Sensei Meyer moves on from University Karate Center to the University of Central Florida

Well, I remember when I first started training here and there was only one Dojo, one bathroom, one desk, and a fan. I've not only watched the place grow but also the people. I'm really glad I was able to be a part of everything.

First I would like to thank the instructors who took the time to teach me, especially Mr. Mason. I've traveled all around the state and even all around the country and I have never seen anyone who comes close to having the knowledge and perfect execution that Mr. Mason has. He has watched me grow since the day I was born to my first shiai at the age of three to a black belt. I owe him a great thanks and attribute a lot of my happiness and success in life to him. He served with all of his great sense of humor, great knowledge, and great ability, as a role model to me, like I have tried to do for all of the kids I teach.

I would like to thank all of the kids for making my teaching experience a memorable one. I had a blast throwing pads, and hitting you all in the head with the swords. I most of all I enjoyed sharing the knowledge I have in my head with you. You all have made me very proud and I wish you all the best in luck in your karate training. One of these days when I come down to visit I want to hear that my record for the youngest to get a Black Belt has been broken.

There is a certain satisfaction you get when you set a goal and work hard to achieve it. Though there may be some struggles along the way, stick with it because the feeling you get is indescribable. A great guy once said "Black Belts are only white belts that kept on coming" this is very true and I know that all of you will make great black belts one day.

Thanks to all the adults who sparred with me and pushed me to become better, and a big thanks to Jackie, Cynthia, Vicki, Arielle and all the people who work behind the desk and keep everything running smoothly. I had a great fifteen years at the University Karate Center and I will be back soon to check up on y'all. Once again, thanks to everyone including the parent for all of your support and nice comments you've given me.

Take care and Keep On Kickin!!!!

Sensei Joshua Meyer

Finding Joy In The Everyday

When was the last time you felt joy? Pure silly "grin-on-yor-face", jumping up and down joy? It might be the feeling you have when you are floating in a pond on an inner tube, with the sun beating down on you from a deep, clear sky. It might be the mood you find yourself in as you leave a movie theatre, the taste of popcorn still on your tongue, images of the film flashing through your mind, and your best friend at your side. It might be the sensation you feel at the end of a challenging day of "Belt Testing" as your Instructor presents you with a new belt.

Joy is one of the greatest gifts we have as living beings. It may also be the most neglected; somehow, we have learned that we are not entitled to joy in our lives, that it is somehow indulgent or soft. The reality is that looking for joy is a risk; in feeling joy, you may sharpen the painful contrast it makes with sadness and other less comfortable emotions. But not only is feeling joy worth the gamble, it's a necessary part of our humanity. Here are some questions that may help you move toward tapping the "joy resources" in your life

What are the unique things that bring you joy? Some people love nothing better than the taste of a favorite food, or the feel of a new sports equipment in their hands. Do you make sure you have joyful things? -- experiences, objects, sounds, smells, tastes -- in your life on a regular basis? Do you have at least two or three favorites? Are you open to new ones?

Who helps you to experience joy? Who makes you laugh, feel good about yourself, helps you see things you hadn't considered before? For many of us, family, friends, and teachers, are the answer. Do you seek out people who inspire your joy? Do you let them know you appreciate them?

Where do you feel the most joyous? For some, any place that they are challenging their bodies is a source of joy, whether they are in the Dojo or bent over the handlebars of a bicycle. For others, secret, quiet places bring out the best feelings. Do you have a place where you can reflect, release tension and reconnect with your body and mind? Do you make time to be there, focusing on finding calm and renewal?

How do you offer joy to others? Do you find small ways; a joke, a kind word, acts of patience and understanding? Do you try to look past what others seem to be to what really moves them? What motivates them? What are they struggling with? What can you do to make their way a little smoother?

Human beings live with a complex range of emotions; joy is just one of them. Sadness, excitement, confusion and anger, among others, are important parts of our human experience. It could be argued that, in order to recognize and appreciate joy, we must feel them all. As author Kahlil Gibran wrote: "...the selfsame well from which your laughter rises [is] oftentimes filled with your tears."

Many of us have daily encounters with emotions like anxiety and fear, even though we don't actively look for them. Unfortunately, without our conscious effort, joy may be a less-familiar sensation. To achieve true balance in our lives, the experience of joy needs to be a priority. True Martial Artists express joy in all they encounter; it is part of the Martial Arts spirit to be joyful and without lasting fear. Seek out joy; find the things that make you happy, that challenge you and help you to grow, and pursue them. Enjoy!