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Friday, January 30, 2009

The Fork in the Road

Your choice to start karate is like a fork in the road. Once you make that choice to learn karate, your life is changed in a positive way, forever.

Think about it...

The knowledge we gain through the martial arts can never be taken away - it's with us forever. The other path is gone forever. The longer you're on the karate path the further diverged you become from the other possible life.

Every once in a while, I think about how my life would have been different if I didn't start karate 28 years ago. It helped me conquer anger problems. It gave me the focus and discipline to graduate college with high honors. It gave me the sense of responsibility that helped me excel in my career. Finally, it gave me the persistence to create a karate school that has almost a magical quality to it.

Ben Franklin said, "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." The culture of our society has moved away from this idea.

In many cases, we'd rather spend money on a nice car or entertain our children by purchasing frivolous toys. These things have zero effect on our development - after 4 years, the old car will be long forgot as we buy a new car and the forgotten toys carted out to be sold at a yard sale.

I found that our experiences are never forgotten. In fact, I still constantly talk about experiences that I had in the Martial Arts and would not trade them for the world.

This is a call to action. Let's shift our mindset from purchasing things to creating experiences and invest in our personal development.

Let's bring Ben Franklin's wise words to life again!

The great thing about karate is we do most of the hard personal development work for you. We do the research and put it into an easily digestible lessons.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I was tagged to write 25 random things about myself.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I have an obsessive personality. Once I lock my focus on something, I can’t stop. That’s why I still practice karate after 28 years.

2. My two pugs sleep with my wife and me under the covers at night.

3. I graduated college with the intent of becoming a wildlife biologist. I wanted to be the next Marty Stauffer producing a show like Wild America. “Until next time enjoy our Wild America”.

4. I am asked at least once a week if I am a professional dog walker when I walk my four dogs. One of these days, I am going to say yes.

5. I homebrewed beer until my wife, Ester, band it because it made the house smell like a brewery.

6. I love cooking because I am a control freak. I don’t like delegating my eating habits to fast food and take out. Plus, I can cook better than them. :)

7. I use to play guitar and practice about 4 hours a day until a full time job got in the way.

8. Ester laughs at me in the morning because I am like a robot and do the exact same routine every morning. I am not this boring the rest of the day. Really?!

9. I was really into wilderness survival 10 years ago and took many wilderness survival courses. I once lived for 2 weeks in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

10. I love teaching karate so much that it’s hard to call it work or a job.

11. I gave up my corporate job as a regional customer service manager two years ago to pursue Karate full time.

12. My outlook on life appears a little off center, but it works for me.

13. I am an avid writer. I write a blog almost daily and have published many articles online. I carry a Moleskin journal with me at all times.
14. I could lease a BMW with the money I spend on personal development and coaching every month. It’s helped me in life more than a BMW ever could and my students benefit tremendously from it.

15. I am naturally wired with extremely positive and enthusiastic mindset. I tend to twist even negative events into a positive outlook.

16. I had a student’s parent call me the Pied Piper because child follow and listen to me almost effortlessly.

17. I meditate for 15 minutes daily. Even at my old job, I would spend my 15 minute morning break meditating in my car.

18. I repeat positive affirmations constantly through the day. There’s that obsessive side again.

19. I can beat everyone in my family at staring matches.

20. Scrabble is my favorite board game to play.

21. I always lose against my wife in Rum 500.

22. I watch Joel Osteen every week for motivation.

23. I have never owned a new car. I prefer used ones.

24. I make a great Cosmopolitan but I rarely drink them myself. My recipe was made to perfectly suit Ester’s tastes.

25. I don’t watch much TV but watch tons of movies, even bad ones.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Food Stamp Challenge 2009 - Rules

This year, I am performing a Food Stamp Challenge of five days, February 16th thru 20th. The idea is to eat and shop for five days as if you are living on food stamps. Currently, that $5.87 per person per day or $29.35 each for the five days.

I am inviting all readers to join me on this challenge and already have a number of people that already are joining me. If you want to join me, please comment below.

