July 27, 2010
Your instruction with the Dojo always pushed me to achieve something greater – to meticulously labor at a task or technique in the pursuit of an incomprehensible refinement. It was not until I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Military School at Norwich University that I understood how much your training has influenced my life outside of the Dojo. It has instilled in me the discipline and perseverance to achieve my Degree in Architectural Studies, and the confidence to simultaneously lead my peers in Marine Corps ROTC.
Although I put myself at risk of sounding cliché, the century old traditions that are taught within your school are nothing short of humbling, and seem to intrinsically bring out the greatness in those who are strong enough to endure it.
As I pursue my Masters in Architecture I take with me, as always, your teachings – a catalyst that has helped me to understand who I am, and what I am capable of accomplishing in the future.
For this I extend to you my eternal gratitude.
August 14, 2009
Dear Master Gagne, I wish to express my appreciation for all that you have done for me over the years. Other than my parents, you and the Okinawan Temple have been the biggest influence in my life. I cannot express enough how the discipline, self control, honor, respect for life and all of the training has helped me become who I am.
I would not be a Veterinarian, nor have such a successful practice if it were not for you and your teachings. I would have given up just as many others before me have.
You gave me the confidence to look at what was possible and for this, I will always be in your dept.
Dr. George Jutras Jr.
December 16, 2009
Sensei Gagne, Recently, some of my fellow veterans and I were having a rather frank discussion about our experiences overseas. One of the topics we discussed was the mental fortitude that is required by Soldiers to operate on a deployment, day in and day out. Each one of us had obviously been shaped by different experiences and training opportunities over our years of service but I dare say that I stood out from the bunch for one particular reason: The Dojo.
The training, camaraderie, self-confidence and discipline that the Dojo afforded me at such a young age has left an indelible mark on me. I have carried the Dojo’s lessons from basic training thru West Point, Iraq and my return home. I attribute my success in life to learning very early on to respect the basics, work tirelessly at them (because they are never truly perfected), and maintain an awareness of everything that is around. Thank you again for being a very important part of that journey.
Captain, U.S. Army
West Point Graduate
Dear Sensei Gagne
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful experience my son had at your school. As we discussed when he first joined, he is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD. I hoped that your classes could accommodate his needs while teaching him to focus and develop necessary life skills to succeed and overcome the challenges he must face.
I am pleased to say that you and your team exceeded my expectations. First and foremost, you demonstrated incredible patience while still maintaining and enforcing the discipline required for him to grow. You tried different techniques to see what would work best for him while still being able to maintain the tradition and strategy of your teaching style.
Perseverance, Respect, Diligence, Attention to Detail, Teamwork, and Fair Play are all terms I think about when I think about the Okinawan Temple. I am very impressed that you follow the careers and successes of your former students. That shows me that you are concerned not just about teaching the day’s lesson, but changing your students to make them better people and to take your lessons with them throughout their lives.
It was with heavy heart that we had to leave your school, as we moved out of the area. However, the years spent at the Okinawan Temple have helped my son grow and overcome the obstacles put in his place. He is able to focus better and understands when it is right to just listen and when it is advisable to speak up. Most importantly, his successes at your school taught him that understanding and following the rules and persevering, will allow him to achieve that which he did not think possible.
Coming to you was a great decision. I hope that our paths will cross again and we may someday continue this journey together again.
Alfredo D. Zagaroli Jr.
August 16, 2015