminar I attended in the post Get Uncomfortable.&nb
05/05/2011 10:25:02 AM
It is what I am staring at when I try to write a blog post. I have ideas for posts in my draft folder but there are only titles or a few sentences. In an attempt to get back on track, this post will list the random karate thoughts in my brain.
04/27/2011 10:38:51 AM
A few months ago, I reluctantly went to a travel show with my sister. I had no intention of going to the show. I went because my daughter asked (begged) me to go. We arrived at the show a half hour before it ended. We walked in the hotel lobby and wa
04/26/2011 09:05:34 AM
The last two months have been extremely busy. In fact, the word overscheduled comes to mind when I think back over the past weeks. I need to learn how to say "No" and do a better job managing my time.
Whenever I am busy, the first thing
04/24/2011 20:06:40 PM
I may have mentioned previously on this blog that I work part-time as a rural route delivery person. I work one night a week delivering newspapers on a driving route. After my daughter was born, I quit my full time job to stay home
04/23/2011 19:16:19 PM
Ok...my daughter is not a teenager yet. She thinks she is a teenager despite the fact she only turns twelve next week. Outings at the mall with friends and talking about boys are on the top of her priority list.
Just for fun
04/14/2011 20:32:19 PM
When I started learning karate I was given a booklet which outlined all the belt rank testing requirements. Each level was outlined in detail and included vocabulary, basics, kicks, waza, kata, kobudo, sparring and self-defense. I liked having a tang
04/04/2011 14:12:36 PM
I took an online quiz which tests nine types of thinking styles. My results: Intrapersonal Thinker. Spend a lot of time thinking about and trying to understand themselves. Reflect on their thoughts and moods, and work to improve them. You understand
03/31/2011 10:21:35 AM
I spoke too soon. I recently commented that my daughters 6th grade year was better in regards to bullying. The moment the words came out of my mouth I wondered why I dared say it out loud. The voice on the other end of the receiver asked if I coul
03/30/2011 07:58:50 AM
A little less than a year ago, I wrote the post Get Uncomfortable. During an excellent training seminar, Kyoshi Hayes, author of My Journey With The Grandmaster, told us to embrace discomfort. Today
I am feeling uncomfortable. It has everythi
03/26/2011 10:16:13 AM
It has been years since you were inside a dojo. Your gear is packed in a gym bag stored in the attic. Your karate uniform is long gone. Your bo is propped up in a corner of the garage. Every once in a while you reminisce about the time you spent
03/23/2011 14:24:03 PM
New students begin their journey.They come to class each week.Students learn, question, drill, improve and enjoy.They become part of the dojo community.Parents sit and watch their children.They too become part of the dojo community.Instructors share
03/17/2011 10:19:31 AM
Two weeks ago, I picked my daughter up from the extended care program at her school. The moment she saw me she came running over
Can I play softball?The request was a complete surprise. There was an open gym practice at school. Instead of sit
03/16/2011 11:59:47 AM
There was a message on my home answering machine requesting a return call. A former co-worker gave my name as a reference for a job. The company requesting a reference is a national retail chain. The message had a sense of urgency.Please return my ca
03/13/2011 21:14:20 PM
The black belt group in the dojo meets on Wednesday night. The group has been working on kata, 2 person weapon forms, tegumi drills and kobudo. At the end of the session, each person demonstrated Chinto kata for the group. We analyzed our individu
03/11/2011 05:41:03 AM
I am reposting an article from March 2009. Last night in the dojo, the parents were talking about how things were when they grew up. They spoke of going outside and playing until dark. They rode their bikes, played games, invented games and learned h
03/03/2011 10:19:17 AM
The dojo wall mirrors have been a training tool since I started practicing karate. I remember one of my first class instructors stopping the beginner class in the middle of a kata. We would remain in stance while he walked around and correct each stu
02/25/2011 09:57:32 AM
My schedule has been busier than usual. It seems like I am always in the car driving with my daughter
school, work, basketball practice, choir and play practice. On a night when I teach karate, I have one hour after I leave work to pick up my daugh
02/24/2011 12:46:50 PM
Interesting article from the Los Angeles Times:The hamstring may have it, a study finds. In research presented at a recent meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in San Diego, 180 people ranging from 13 to 52 years old who ha
02/20/2011 19:04:36 PM
We headed to Philly this weekend for a scavenger hunt at the Reading Terminal Market. We had two hours to answer 17 questions, eat at 6 different vendors and return to the starting point. There were 13 groups and we finished a respectable 3rd place
02/16/2011 09:50:20 AM
It has been a few weeks since I attended tai chi class. The Northeast had its fair share of winter weather...especially on a Tuesday. My plan was to go the gym and drop my daughter off in the child care room for an hour. My daughter has been surro
02/12/2011 17:22:40 PM
I work for a seasonal distribution company. The building is in an industrial complex off a major highway. The space is divided between offices, a showroom and a warehouse. My office is in the back of the room (no window) and I cannot see the door fro
02/09/2011 10:13:28 AM
Journeyman from Japanese Jiu Jitsu is posting a Knife Survival Series.From his article:To understand how I've come to arrive at my conclusions, and where my opinions and strategies come from, I'll share the following:I've been lucky enough to have cr
02/01/2011 16:26:57 PM
A few weeks before Christmas, I saw an old friend. We we both in line waiting to fill our gas tanks. The line was long because the grocery store was running a promotion and it was the last day to redeem gas points. I earned $.80 off per gallon! He wa
01/27/2011 13:47:42 PM
Last February, I wrote a post about Snow Shoveling Safety. I wrote the post because my Dad made a visit to the ER with chest pains after a day of snow shovelling. This past summer my Dad had pacemaker surgery and is doing well.The Northeast has been
01/23/2011 14:07:32 PM
The Wednesday night class in our dojo has been mostly black belts. Two of the students (a father and son) are new black belts. They tested for their shodan in Okinawa Kenpo Karate and Kobudu during the summer of 2010. The father told me a story about
01/16/2011 11:07:51 AM
One of my 2011 karate goals is to learn a specific kobudo kata. I have attended a few seminar sessions on this kata in the past but it never stuck in my brain. Small portions of the kata are familiar but for the most part I am learning the pattern fr
01/13/2011 14:17:11 PM
Describe in one word why you write or read martial arts blogs.My word...Community
01/07/2011 07:39:58 AM
Throwing Knife.Wednesday night is black belt night. Our first class of the New Year was BYOK. Several dojo members recently purchased throwing knives, stars and darts. Another person brought his personal collection which included a throwing axe. The
01/05/2011 08:45:24 AM
A few months ago, I wrote a post called Managing A Break in Your Martial Arts Training. I was facing a busy work schedule and I made the decision to put my gym membership on hold. I called my Tai Chi instructor and told him that I was taking a break
01/02/2011 20:35:41 PM
Stop...don't answer that.I cannot recall ever asking anyone about their martial arts rank. I did not even like typing the question. When non-practitioners find out I am involved in martial arts, they inevitably ask me if I am a black belt, the style
12/31/2010 09:25:44 AM
Happy New Year! It is time for my annual blog review. The most important thing I want to accomplish in this post is to convey my genuine thanks to all the Readers and Followers of this blog. I appreciate your comments, questions and emails. Now for
12/25/2010 02:00:09 AM
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!