October is National Bully Prevention Month. Here are a few simple strategies that you can do to help reduce the chances of your child being bullied. We like to use the acronym; H.E.L.P.
The “H” means to “Have a plan”. Unfortunately, bullying is rampart in our society. Statistics tell us that 1 in 4 kids are bullied. There are 160,000 kids that miss school every day because of bullying. And 86% of the kids that are bullied say that it interferes with their school work. Bullying is NOT okay.
Here's a short story about a father and son who were doing some chores around the house when the father got called into work. He asked the son to finish stacking some wood and he would return ASAP.
When the father returned after a couple of hours, he found the son trying to put the last pieces of wood on top of the pile. But the logs were so heavy, the boy couldn’t get the wood on top. The boy tried and tried, but the wood was too heavy.
Finally, the dad said; “son, you’re not using all your strength.” In an exhausted state, the boy said; “Dad, I’m trying as much as I can.” The Dad replied; “that’s not what I said. I said you’re not using all your strength…. because I would help you if you asked me to.”.
Bullying is a serious thing and it hurts people’s feelings and makes them feel badly about themselves. I want you to always remember, if you get bullied, I want you to always reach out and ask for help. You’re not in this alone. You have strength outside yourself.
You can learn more about how martial arts lessons can help your child to become bully proof by visiting us at www.karatewestinc.com.
Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.
Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently
waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl.
He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her
to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “
Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.
Which one are you?
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When you Google Indomitable Spirit, here is what comes up….
“People described as having an indomitable spirit don't need pep talks or protein shakes; their strength comes from within. The adjective indomitable starts with the Latin prefix in, which means "not." The second part of the word is also from the Latin word domitare, meaning ‘to tame’.”
Russell Redenbaugh was building a model rocket in his garage when he was 16 years old. The rocket went off accidentally leaving him totally blind and with permanent damage to both hands (he lost 6 fingers).
He was determined to not live the life as a typical handicap person. He shifted his focus to action. He focused on what he could do, and not what he couldn’t. Despite being rejected by Stanford and Harvard, he went on to earn an MBA from the Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania.
At the age of fifty, Redenbaugh started training in the martial arts. As a blind person missing fingers, he won several competitions in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2010, Redenbaugh earned the rank of black belt.
Today he is an ultra-successful economist, investor, and inspirational speaker.
Russell wrote a book entitled, “Shift the Narrative: A Blind Man’s Vision for Rewriting the Stories that Limit Us”
Check out his TED Talk here: https://youtu.be/AOOc3VO_Gyg
At the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, British sprinter Derek Redmond had his dreams of an Olympic medal crushed by a debilitating hamstring injury in the middle of a semi-final race.
But whereas most athletes would just submit to defeat, bend over, and cry, Redmond was determined to finish what he started. So, he picks himself up off the ground and begins hobbling around the track toward the finish line.
Then, just when it seems he might not be able to go on any longer, Redmond’s dad breaks through security to get on the track and puts his arm around his son, who cries on his shoulder as the two finish the race together.
Derek's dream of winning was over, yet he still knew how important it was to finish the race he started. What a great lesson for us all! It's easy to be a great starter. Champions in life are great finishers!
Here’s a clip of this touching moment set to inspirational music by Coldplay.
You can learn more about us at www.karatewestinc.com.
John McEnroe is known as one of the best tennis players in history. He won 77 singles titles, 78 doubles titles, and 7 major titles (4 US Open and 3 Wimbledon).
He was not only known as an incredible tennis player. He was infamous for his temper tantrums on the court that often landed him in trouble with umpires and tennis authorities.
In 1984 McEnroe was playing a match in Stockholm, Sweden he argued with an umpire over a call then got so angry with the umpire’s call, he grabbed a tennis ball and hit it into the crowd. Still angry with the umpire, he walked off the court and smashed a chair and table with his tennis racquet.
While McEnroe was one of the best players in history, his temper cost him many matches, titles, and money over the years. Not to mention, he made himself look ridiculous on many occasions.
We all get angry from time to time. We can’t control what happens in the world. We can’t control what other people say or do, however we can control how we respond to it.
Surely, in the moment it is hard. Sometimes the best answer is to walk away, take a few deep breaths and regain your composure.
Black Belt Champions are not perfect however the true mark of true martial arts practitioner is one that can apply the lessons learned on the mat and remember to put them to use off the mat!
We have all said things in a moment of anger that we later regretted. The problem is even after an apology, you can’t take those words back. They are out there and most people won’t forget what was said.
