The Last Word

In the past, I’ve said that when it comes to teachers, my personal preference is to have a very rigorous and strict one. I want someone who can be at the helm of my progress. I don’t want it to be any other way, because I know that in order to get to the next … [Read more…]

What’s On The Plate?

Yesterday my mentor told me that as part of her practice, at every meal she leaves something on her plate to share with her family. And she doesn’t leave food on her plate because they don’t have enough food…it’s because she works to think less of herself and more of others. Now that might be … [Read more…]

The Force of the Enforcer

During the five years between blue belt and purple belt, I was the enforcer in the classroom. If you’re a sports fan, you know that in hockey, the enforcer’s function is pressure and intimidation. His role is to set a precedent with the other teams: he sits on the bench and when things get sticky, … [Read more…]

No Trash in Japan

When I visited Japan, the most profound thing that I noticed—and that I didn’t expect in my wildest imagination—was that, in Japan, there were no garbage cans. If my life depended on it, I could not throw a piece of paper away properly. And on the streets in Japan, any place we went, there was … [Read more…]

A Challenge Greater than Black Belt

We’ve been speaking in the classes this week about the black belt principle of “being a good-finder.” When I first heard the expression, I thought it was corny until I pondered it further and then saw its potency. Being a good-finder means that you find the good in everything, everyone, and every situation. Seem extreme and completely impractical?  Well, … [Read more…]

Favoritism: Why It’s Not What You Think

I recently had a conversation with a former schoolteacher. She told me that she believed that one of the hallmarks of being a good teacher was that students should never feel that a teacher is playing favorites. I agreed. She then went on to say that even though a teacher may have favorites, the students shouldn’t realize … [Read more…]

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…]