Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Over the last few years, I become a great chef because I am an athlete, teacher, and health nut. I realize it’s almost impossible to eat healthy but delegating your meals to fast food restaurants and processed quick grocery store meals.
I am not a French chef with an extremely fancy presentation, but I am great at making flavorful, healthy meals from scratch.
I see many similarities between cooking and karate like the Japanese viewed a similarity between calligraphy and swordsmanship. In fact, I view the preparation of food as part of my Martial Arts Training.
Here’s some steps to get the most out of cooking and to experience it’s almost zen like quality…
Cook with all basic ingredients – Instead of buying a mix to make pancakes, I make my pancakes using flour, baking powder, eggs, etc. This ensures that I know exactly what goes into my food. If you use basic ingredients, your grocery bill goes down dramatically as the nutritional value rises. I found this out during my food stamp challenge last year. Also, you will experience less food waste because you can make such a variety of foods from a few ingredients. For example, with flour, eggs and yeast, you can make pancakes, pasta, pizza crust, and bread instead of buying each individually.
Focus on technique – Most people complain that cooking takes too long, but if you focus on improving your cooking techniques, you can reduce the time to less than running out to get a pizza. I’ve practiced my knife cutting skills so I can cut as fast and safely as a professional chef.
Simple cooking tools – I stick with simple tools and no fancy gadgets. I use one sharp knife for all my preparation. If you hone your knife cutting skills, you become so efficient that a Slap Chop becomes unnecessary. It’s also less tools you need to clean up.
Mind like the water – When I cook, I get so engrossed that everything else tends to melt away. In the Martial Arts, we call it mushin. Mushin is when our mind is totally still. Like undisrupted body of water, we can clearly see our reflection on the surface.
Taste your food – Don’t just blindly make recipes. I really taste the food that I cook and make changes to the recipe according to my taste. Once you fine tune your palette, your food will become extremely flavorful. Once you get to this point, friends and family will notice it and they’ll give positive comments about your cooking. I have a Lemon Garlic Shrimp that I continued to adjust to my taste. I am constantly asked to bring them with me to friend’s parties.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
3 packets Splenda
1 cup Milk
Put cocoa, Splenda, and milk in a small saucepan. Heat slowly on stove while stirring. Remove from heat when hot but before it boils. Serve in your favorite mug.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I found this cool resource that I had to share with everyone. I read lots of books. I am on a course of constant and never-ending improvement and books prove me with the perfect outlet for improvement.
Bucks County Public Library has something called a power library that allows you to view and read books online. It just requires a library card and log on access to their website.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
As a karate instructor, the majority of my training is individual because during classes, I need to teach. I learn many tricks to keep motivated.
Here’s three of my favorite exercises that vary your training enough to stay interesting.
Building Combinations – This exercise requires a heavy bag. Each round is about 3 minutes. Start with one technique and perform it for 30 seconds into the heavy bag. Add another technique every 30 second until the 3 minutes are up. For example, Jab for 30 seconds, then Jab/ Cross for the next 30 seconds. Next, make it a Jab/ Cross/ Hook for 30 seconds, etc. After the 3 minutes, rest for 1 minute and repeat on the another side.
Tabata – The tabata is an interval training that provides infinite training opportunities. The method is 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight sets or rounds. You can do eight sets of the same exercise or create a circuit. An example circuit could be Jump roping, squat thrusts, heavy bag, pushups, done twice.
Rate the intensity Kata – Pick one kata to perform 6 times. If you were going to rate the intensity from 1 to 10 (1 low intensity and 10 high intensity), perform the first set at a 5 intensity level(the intensity of a walk). Each set increase the by one i.e. 6, 7, 8, 9, up to 10. At 10, perform the kata with an all out effort.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Techniques are the individual move of the martial arts. When you look at most traditional karate curriculum or rank requirements, they are purely techniques ~ moves and combinations of karate. At the techniques level, you are not exploring the practical applications of the moves - just the move itself.
Tactics are specific applications or actions used to make the techniques work in a real situation. For example, the application of a fake or feint in a sparring match setups the use of other techniques. A good example of a tactic in grappling would be to push someone in order to tempt them to push you back so that you can apply a specific move. Or many times, you attempted to go left to open the right or go high to open up low. Tactics also entail the conditions required for a technique to work.