I am wondering...

Will I be able to feed myself with more than Mac & Cheese?

What compromises will I need to make? Considering that I currently eat a high protein diet and whole grain breads.

Will I be able to provide much variety or will I need to eat the same thing all week?

Okay, I had questions about the rules.

Rules for the February 2009 Food Stamp Challenge
  1. Maximum per person is $5.87 per person per day. For me, there is three of us so we can spend a total of $88.05 for the five days. Your shopping is on per tax dollars so your daily allotment does not include the sales tax since use of food stamps are not subject to sales tax.
  2. Salt and pepper are considered in your house so you can use these without adding them to the total bill. All other spices, condiment, and cooking oils, if you already have them in your pantry, do not need to be purchased again but you need to add an estimate of their cost to your total budget.
  3. The budget does not include items like paper products, cleaning supplies, medications, and non-food items that are not covered by food stamps.
  4. You can eat free food from work and business functions like free donuts and coffee in the lunch room, business luncheons, etc. or free tasting at grocery stores, family functions, etc.
  5. If you eat out, the check plus tip needs to be subtracted from your budget.
Who is willing to take the challenge?

This challenge is really an exercise of empathy - to live in some else's shoes. I hope to leave this challenge with a better understanding of people in need and to be more thankful for our currently standard of living.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Seven Layer Tortilla Pie

This recipe was a real hit at my birthday party last night. It was easy to make and delicious!

We found this recipe here at

2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
7 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mash pinto beans. Stir in 3/4 cup salsa and garlic.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup salsa, cilantro, black beans and tomatoes.
  4. Place 1 tortilla in a pie plate or tart dish. Spread 3/4 cup pinto bean mixture over tortilla to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top with 1/4 cup cheese, and cover with another tortilla. Spread with 2/3 cup black bean mixture, and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layering twice. Cover with remaining tortilla, and spread with remaining pinto bean mixture and cheese.
  5. Cover with foil, and bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Teach Discipline and Responsibility by giving Limited Options

Many problems with children develop because of the child desiring more control over their lives. When we, as parents, play the puppeteer pulling every string on their lives, children naturally resist. This desire for more control can lead to unhealthy power struggles between parent and child.

Of course, as parent, we worry about the choices our children will make if we give complete control. But on the other hand, if we make all the decision for our children, we rob them of many valuable lessons that lead to developing discipline and responsibility.

Rave Review
"Kyle's become much more responsible in school as well as home."
Sherri Ackerman ~ Dublin, PA

The main job as parents is to grow independent and responsible children by college. By college, you will not be able to jump in a help our children. Once we call our son’s college to ask a question, they polite told us that our son was an adult and that they could not provide private information – he needed to call himself.
Here’s a great parenting technique that will give your child control and develop their discipline and responsibility muscles but limits that choices to answers that are acceptable.

It’s called providing limited options…

Here’s how it works. Instead of demanding a specific course of action, you provide two choices either of which is acceptable for you. For example, for a very young child, instead of demanding, “Put on your shoes” which can create resistance, you rephrase the question to say, “Would you like to put your shoe on yourself or do you want me to help?” or “Do you want to put your right shoe or left shoe on first?”

Rave Review
"Joshua always gives 110% at whatever he is doing. Whether it be karate, or school, Joshua is always trying his hardest... It is wonderful to him succeeding."
Jennifer Defrancisco ~ Perkasie, PA

The most important thing is to provide two choices that you find perfectly acceptable. By providing choices, you transfer some of the control to the child so compliance is easier. Make it a game for the child so they have fun making choices.
I employ this technique frequently in my Martial Arts classes with great success. For example, I highlight a student by bringing them to the front of a class and asking them to lead jumping jacks. Then, I ask if they are going to do 10 or 20. In my experience, most children like to overachieve and go for the higher number but if they pick 10, it doesn’t matter to me.

