Thought For The Week

Thought for the Week (September 11th 2000)
 Matt Kaplan (Yon-dan)


Karate as a Conduit for Smooth Transitions

Major changes in life -- whether in occupation, residence, relationships, or
health -- bring us face to face with the unknown. Whether encounters with
the unfamiliar work for us (as in generating excitement about new
possibilities) or against us (creating stress and uncertainty) has a lot to
do with the nature of the constants in our life. During times of great
transition, it helps to know that friends are still friends, family is still
family, and that our karate is still our karate; pinan shodan is still pinan
shodan, and our sensei is still our sensei.

Being in the midst of a big change myself (transPacific move), I have found
that my link to karate (people, technique, and organization) is a wonderful
thread of continuity, helping me to land on my feet with a posture poised to
welcome new possibilities. To sum it up -- Karate, the great stabilizer.

Matthew Kaplan, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Intergenerational Programs and Aging
Department of Agricultural and Extension Education
The Pennsylvania State University
323 Ag Administration Building, Rm. 315
University Park, PA 16802-2601
Phone: (814) 863-7871
Fax number: (814) 863-4753

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