Strategy is how to achieve the overall objective. Strategies require you to link multiple tactics and techniques to achieve a higher goal. When explaining a technique, have you ever had a student say, “What happens if your opponent does this instead?” or have a student thwart a technique by resisting. At this point, you are talking about strategy. If you apply a tactics and the opponent responds differently than expected, you need to create a strategy for that scenario. Strategy make you think “Okay, what will I do now?” or “How will I respond if my opponent does this?”
That’s your 101 level crash course on tactics vs. strategies.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Well apparently, there was such a manual called the Bubishi. Bu means “military.” Bi translates as “To prepare.” Shi translates as “Record.” So together it means “The manual of Military Preparation.”
This manual was hand copied from karate master to karate master. There’s strong evidence to suggest that most of the founders of the different styles of the karate had a copy of this text. Sensei Gichin Funakoshi placed sections of the Bubishi in his book Karate-Do Kyohan.
I read Patrick McCarthy’s translation of the Bubishi and found it very enlightening to my understanding of karate and especially of kata. I believe this text needs a closer examination because of its historical significance. Patrick McCarthy version includes not only the original text translated but also, insightful commentary that shows the tremendous amount of research that went into the text.
For me, the 48 figures are of particular interest. The 48 figures appear to be practical self-defense moves, although the exact meaning of each figure needs to be interpreted by the reader. The Bubishi appears to be written as a reminder of techniques for practitioner that already knows karate. I believe that it’s very plausible that our kata came from the practice of these 48 figures in multiple attacker scenarios.
Monday, November 16, 2009
This recipe is from Betty Crocker Ultimate Bisquick Cookbook: Hundreds of new recipes, plus back-of-the-box favorites.
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 package (1 ounce) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
1 can (4.5 ounces) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles, drained
½ cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
½ cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (2 ounces)
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 ½ cups shredded lettuce
2 medium green onions, sliced (2 tbsp), if desired
Sour cream, if desired
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. Cook ground turkey and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in seasoning mix (dry). Spoon into pie plate; top with chilies.
3. In a medium bowl, stir milk, eggs and Bisquick mix until blended. Pour into pie plate.
4. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with cheese and tomatoes. Bake 2 to 3 minutes longer. Cool 5 minutes. Spinkle with lettuce and green onions. Serve with sour cream.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
But first… I want to give a little background on the evolution of kata.
What is kata?
Kata is specific series of techniques that are performed almost like a dance or gymnastic routine. Kata was original used by karate masters to remember and catalog self-defense moves. Each kata has specific bunkai or martial application.
I believe that these kata started as a formal Randori. Randori is a form of free sparring that uses self-defense techniques. Watch the video below.
As you can see, if the techniques were practiced without the opponents you’d have a kata.
Unfortunately, over time, kata diverged from self-defense. Now, most of the techniques with kata over the years have changed so much that they have almost esoteric meaning to them.
This divergence happens for many reasons. First, Funakoshi simplified the kata to teach school age kids and hide the dangerous self-defense moves so they would not use them for the wrong purpose. Also, during the build up period prior to World War II, Funikoshi taught thousand of student going into the military. He had so many students that the classes would spill into the streets. This resulted in further simplification in order to teach large groups of people effectively.
Some another reason from divergence of kata
• Lack of understanding – Karate masters kept much of their art secret and only passed to true meaning and secrets to senior students after many years of faithful training. Most of the karate masters had a book called the Bubishi that contained many of the true meanings of kata in it. This book was concealed from student and hand-written from senior student. Recently, this Bubishi was published and contains 48 figures that demonstrate techniques found in kata.
• Performed for tournaments – Over the last 50 years, tournaments influenced the performance of kata as a performance art. Since these changes are more for ascetic reasons, the kata performance diverged away from the original purpose of cataloging self-defense moves.
• Changed for reasons other than improving self-defense – Any changes to kata that were made for reason other than improving it’s self-defense application caused divergence that further the esoteric nature of kata. For example, changing the kata to define differences between karate organizations, make it simpler to learn, etc.
It’s my belief to breath new life into kata, we need to rediscover and catalog specific self-defense moves for each move in kata. With the discovery of the original Bubishi, I have seen a revitalization of teaching the applications of the kata.
Unfortunately, I feel that the kata at this point have diverged too much to ensure that we re-discover the true original purpose, but I believe we need to create applications for the current form of the kata and adjust the performance to conform and evolve them along self-defense lines.