The children benefit in many ways from providing Limited Options. First, it teaches decision making without giving so many choices that it causes indecision. Second, it teaches your child better discipline and responsibility because now they are in control of the decisions. Third, this parenting technique inspires independence in a child that is so valuable for their future endeavors. Finally, it give parents the secure to know that the choices are all acceptable.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quick Update - Computer Problems

Hi Everyone. Here's a quick update on things that our going on.

My computer crashed on Friday so I am borrowing my son's computer to write this. Luckily, one of students, Paul, owns a great place called SystemsNet Computer Service. They found the problem and told me that my computer will be fast and stronger once returned. Yeah!

At the beginning of the year, I started the Body for Life workout plan. I lost 5 lbs. and I am already see the results of my efforts. I see some definition appearing in my arms and shoulders.

My food stamp challenge, where I will eat for 5 days for less than $5.85 per day, will be February 16th through 20th. Please join me! I will post the rules for the 5 day challenge shortly.

Well, I got to run.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Positive energy is more POWERFUL, but hard to maintain

I finished a book called Power vs. Force. It’s a very interesting read. I am not sure about the whole calibration thing, but there are some universe truths that are undeniable.

One very significant point made in the book…

Positive energy is logarithmically more powerful than negative energy.

Have you every got around someone extremely positive? They instantly transform your energy to the positive.

So why doesn’t everyone stay in a positive state of mind? I’ve give this a lot of thought and here’s how we should change the statement above...

Positive energy is logarithmically more powerful but harder to maintain than negative energy.

That’s right! Negative thoughts and experience are just plain easier. The good news is that just a few positive thoughts and experiences in the day can far outweigh all the negative thoughts because they are so powerful.

Since this realization, I have engaged in huge amounts of positive self-talk through the day. I found that these self-talk sessions are so powerful that it has a lasting effect. I see the difference in my teaching and the effect it has on the people around me. I am better able to shield myself from negativity rubbing off on me.

Do you want to change your life? Find a time to give yourself a positive pep talk. I also noticed that these positive self-talk sessions are more powerful if I do them while exercising and in the morning.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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Supercharge Your Life

The last few weeks, I've been supercharging my life for the new year and the lives of my students.

Here's some important steps for supercharging your life and turning those New Years Resolutions into goals.
  • Exercise - Exercise is the most basic ingredient to success. As the saying goes, "It gets the blood flowing". Yes, it does. It gets the blood flowing to the brain and releases hormones that create positive feeling and relieves stress. Exercise alone can solve many subtle problems we suffer from daily - low energy, fatigue, trouble sleeping, poor attitudes, etc.
  • Make a Target - For a thought to go from a dream to goal, we need to be very specific about the target. Create a bulls eye for your goals by really defining what the bulls eye is for you.
  • Keep score - When I set goals for my students, we always talk about keeping score. How do you know if you are win? By the score. I like to use the analogy of shoot a basketball. If I am playing by myself is totally different than if a friend challenges to a one-on-one match. When you keep score, the energy level goes up.
  • Set a date - Someday, last I checked, is not a day of the week. Give each step towards your goal a deadline. If your goals don't have a deadline, it's only a vague dream.
  • Work in your circle of influence - All goals have factors that you can't control - that are outside your circle of influence. If you want to increase your salary at work, you can control your work performance. You can support your department and company goals. You can increase your knowledge and education. But you do not control the economy and other vague circumstances. No matter what happens stay steadfast and work on what you can control. I guarantee you will eventually reap the benefits.
  • Identify the small steps - Remember the movie "Analyze This" with Billy Crystal telling Robert De Niro's mafia boss character to take baby steps. Sometimes our goals are so big that they are hard to swallow. By breaking a larger goal in baby steps, the larger goal suddenly becomes manageable. I like to break my baby steps into tasks that take less than 10 minutes. You'll find that once you overcome the inertia of that first step that the rest comes easy.
  • Find at accountability coach - On the path to success, it's so easy to talk yourself out of a goal. As humans, it's so easy to con ourselves and logically justify not going forward. Find someone that will hold you accountable to your goal and give frequent updates to them.
  • Setup an environment for success - You need an environment for success. If you are looking to lose weight, clean all of the junk food out of your house. If your effected by negative people in your life, find positive like-minded individuals to hang out with.
I expect 2009 to be my best year yet. With the advice above, you too will experience a tremendous years where all obstacles will fall at your feet.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Food Stamp Challenge

One of our students, Gwen, gave me a great idea for a challenge ~she knows I love a challenge~. I wanted to explain it to everyone and see if anyone is interested in joining me. It is a tremendous empathy opportunity.

