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There’s nothing wrong with being strong, smart, brave and asking for help. So why don’t we do it?

Last week I went to my karate class and after class, my instructor and I started talking about how our school was going. I told him that over the last few years, I’ve seen a real improvement in the quality of our students. They’re performing better katas, sparring better and I believe that overall, they’re much fitter. In general, I’m really happy with how the school is going. When he asked me what made the improvement, I cited a number of different sources.

That same week, I was talking with my BJJ instructor and mentioned that I was really frustrated with my training. I’ve hit a real roadblock with a partner of mine and I just can’t figure out how to get around it. I’ve trained and drilled but still haven’t made any progress. As a result of all this, I haven’t trained in a couple of weeks.

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You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

I remember when I was younger, training a specific drill and it just not clicking. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to get it and eventually I lost my temper. When that happened, my teacher at the time said something to me that may have had more influence on me than anything he had ever said.

Looking back, it’s so obvious and since that time, I’ve gone on to apply his advice in many different parts of my life. What he said was…

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Be patient with yourself

I ran into a guy recently and we started talking about training in BJJ about 15 years ago. As we spoke, we talked about how long it can take to see real progress in gaining a skill.

What I realized as we spoke was that everyone improves at different rates but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you enjoy what you’re doing because when you enjoy it, you’ll keep at it.

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Go for it!

I had this student start class last night and they said to me that they’d been thinking of taking karate for quite a while. They had been humming and hawing over it, tiptoeing around the idea, balancing the pros and cons. However you want to say it, they finally started last night, did a fantastic job and I think they really enjoy their time.

Afterwards, I thought about what would have happened in 5 10 15 20 years, had they not tried it? What if in that time frame, they end up with these big regrets?

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Frustration is an essential part of success

This week’s MOTW is born out of me trying to put together the MOTW.

No matter what you are working towards, at some point you are going to hit roadblocks or bumps in the road and so this week, as you go through the week, understand that being frustrated by them is part of the process of achieving what you want.

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Effort over talent – ALL DAY LONG!

I had this student here years ago and his name was Matthew but we all called him Matty P. Matty was a great student, not a great athlete, but a great student. Achieving every belt was a great effort for him but as he went up through the ranks and the challenges became more intense, his effort grew as well.

A parent this week made an off the cuff comment and said…

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Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness

Last week a student came to class and we got talking about his training. He’s a student that I really like a lot and am always excited to see in class and so when I discovered that he hadn’t been sparring because he was scared of it, I instantly wanted to help him get over that.

As we spoke about his training and sparring, we came up with some ideas and strategies that we could use to help him get back on track.

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A 10 year-old reminded me of some great advice.

A student came to class last night to work on her kata. She had recently been half-striped, she wanted her full stripe and so she came to do a private lesson with the goal of receiving the other half of her stripe. During her lesson, she performed her kata and when she finished, Jacob and I looked at each other in amazement at how much her kata has improved.

This student is a dream student. She comes to class regularly, does her two classes, tries hard, does it with a smile and then goes home. Nothing more, nothing less. Same thing every week.

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Education is continual


I come from a line of really amazing women.

My grandmother was an amazing artist that sewed, knitted, played sports with me and taught my mom how to ride a bike even though she had no clue.

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