Next, I will talk about Bunkai or the Martial application and recommend some Rules of Bunkai that we should adhere to when creating Bunkai. Also, I will recommend new way of teaching kata that is more effective, efficient, and exciting. In testing these methods, I found that you can teach a lower belt an advanced kata with excellent retention in a short period of time and they enjoy it the whole time.
Monday, November 9, 2009
It's surprising how much chicken you get off the leftover whole chicken.
1 leftover whole chicken
6 cups of water
1 medium onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup dried rice
1 cup chopped carrots (2 medium)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 tbsp snipped fresh parsley
In a large kettle combine leftover chicken, water, onion, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, covered about 2 hours.
Remove chicken from broth and let cool. Skim fat from broth. Remove meat from bones. Discard bones and bay leaf.
Bring broth to a boil. Stir in rice, carrots, and celery. Simmer, covered, about 8 minutes or until rice is finished. Stir in Chicken and parsley. Heat through.
Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
Friday, November 6, 2009
The title pretty much says it all – Debt is Slavery which I whole-heartedly agree with, but I think it gives solid financial advice that anyone even if you are not in debt can follow.
Chapter 2 – Time may not be money but money definitely is time - astounded me because I wrote about the exact idea in my personal journal on January 27, 2006, before this book was written. I can’t take credit for the idea because I wrote about it in my personal journal and never published my ideas (from the success of this book, I guess I should have), but this idea created a whole evolution in thought that advanced me forward in my career and business. In a separate post, I’ll explain my AhHa! moment that advanced from this concept.
The basic concept is that you view ever purchase from the stand point of how many hours will I need to work in order to purchase this item. For example, if you make $15 per hour and a CD cost $15, then you will lose one hour of your life to work for this item. On every purchase, ask yourself “Am I willing to work X hours for this item?”
When you start to view purchases this way, you will start to see that most items aren’t worth the hours of work you put into them. Also, I realized a long time ago that spending money on increasing your skills and experience through education and reading is a much more valuable use for your money. I always put a greater value on my karate training then things like buying a new car. Ben Franklin put it “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
In the end, this is a great book for anyone to read.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
~ Isaac Newton
People remark about my patience frequently whether it’s about my students, childs, or my dogs. Many ask how I can be so patient.
The answer is easy…
It produces the results I want.
I learned this lesson about a year ago when I was working with a dog trainer with my four dogs. I had all the elements correct accepted I was too hurried to get the desired results. I noticed that the dog trainer was patient and would wait to get the result she wanted. I was able to repeat the results by being more patient.
After that, I thought “Well, if it worked on the dogs, I wonder if it would work on a child.” In classes, I started to experiment with using specific commands followed by silence. IT WORKED!
I would make statement like “I will start the game when everyone is sitting like a Black Belt and silent,” or “We will bow out as soon as everyone is standing at attention and quite,” followed by silent. The fun part about it is that the students started correct the others that didn’t comply with the command and the children became more attentive.
It shows the great power behind silence and patience.
Monday, November 2, 2009
This recipe is from my favorite grilling book Weber's Big Book of Grilling. In fact, my version looks so tattered and worn, I may need to purchase a new one soon.
This recipe works with any type of rub providing you with endless variety.
For the Rub:
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Whole Chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
2 tsp Vegetable Oil
1 can (16 oz) Beer
Preheat Grill to Indirect Medium Heat (350 degrees). In a small bowl, mix the rub ingredients.
Remove and discard the neck, giblets, and any excess fat from the chicken. Rinse throughly inside and out and dry with paper towels. Brush chicken with oil and spread the rub, inside and out.
Open the beer can and pour off half the beer then slid the chicken over the can so it fits in the cavity. Transfer the chicken to the grill being careful not to tip and spill the beer. Using the two legs and beer can create a tripod and balance the chicken on the grill. Grill over Indirect Medium heat until the breast reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Wearing barbecue mitts, carefully remove the chicken and the can from the grill, being careful not to spill the beer - it will be hot. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before lifting it from can. Discard the beer. Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Serve warm.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Build-Your-Own Shish Kabobs
Serves: 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, stemmed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 orange, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
- 1 lemon, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
- 1 lime, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
Veggies For Kabobs:
- Bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Italian squash
- Baby potatoes, boiled until cooked through
- Corn on the cob, husked and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
Balsamic Basting Vinaigrette for Veggies:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 1 hour to retard charring.