It's the Food Stamp Challenge.

I plan to eat for 5 days in February as if I was on food stamps. That equals about $5.87 allowance for food per day or $29.35 for the five day. Since Food stamp purchases aren't taxed, this will be based on pre-tax dollars. If you are feeding a family, multiple the allowance per the number of family members.

For this challenge, I plan to eat more than just Mac & Cheese. The key I believe will entail cooking basic ingredients from scratch and get really creative to stretch the budget.

Is anyone up for the challenge? Hey, what do you got to lose? At least, you'll save a ton of money for 5 days.

More details coming soon...

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Salmon Lasagna with Cheese Sauce

We made this lasagna recipe. I love it and my wife said it was fishy so I'll let you decide.

This recipe was found at - Salmon Lasagna W/Cheese Sauce.

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons white flour
2 1/2 cups milk (I used organic skim)
6-8 ounces gruyere cheese, grated or shredded
6-8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
granulated garlic
onion powder
12 ounces salmon fillets, no bones, remove skin and slice into 1/4 in. strips
14 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles (I used Barilla)
2-3 cups green zucchini, thinly sliced (3 small)
2 cups onions, thinly sliced (2 medium)
1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes, petite diced
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated

1. Saute~ the onions in a small pat of butter (not listed in ingredients, could instead be oil) until translucent. I added about 1 T crushed garlic about 2/3 through cooking. Put into a bowl.
2. Saute~ the zucchini in the same pan; could use a pat of butter or oil. Cook until soft. Put into a bowl.
3. Make a roux: Melt the 4 T butter in a sauce pan on low/medium heat. Once it's bubbling, slowly add the flour, using a whisk to incorporate the flour after each tablespoon. Allow the roux to brown, stirring occasionally and making sure not to burn it.
4. Add milk slowly - it will look initially wrong but once all the milk is in it will smooth out. Continue to whisk to incorporate. Let mix come to a slow bubbling.
5. Add gruyere and ricotta in a few steps, stirring to melt and incorporate. Allow cheese sauce to come back to bubbling after each addition. Add garlic and onion to taste. Take off burner and put near other ingredients. (I used 2 measured c of milk, then added a bit more, so it could be up to 3 c milk total to make it a saucier consistency.).
6. Layering: In a 13X9 pan, put a little cheese sauce and 1/3 c of diced tomatoes, mixing them and coating the bottom of the pan. Put down a layer of noodles, then ~6 oz diced tomatoes, onions to lightly cover the layer, then zucchini to cover the onion (about half of each). Lay down the salmon strips to cover the layer - all the salmon.
7 Stir the cheese sauce to incorporate any skin that might have formed, then put ~1.5-2 c sauce over fish to cover. Layer noodles, then the rest of the tomatoes, rest of the onion, rest of the zucchini, ~1.5-2 c cheese sauce. Layer noodles, cover with the rest of the cheese sauce, then add a layer of mozzarella to cover.
8. Bake 1 hr at 350°F Let cool before cutting: 5 long X 3 short. Enjoy thoroughly!

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tekki Shodan

This is a video demonstrating our kata of the month - Tekki Shodan.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Goal Setting for 2009

Every year over the holidays, I spend time to set and write my goals. I must say that my goals are significantly different this year than former years. My goals shifted towards a more spiritual base - from an "I" to a "we" focus. For example, I want to impact thousands of families throughout the community.

In the blog, I want to provide you with the tools and process I use to brainstorm goals in easy steps. I use the Franklin Covey tools.

