How Martial Artists Handle Fear

Yesterday, I had a very interesting conversation with my mentor. She told me a story about how one of her family members, who is in the medical field, was required to take a fire safety class. The fire marshal who was running the class asked the attendees whether they knew what the number one cause … [Read more…]

Patience

In a recent conversation, my mentor talked to me about the quality of patience. She explained how patience promotes much progress in all areas of our lives, if we allow patience the opportunity to do so. I started thinking about how, if I applied this idea not only to my personal life but also to … [Read more…]

Missing The Mark?

This week in our classroom we’ve been discussing the concept of “forgiveness”. Heavy concept, I know : ) But let me share why I consider it a “black belt trait” and why it applies to our martial arts practice. Forgiveness is sometimes seen as this very intense, demanding , even religious concept. I prefer to … [Read more…]

What Are Your 3 Magic (Jiu-Jitsu) Wishes?

Jiu-Jitsu is often idiosyncratic. It has its own culture, its own language. We can endlessly debate the values of different approaches to training, to teaching, to “art versus sport”. But I think there are a few things we as practitioners can do to elevate the practice for everyone, regardless of where they’re from. So with … [Read more…]

Why Jigoro Kano Wants You To Be a “Good Citizen”

Growing up in the martial arts during the 1980s, one of the primary tenets of practice was something they called “good citizenship”. The concept dates back to at least the 1800s, to Mr. Jigoro Kano‘s belief that a practitioner needed to be a useful citizen to society. But today it sounds very outdated, even antiquated.  Even though I was surrounded by the … [Read more…]

Are You OK?

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When I was seventeen I had a job laying tile floors and carpet. There was a subcontractor by the name of Robert who used to come and work with us. He was a hardened ex-Marine, a non-nonsense fellow and an overall fascinating guy. Now on this job, we used these tools with razor-sharp blades to slice the tiles. I … [Read more…]