Whisk together all of the Dijon-rosemary steak ingredients (except the steak) in a bowl. Toss the steak in the mixture until evenly coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Whisk together all of the citrus-tarragon chicken ingredients (except the chicken) in a bowl. Toss the chicken in the mixture until evenly coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Whisk together all of the lemon garlic shrimp ingredients (except the shrimp) in a bowl. Toss the shrimp in the mixture until evenly coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces.
Puree balsamic basting vinaigrette ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds.
Place meats, shrimp, and veggies in individual bowls and set out buffet style. Instruct your guests to skewer their own kabobs and baste veggies with balsamic vinaigrette.
Grill kabobs directly over heat source for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning 1/4 rotation every 2 to 3 minutes, or until the meat and/or fish is cooked throughout.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Beginning of year four, I finished the Ultimate Black Belt Test and received my Fifth Degree Black Belt. After the test, I turned my focus towards our school.
At this time, two books hugely influenced my thinking “The E-myth” and “The Four Hour Workweek.” The E-myth influenced me to systematize everything in our school from the way we start new students to the curriculum. The Four Hour Workweek taught me to outsource everything that got in my way of teaching great classes but still maintain a high level of service – This philosophy lead me to many behind the scenes improvements like integrating my accounting with Quickbook, automatic marketing systems, and an answer service.
These improvements freed up huge blocks of time for me to work on further improvements. During this year, I started documenting my ideas regularly at this blog. I found that the act of writing helped further clarify my thinking and acted as my sounding board and career coach.
In walks Leadership…
In the spring of our Fourth Year, I wanted to get ideas and coaching that would push our program to the next level. I found the perfect match. An organization, National Association of Professional Martial Artists, began offer a coaching and masterminding program called the Peak Performers. I applied and got accepted into the program.
The Peak Performers helped me realize that the main purpose of our karate program is teaching leadership and success skills. Eureka! I recognized this was the next step to thrust our school to the next level. I brainstormed on the idea and quickly started organizing our school towards this new vision.
About this time, I began receiving random calls and e-mails asking for advice from other karate schools. I didn’t know that the year I spent systematizing the school was usual and that most of these school owners were very unorganized. To this day, I still help many schools by providing some of the tools I created to them.
By the fifth year, the economy hit a total meltdown. People ask me all the time about how it affected me and our school.
Here’s my story…
I was almost oblivious to it, because in September 2008, our son was diagnosed with cancer. We spent most of our time worrying and assisting him through the two surgeries that the economy really seemed insignificant. Thank god, that our son’s treatment was a tremendous success and he’s been cancer-free for six months now.
The poor economy did hit the other school owners hard. Four karate schools in the immediate area closed leaving us almost alone. With the lack of other schools, we ended up having one of our best years with our highest student count ever.
Thank you to all my students that make our school great!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Our third year was one of the most exciting. We were much more organized and the school was running smoothly. At the beginning of the third year, I was considering give up my full-time job.
Quitting my full time job wasn’t easy. First, I loved the challenge of my job and my boss was great. Also, I found that the business skills I was learning were very valuable to my career and the company. My mindset changed from just an employee to that of an entrepreneur and business owner.
Because of this mindset change, I received three promotions and almost doubled my salary in three year. My boss was mentoring me for a director position in the organization.
On a personal side, I was stretched to my limits working full-time during the day and teaching 5 times per week on nights and weekends. I quickly approached burn-out.
After much talk, Ester and I decided that I would quit my regular job. I gave notice at the beginning of December to leave in the beginning of January. I had many things to transition to other people.
I remember the first few months having difficulty figuring out what to do with my new found time. That January, I visited a friend with an extremely successful school, Sensei Dan Rominski. I was truly amazed and impressed how well Sensei Dan and Kim ran their school.
They provided me with tons of information and from that point on, I decided to work towards fine tuning our school to run as well as theirs did.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Two great things happened in the Second Year. We moved into our current location and I was accepted into the Ultimate Black Belt Test.
Moving into the Dublin Village Plaza
By the second year, our program grew from a start of 30 students to about 50. The karate program was growing so much that teaching two times per week didn’t seem like enough. We feared that our school would eventually become a problem for the church so it was time to find a suitable spot.
