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…]

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 But today it sounds very outdated, even antiquated.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…]

One (Very Unexpected) Tool For Better Living

There’s something called the “uchi deshi” in Japanese martial arts. This is the live-in student, the one that takes care of the dojo. And at an early point in my martial arts training, I became the uchi deshi at Mr. Miyazaki‘s dojo. I would clean and straighten up around the dojo, making sure it was ready for classes and to receive … [Read more…]

The Power of Setting Limits

I remember that when Jiu-Jitsu first became popular in the U.S., it seemed like “traditional martial arts” became yesterday’s news. I was the worst offender. I left my traditional training behind because I thought that the lessons were antiquated and irrelevant. I thought there was so much freedom in not having to be bound by … [Read more…]

The 40% Rule

Maybe you’ve heard of something the Navy SEALs call “the 40% Rule”. It goes something like this: the moment that your brain tells you that you’ve had enough, you’re actually at only forty percent of your capacity. You’ve got sixty percent more to give to whatever endeavor that you’re doing. They apply this rule to all … [Read more…]

My Teacher’s One Maxim

A simple piece of advice (with a hidden warning). My teacher had a way of dispensing advice and recommendations so that even the simplest ones would end up like a Zen koan. You’d go home thinking about them, wondering and turning them over in your mind, never quite having the right answer or reply. They’d have you … [Read more…]