Friday, April 20, 2012


At a recent class one of my original instructors, Charles Murray, was in the area and stopped by to run the class.

That in itself was unusual but when friends, from as far away as Pennsylvania, original Derry students and other instructors started showing up I realized something was up.

Then Charles presented me with a promotion to Hachi Dan from Tom Lewis.

I did not expect this.

Especially all my friends.

Now I have to work to live up to this.

and the beat goes on

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Descent into Darkness

The last year has been a challenge.

First type 2 diabetes. Increased workouts, losing 60 pounds trying to get in control of myself.

My weight dropped to pre 1977 levels, less than I’ve ever been in my studies.

Then Colon Cancer, surgery, then radiation and chemotherapy. Increasing my walking, to about 10 miles a week and continuing workouts to get as healthy as possible.

At Christmas I then found it hard to talk, depressing for an old speech major. Then a treatable but uncurable Neuromusclar disorder - myasthenia gravis. The first treatment did not work so on to stage two. The first treatment did not have a effect so now an infusion of steroids.

Then a bout last month with Achilles Tendonitis and weeks not being able to do more than hobble.

Then the effects of the infusion have left me weaker, without balance or much else.

I was able to return to some training this weekend but it’s mostly “drunk” practice now .

I did return to waking yesterday. ½ mile then to 2 miles today. The fight continues.

I now know what handicapped is. No one can understand me.

Treatment continues. A MRI and then a PET scan confirm I have no cancer now. The chemo therapy is preventative.

The treatment of more steroid infusion is later this month. One looks forward to the side effects.

I continue to work, they’re very supportive. I also have skills they still need so I can pay the bills.

Life moves on in ways we don’t expect.

My family is fine.

My practice continues, Mike Cassidy is doing a super job with the youth and I’m there to help

My research continues with new projects though if takes longer to type them.

Take a bunch of lemons and you get to make lemonade.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Much of Karate training is learning how to generate more power in our movements.
Then working to deliver that power into the target.

This past month I've had a lot of different medications and they have taken a lot of my power away from me. I'm most definitely weaker.

It's made me think on something I've been thinking on for some time.

What is the least amount of power required to get the job done?

Yes. There are times that maximum power is called for.
But, there are times that far less is required.

When you need to drop someone but don't need to break them.

Where a far more appropriate level of intensity is required.

Does your training develop these levels.

To me this represents the softer side of the arts.

Appropriate stepping, body shifting , correct alignment principles, striking locations.

All to be explored.