At the time, there wasn’t much available. We tried to get the spot where the Rita’s was, but the lease was already in negotiation. Finally, a spot opened up in the Dublin Village Plaza. We were suppose move in by November, but because of problems with getting the occupancy permit, our move was delayed until the end of January.
Teaching for the first time in our own dojo felt great, but it also felt strange and foreign.
Ultimate Black Belt Test
Now that I was free from my organization, I wanted to expand my martial arts to a new level. I discovered Master instructor Tom Callos’ Ultimate Black Belt Test. It was toted as the hardest Black Belt Test. It looked like a perfect match for me.
I applied to the program and was accepted. The acceptance e-mail warns that we are not to even consider quitting. I laughed at that so I knew that I was the right type of person for this challenge.
The Ultimate Black Belt required me to get training in areas that I never experienced before. At this point in my training, I only had experience in stand up fighting because my former association did not allow us to train in other disciplines. Over the next two years, I learned Brazilian Jiu Jitzu (grappling), boxing, and weapons training. My skills as a karateka (karate student) skyrocketed.
The Ultimate Black Belt test required many other spiritual and altruistic endeavors like meditating for 15 minute per day (a daily practice I still maintain), empathy days, and community service activities. I enjoyed the community service requirement because I wanted to learn how to make our school an asset to our home town.
One of the most important and valuable parts of the UBBT was it put me in contact with some of the best school owners in the country. Through talking to the members and the visits to other karate schools, I experienced their best practices. I used this information to restructure our curriculum, class formats, and basic business practice to become a professional martial arts school instead of the part time school, we were at the time.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Although Ester and I were excited about the new school, our first year strained our relationship with our old school ~ formerly the Center Club and our organization the American Japan Karate Association.
When Ester and I found out that we got the place, we knew that I’d need to leave the Center Club of Lambertville where I taught. We wanted to give plenty of notice so we invited the Director of the Karate Program, Rob DeAngelis and Ann Marie out to the Porterhouse a month prior to our start up in mid-August.
We told them about our exciting plan and they were excited for us. Since they were getting married in September, I stay on until after their Honeymoon so they wouldn’t experience any staffing issues.
The next day, I received an e-mail from Rob and discovered that he wasn’t so excited about me leaving. He informed me that decisions like this need to go through our instructor, Sensei Safar and that I need to ask his permission to move forward. I e-mailed our Sensei with the good news. He gave his consent and seemed excited or was he…
Two weeks after Rob’s honeymoon, I left the Center Club. I expected a happy send off but instead no one was told. I didn’t feel it was my place to say anything because it could have been viewed as me attempted to steal clients and I wanted to conduct myself ethically.
Leaving all of those great students was one of the most difficult things in my life. A week later, I was asked to return to say goodbye to everyone. I guess they experienced some backlash from me leaving.
Our strained relationship continued until Memorial Day 2005. I was still attending weekly classes on Sunday’s at the new Solebury Club before it moved to the current location. I asked Rob if we could link website to help our Google ratings.
Suddenly, I got a rambling e-mail from Sensei Safar the next day. The e-mail asked me if I remembered where I came from and that I needed the organization or my school would fail.
After receiving the e-mail, Ester and I talked about it and came to the conclusion that our relationship with this organization was holding us back instead of propelling us forward. We were already considering leaving because they would not allow us to make certain improvements to our program because of tradition. Also, it was obvious by the sudden e-mail that people were working behind the scenes attempting to sabotage our success. I knew in my heart that to move forward it was time to leave them behind.
I send an e-mail to Sensei Safar as a formal resignation to the organization.
In retrospect, our resignation propelled us forward and enabled me to expand my martial arts exponentially. Since then, I forged some great relationships with many of the top schools in the country that infused new life into my karate and our dojo.
Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
Monday, September 28, 2009
This is the continuation of Maximum Impact Karate's Anthology giving a personal history of events leading up to our dojo's 5 year anniversary.
The first day September 7, 2004 came quickly. For our first day, Ester set up a table to sign people up and I taught the classes in the gym.
Our first day was a great success, but totally chaotic. Ester’s job turned out to be the most difficult ~ trying to sign up 30 people at the same time, get the kids in a new uniform, and collect the first month’s tuition. We ran out of uniform.
In the classic movie Taxi Driver, Robert Di Niro’s character had a poster that said, "One of these days I'm gonna get organezized." Well, I spent the majority of the first year attempting to organezize the karate school.
