August News

One year in the new school

As we go into our second year in our new Dojo we have seen some terrific growth, with many new students taking the opportunity to train, while established students have moved on to higher ranks. At our Grand Opening on February 28th Councilman Jerry Fadgen cut the official opening ribbon. He then remarked: “I would like to rededicate this educational facility which has remained open for twenty-four years. It is about service - something that Sensei Robert Mason and his staff have given to this community. This school builds skills, discipline, competence, courage and leadership. All these are important. If all the organizations in the City of Plantation, educational and otherwise, contributed as much as this facility does, how much better our community would be”. For Jerry these were not just concepts about our Dojo, but his experience based on the many years that his son Rusty trained with Sensei Mason. Now an adult in his twenties, Rusty still pursues training in the Martial Arts in Orlando where he lives.

As we move into our second year at our new location there will be some changes and some new opportunities. One of the ways we get new students is from referrals by current students and parents. In order to reward those who send their friends, acquaintances and associates to try Martial Arts lessons we have a new referral program stating in August. When you refer a new student, who names you as their referral source on our registration form for an introductory course, you or your child will receive a $30.00 credit towards future graduation fees. In this way we can show our appreciation for the referral, and students and parents can offset the fees involved in testing by accruing credit.

One of the highlights at our Grand Opening was the performance by Sensei Jeff Liotta who won the World Championships on July 3rd and is the current point leader in both Weapons Forms and Creative Forms on the NASKA Martial Arts World Tour. Look out for an article on Sensei Liotta in an upcoming edition of the Miami Herald.

ISKA World Champion

Sensei Jeff Liotta


The Benefits of Karate Training

Goal Setting, Achievement And The Resultant Acquisition Of Values

In addition to the physical benefits of balance, coordination, flexibility, strength, agility and fitness, Martial Arts training also leads to additional benefits including confidence, improved perception, self-control, and of course the acquisition of self-discipline.

A recent report on the state of education in the USA defined three major problems among contemporary high school students:

1) An absence of goals.

2) A lack of discipline

3) An overall impression of misplaced values among the young people who were represented in the study.

At the University Karate Center, we have the opportunity to address these issues in a direct manner that can lead to the internalization of new insights, habits, and perspectives, which in turn, can generalize into all aspects of a student’s life at any age.

For karate students at UKC goals are made very concrete through the use of the belt system. The attainment of Black Belt can be set as a long-term goal, with the achievement of each colored belt set as an intermediate goal. The attainment of stripes between ranks offers concrete reinforcement, on the way to achieving the proficiency required by the next belt test.

In order to succeed at meeting our goals, we must discipline ourselves. When we are enjoying what we do and are having fun, our activities reward us by the natural pleasure, joy, or comfort that they bring us. At these times, our endeavors do not require an external reward as the intrinsic reinforcement is quite sufficient. However, when we are struggling to learn a new skill, or trying very hard to cope with a disappointment or loss, our efforts are not being immediately rewarded. At these times, maintaining our perspective by reflecting on our goals, and the reward we will feel when we attain them, can provide the reinforcement that we need to keep our motivation up.

This process leads to the attainment of a disciplined attitude and the development of qualities like patience, endurance, perseverance and integrity. In many ways it is in making the effort to learn lessons that are difficult for us that we can experience the greatest growth. Through this process we can attain an understanding of the true value of achievement that comes as a consequence of hard work and improved competence. Over time we develop self-discipline because we have the power to suspend our need for an immediate reward now. We know that as we attain competence, as the result of correct practice for a period of time, we will achieve an even greater reward when our next goal is reached.

© 2004 Sensei Robert H. Mason

Achieving his Goal: Sensei David FungSang receives his Black Belt Diploma from Sensei Mason

Agility skills take time to develop: Sensei Mason kicking with Sensei Chris Kent