Message to the Martial Arts Student: “You Are Not a Consumer”

Last night I reminded the class that we are practicing Japanese Karate. It’s not American-style Wal-Mart karate in a box. It’s not there to be “consumed”, and you are not a consumer.   Moreover, we have a relationship. My job is to show up and give you my very, very best. Sometimes it takes a lot, and sometimes it’s oppressive, and sometimes it’s … [Read more…]

David Bowie’s Jiu-Jitsu Paradox

The martial arts are filled with paradoxes. And recently I’ve been considering how paradoxical life is, as an older, more mature person – or a person who’s working on maturing well. It seems that many of life’s “gray areas” have now become the norm. What I once was very dogmatic about, I now see that there’s another side … [Read more…]

Our blind spots

[Please note that this post includes some explicit language.] My Thai boxing instructor told me that when he recently went back home for the holidays, he trained at a friend’s dojo. After working out, his friend said that one of their former classmates had gone to Japan to train. And my teacher said, “I really dislike that … [Read more…]

how to recognize a trailblazer

Recently I got a message on Facebook from someone I’ve known from Jiu-Jitsu for decades. The message said, “Hey, I don’t know if you remember me but you had said a couple of things to me years ago that I never forgot. I’m going through a crisis now and I need some help.” And I said sure, give me a call. So … [Read more…]

raise your thermostat, overcome your limitations

Jiu-Jitsu training is designed to raise your thermostat, to help you to overcome your limitations. Your temperature may rise in the classroom, but will your overall understanding of your personal capabilites also increase? The objective of the martial arts is to expand the range of your “self” – not only your self-confidence but your whole self-concept. … [Read more…]