Here’s an idea. Learn to turn frustration into fascination. Instead of being angry and frustrated at what someone says or does, learn to become fascinated at their actions and thought process. Become fascinated by their point of view.
Does it work every time? No! Nothing works all the time; however, it does work a lot of the time and this little trick can save you from saying and doing things you may later regret.
To learn more about us please visit us at www.karatewestinc.com.
One of the things that I have always enjoyed about martial arts training is the opportunity to step onto the mats and eliminate the clutter that has managed to take root in my head. During that training time all of the cares of the world fade away and a zen like state is achieved as the mind becomes calm and focused on the training at hand.
How can we apply the principle of Kanso to the rest our lives? Take a good hard look at pruning people, places, processes and things that are cluttering up your path; that are not adding value to your life or helping you to grow.
To help you get started take a moment to think of just one thing that makes you anxious or unhappy. Eliminate it from your life immediately. Just the thought of getting rid of it makes you feel better already right?! Tomorrow you can choose another and repeat the process.
Enjoy your day!
To learn more about us please visit our website at www.karatewestinc.com. We would love to hear from you.
On one sunny afternoon a man was walking along the beach and saw another man fishing in the surf with a bait bucket beside him. As he drew closer, he saw that the bait bucket had no lid and had live crabs inside.
“Why don't you cover your bait bucket so the crabs won't escape?” he asked. "You don't understand.” the man replied, "If there is one crab in the bucket it would surely crawl out very quickly. However, when there are many crabs in the bucket, if one tries to crawl up the side, the others will grab hold of it and pull it back down so that it will share the same fate as the rest of them."
Can you relate to this story of the crabs in the bucket?
This is very typical human behavior. If someone tries to improve him or herself, dream big or try something new even our close friends and family can become the crabs that want to pull us back down. It’s not always intentional of course but people like to stay in their own little bubble or comfort zone and want to keep you right there with them!
What’s the lesson here?
Ignore the crabs and don’t be a crab! Fire ahead and do what is right for you. If God has blessed you with a great gift or talent, go ahead and with a leap of faith, give birth to your dreams. It may not be easy and you may not succeed 100% of the time, but you will NEVER share the same fate as those who never try.
Though our martial arts program our students learn to go for it! They also learn that in order to grow personally it is imperative that they encourage and build up those around them. Strength truly is in unity.
You can learn more about us at www.karatewestinc.com.
Whether you are a new or seasoned student of the martial arts putting the 3 P’s to practice in your daily life is key to turning an interest into a life long practice.
Purpose – a sense of purpose gives a student a much greater level of focus and discipline. As Nietzsche said ” Given a big enough WHY, people can bear almost any how”. Seek your source of inspiration within or with those closest to you. When becoming successful is as important as breathing no one will be able to stand in your way.
Passion– many students tend to use results as motivators. Reaching the next belt rank or winning a medal at a tournament can be your sources of inspiration but not passion. Your love for your craft should be a natural flow of diligent practice. If a student is focused, healthy and disciplined in his or her practice – improvement should be the main drive. Always seek the perfection of your skill, physical attributes and mental capacity and don’t get distracted by results.
Patience– Malcolm Gladwell in his brilliant book ‘The Outliers’ talks about the 10,000 HOUR RULE- One of the main claims of Outliers is that putting in 10,000 hours of practice is a prerequisite for great achievement.
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As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them.
As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
We see this a lot in our martial arts training don’t we. Students that struggle with a particular technique or requirements to advance to the next rank start coming up with reasons why they can’t do it or won’t be able to do it instead of trying to find the solution to overcome the obstacle. “I’m too old, I’m not flexible enough, my work schedule makes it impossible, my child has ADHD and so on and so on.”
If everyone would just understand that the obstacles, the struggle and the failures along the way are actually the necessary ingredients to becoming a black belt champion it would be much easier to accept and even embrace them!
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As Miyomoto Musashi wrote … ‘there is timing in everything’.
Most often, there is stuff we NEED to do before getting to the stuff we really WANT to do. In other words, there is timing and process to almost everything.
The need for immediate gratification is one of the most toxic forces at work in today’s society. In fact, a very powerful study known as the Marshmallow Experiment, indicates very convincingly, that only about twenty percent of us, who have the ability to endure short term inconvenience for long-term gain, are almost guaranteed of living a happy, joyful and financially successful life.
It is no different in martial arts training; those willing to endure the hard-yards, in lieu of fast-tracking their way through the ranks, are almost certain to place real value/worth on their Black Belt when they finally do earn/become it.
There is 'timing' in everything - there is also a ‘time’ for everything. Enjoy the process!
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