The first year, Ester and I were confronted with a daunting number of decisions. Each decision could make or break our fragile school at this point. Between work and the school, I worked tireless to get organized and improve the school.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
We had the space. Next, we needed some students.
As soon as we got the great news, we made a flyer. Looking back, I smile thinking about how poorly written that flyer was. Over the course of July, we passed out over five thousand flyers.
Every time we were home, you would hear the hum of the printer and the crinkle of us folding flyers. Every night after work, Ester and I would drive around passing the flyers out until dark.
After passing out a metric ton of flyers in July, we took a vacation at the beginning of August. A few days into the vacation, I got a message from someone interested to join. It was the Giordano’s ~ Frankie and Brianna. Frankie and Brianna became our first students. They later became our first Black Belts and still training at our school. Their call was followed by the Bender’s ~ Tess and John and the Wright’s ~ Michelle. Although John left for college, both Tess and Michelle remain training at the Dojo and our Black Belts now.
In all, we have 31 people call to join for our start-up on September 7.
Next, our first year and start-up.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
After Ester sent me back to the drawing board, I begin to think about ways to make our new dream and reality without the huge price tags. I am a firm believer in asking the right questions. If you ask the right question, the answer arrives. Many times, we ask the wrong questions. If you ask “Why” question, you receive back self defeating answers.
We need to reframe the questions in our mind with “what”, “how”, and “where” to gain valuable insights. Instead of asking “Why don’t I have the money?”, ask yourself “Where or How can I get the money?” For us, the answer was a small business loan, tap into a 401K, etc. I am not a huge fan of debt and didn’t want to tap into our retirement so I changed the question.
The most expensive start-up cost was the commercial space rental. So the question became “Where can we cheaply rent to start the karate program?” I wrote a list of all the places that may have space. Here’s a picture of that page in my journal.
At my lunch break at work, I called all of the places on my list. I received a callback from St. Luke’s United Church of Christ. It happens that as a teenager I worked for a church board member’s daughter and they knew my family well. They asked for me to speak to the church board on a July, 2 at 10 am.
I took off of work and told Ester that I had to meet with some people from the church. I went to the meeting and they gave us the space. I called Ester and surprised her with the great news. We both had the feeling of “Wow, is this really happening?”
For those of you that remember the church and reading carefully, you will notice that I said the St. Luke’s United Church of Christ and our first location was St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. No, this was not a type-O. After receiving the space, a few days later, I received a call from Sandy at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. I visited the space and was told on July 7 that we could use their auditorium for our karate program.
The area was much better so I called St. Luke’s United Church of Christ and thanked them for their consideration and accepted the offer to start at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church.
Next, we needed students...
Friday, September 11, 2009
In 2003, My original goal was to open our karate school in five years, but in the spring of 2004, I heard rumors that at teaching karate for 8 years that the Center Club was closing.
I took this as a sign to move forward with my plans to start my own school. I wrote up a business plan with start up costs. She was extremely supportive until see saw the start up costs of $58,350. I still have the figure in my journal. Ester said “$58,350! Are you crazy?” Well, I guess it’s back to the drawing board.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Colleen C. Barrett
Since I was a teenager, I’ve kept a journal with written goals. I’ve looked into the journal to retrace my steps…
According to my journal, the seeds of starting my own school started in 2000, when I took a job in Customer Service. At this time, I wrote about my desire to learn customer service skills because I felt they were lacking in the Martial Arts Schools and would add tremendous value when I started a school.
Starting a karate school appeared as a written goal on 8/5/03 ~ about a year before opening Maximum Impact Karate. The deadline for the goal was 9/1/08. Some events happened that forced me to move forward with my plans. That year, I spent reading and studying to educate myself on starting a business.
This time in my life, I had very little free time with a family, kids, working 60 hours per week, and teaching karate 2 nights per week at the Center Club in Lambertville. To write my business plan, I would use my work breaks and lunch to sit in my car to write. My goal relied on consist small actions in 15 minutes clips to reach my goal.
I learned that small consistent actions creates huge results. That we need to be the bricklayers in our lives to commit to some action.
Friday, September 4, 2009
September 7th will be our 5 year Anniversary. I thought it would be interesting to document an anthology of events leading us to our Five year Anniversary. This Anthology is kind of a behind the scenes look at our school’s development and my own personal development along the way. The whole experience of our school’s development has many great lessons ingrained in it.