First, create a mission statement. Your mission statement helps you focus on the important thing in your life so that you're goals reflect your mission. The Franklin Covey website has a great mission builder.

Second, write your goals
. I stick with 3 to 5 goals for the year - one for each important area. The Franklin Covey site provides a sample planner. Pages 37 through 40 has a great tool for refining your values, roles, and mission. After finishing the exercises on pages 37-40, then start writing your goals using the template on page 41.

Third, follow a monthly master task list. On page 5 of the sample planner shows the master task list. Every month, I spend time writing monthly tasks. But... here's the important part... Make sure that the monthly tasks are in line with the steps in your goals.

Fourth, Monday of every week write a To Do List. On this checklist, rate each task with an A, B, or C by how important it is to reach your goals - A being the most important and C being the least important.

Finally, use self-instruction cards. Self-instruction Cards are business card size with written positive affirmations that you repeat daily. For example, if you want to eat healthier, the self-instruction may be "I eat foods consist with a healthy and well balanced diet".

I followed this system all of last year and it held me accountable throughout.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What I learned in 2008 ~ a Cliff Note Version

2008 has been one of the greatest growth years in my life. At the beginning of 2008, I decided to start writing in my blog 4 to 5 times per week. Writing in this blog and you, my readers have become my greatest accountability coaches. In fact, the pull to achieve is so great that I overachieved all of my 2008 goals.

Since 2008 was an amazing year, I wanted to give everyone a cliff note version of the profound lessons that I learned. So, here it goes…

Most Influential Books of 2008: The 4-Hour Workweek and Be the Pack Leader. In reading The 4-Hour Workweek, I realized that I have many of the same attitudes as the author. Although I have a family, so I don’t plan on traveling the world any time soon. I did use the advice in the book to cut my karate schools administrative work by about 80% leaving me with more free time and my students with better overall service.

Be the Pack Leader by Casear Milan taught me more about leadership than any other book even though it’s a book on dog training. I found that the leadership skills transcend just teaching dogs and applied many of the philosophies to my karate classes.

Our emotions are contagious. I realized this year that our feelings and emotions have a viral effect. Instead of letting other’s emotions infect me, I worked on letting the feeling flow through me but not let them take hold.

Writing paints a picture. The more I write, the more I realize that writing paves the way into our future. The things we write about influences our reality and our future.

In 2008, I completed a series of challenge – One month without coffee, a month without sweets, the 100 pushup challenge, the 60 situps in a minute challenge. Each of these challenges helped me grow in some way and pushed me beyond perceived limits. I already have ideas for some new and interesting challenges lined up for 2009.

Cooking became a passion. For this blog, I explored healthy eating habits and began to challenge myself in cooking. Now, I have a really passion for it. I also discover that creating healthy meals from scratch is simple, enjoyable, and satisfying.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about creating a Mastery Snowball and how self-development comes from mastery snowflakes - many little steps in the end become big. This year, I feel that I really got the Snowball rolling downhill and this year, I know that I can do even better.

2009 – Here I come…

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Kiev-style Fish Parcels

The fish is this recipe just melt in your mouth which is a perfect balance with the crisp outside. The garlic butter melts from the inside giving it a more savory taste.

This recipe comes from the The Fresh Fish Cookbook.

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
Zest of 1 lemon
6 thin whiting fillets, skinned
salt and pepper
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
sunflower oil for cooking

Cream the butter with garlic and parsley. Place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap and form into a sausage shape. Roll plastic around it and twist the ends. Put into freezer until firm. Remove from freezer and cut into six slices.

Mix bread crumbs with lemon zest on a plate. Lay the fillets on a board, skin side up. Season with salt and pepper. Place butter in middle and roll the fillet around it making a nice parcel. Dust the parcels with flour and dip into beaten egg. Then coat the parcels with the bread crumb mixture. Chill for 30 minutes to set the coating before cooking.

Place the parcels in a roasted pan with a shallow layer of oil. Cook in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Baste the parcel halfway through cooking.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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