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…]

The Difference Between Being Accepted & Fitting In

For anyone feeling nervous when you step onto the mat, I want to talk to you about the difference between being accepted and fitting in. You see, everybody’s welcome in our school, whether you’re strong or fragile, male or female, gay or straight, Jewish or Muslim or Catholic. But if you feel like you have to be something you’re not in order to … [Read more…]

Navigating Nutrition (Podcast)

Listen to the newest podcast right here! Our overall health determines how much physical energy we have and how sharp our mental focus will be. How we feel determines our attitude toward everything we do; our attitude in turn influences our actions (or our inactions). It’s a tremendous feeling to be energetic, healthy, fit and focused. When our emotions … [Read more…]

Redefining Black Belt

We define black belt in all sorts of ways – commitment, courage, humanity. And across the world you’d be hard-pressed to find two people who agree exactly on what it means. Is it a perfect technique? A demonstration of mental toughness? An ideal of perfection? So I’m going to step out on a limb here and … [Read more…]

Pizza & Beer & Martial Arts

As students, we often develop very powerful relationships in the dojo. But over time, it’s easy to let something other than the martial arts – like drinking beers or eating pizza (as in, “let’s just grab some peetzer and beerz!”) – become the cornerstone of our connections. The bond goes from being productive to destructive, because we no longer take a stand for … [Read more…]