I am still getting grips on the fact that it’s been 5 years ~ a little nostalgic too. Starting our karate school is my biggest and greatest endeavor. Over the last five years, I had to overcome huge obstacles and challenges. Prevailing over these obstacles forced me to grow and stretch my skills in every area.
Michehl’s Rule for Mountain Climbers says “The mountain gets steeper as you get closer.” The idea of starting a karate school seems easy. You get a space to practice and teach classes but I realized early on that there is much, much more to running a great karate school.
My goal from the very beginning was to make our karate school the best. When faced with decisions, I constantly ask myself, “What will make us the best?”
The Genesis of Maximum Impact Karate…
Since college, I had a desire to teach karate. Once I graduated college, I joined the Center Club in Newtown. At the time, I was working 2nd shift and the Center Club had a morning class on Tuesdays at 10:30am. I joined the class.
Then, in April 1995, the teacher moved to Chicago and I was asked to start teaching the class. I taught there until the Center Club opened a new location in Lambertville, NJ in the spring of 1997. I was asked to teach one of the nights and eventually I worked my way to teaching twice a week.
In 1998, I lived a lifelong dream of completing in the Japan Karate Association’s World Championship for the USA. For students of Shotokan, this competition is like going to the Olympics of karate. After this competition, I remember getting the feeling of “What’s Next?”
At this time, I started to totally immerse myself into teaching. By 2003, I felt that I was getting stagnate in my training and teaching.
At this time, I realized that my next step as a Martial Artist was to step out of my comfort zone and to run my own school. This was one of the best decisions that I ever made because I've grown as a martial artist and teacher exponentially.
Part 2 coming soon...
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The dictionary defines attitude as “a way of thinking, acting, or feeling" while aptitude is “natural tendency or talent; ability.” We all have natural tendency but without a right attitude these talents will go to waste.
Our attitude makes us supernatural. Notice how if you breakdown the word supernatural, you can interrupt it as being extremely natural. Yes, being supernatural doesn’t mean being like a super hero with special powers. It’s more like coming to an extremely natural state of mind. Our attitude determines this more than aptitude.
Wealth people tend to have the right attitudes toward money. People with great relationships obtained a healthy attitude about friendship. Happily married people maintain a good attitude about their marriage. Healthy people think about their healthy with the correct attitude.
We are surrounded by supernatural people in all areas but fail to recognize it. These people tend to have supernaturally good attitudes towards a specific area.
Why is our attitude so important? Look at professional athletes. They are supernatural in their abilities, but if you look at the collegiate athletes, you would not see much of a different in their physical abilities. It’s all in the attitude and confidence level that defines them and pushes them into the professional level.
Do you want to become supernatural in some area? Try to change your attitude in that area. Change your internal dialogue to speak more supernaturally about that area of your life. Visualization the life that you are looking towards, not the life you got. Constant speak in positive terms about the area you wish to improve in.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It does have alot of sugar and oil in it. I used olive oil and next time I may use Splenda Brown Sugar to cut some of the sugar.
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups oatmeal (not instant)
Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs. Add other ingredients, except for oatmeal, and mix well. Stir in oatmeal. Spread in a greased 8×8 pan. Bake 30 minutes.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We teach our students to treat their belt with the same respect that you would treat the American Flag ~ for example we don’t just throw our belt on the floor. They put hours of training into each belt and you need to respect the sweat that you put into it. After receiving a new belt, we have a tradition of tying the old belt in a knot. We say that you’re “Tying in the Knowledge” of that level before moving onto the next level. Learning is an empirical process where each level of knowledge and experiences becomes the foundation to stack the higher levels.
The great thing about learning, knowledge, and experiences is that they last a lifetime and mold who we are and who we become. In fact, the more positive experiences and knowledge we gain, the more successful we become ~ therefore building our confidence as we grow to be more competent, responsible, and independent.
Ben Franklin put it, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” He was saying that we should constantly work toward increasing our knowledge and that this investment of time and money is one of the greatest investments we can make.
In karate, we provide valuable experiences and knowledge along with creating friendships and connections that change the course of each student’s lives ~ therefore tying in the knowledge on the way to creating a greater you. It’s like hitting a fork in the road. Once you take the positive path of self development through karate, you are forever changed and the other negative road is gone forever. The further you ride on this road the further you veer off and diverge from the other path.