Home > Posts tagged black belt

The Gift of Confidence from the Ashes of Defeat

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’
-Eleanor Roosevelt

 

DefeatImagine being slammed against a cage. No matter what you do… how well you cover, fists slip between your hands pounding your face. You throw a hook hoping to disrupt the assault, but you hit only air and leave an opening where you take another solid hit. The edge of a four-ounce glove opens a gash along you cheek bone. You hear groans. You know the groans are your mom, your wife, your best friend and the people who gave up their time to train you. Your corner is yelling advice that you try to follow but really all you can do is get hit again. Then everything goes black and you know nothing else until you’re with the ref and your opponent whose hand is raised high. The crowd cheers for him. Then you have to endure phrases like, “good try,” and “hey at least you got in there and did it. That’s more than I can say.” The truth is you lost. You failed.

 

One of the most important things a martial artist does in the dojo is fail. In the Life Skills from the Dojo blog post The Dojo – Our Quiet Little Koi Pond, we discuss the little failures that happen every time you step on the mat. They pave the way to long-term success like bricks laid one after the other – tapped into place so, in the end, they fit together perfectly forming a solid walkway. However, it is the big failures that define who we are. I wrote about my son failing his black belt test in Falling Down and Getting up. It was failing that test, picking himself up and doing what it took to pass it the next time, that taught him who he is. A gift is presented in these big failures, the gift of true confidence.

 

Continue reading The Gift of Confidence from the Ashes of Defeat

5 Principles of Discipline from the Dojo You Can Use in Your Home

There are many reasons for studying the martial arts. However, as a parent with a child in the martial arts, one reason that tops the list is discipline. So, now that you have a Karate Kid who is snapping to attention for their sensei but ignoring Mom and Dad when it’s time to get ready for school, what can you do to get some of that dojo discipline into your home?

 

The bad news is that Karate instructor is way cooler than you. (After all, who else gets to go to work in bare feet and pajamas and play with swords in a padded room?) They only have your child an hour a day and, let’s face it, they’re not you. So, yeah, your kid listens to them.  The good new s is you can take some of the principles used in the dojo into your home to help get them moving like a good karate student should.

 

 

1: Stop and Prepare to Listen

 

At home both you and your child are going at ninety miles per hour when you start barking out orders, “come on, get your shoes on, pick that up before we go, I’m helping your brother you need to…” How many times have you been stirring something on the stove, listening for the laundry and yelling to your child all at the same time?  To some degree this is just life but there are times when you can take a breath, and ask your child to stop and listen before giving them instructions.

 

Look at how many times their karate instructor does this in the short time they have them. In our dojo we have three listening positions: a standing at attention (front position), a down on one knee for quick instruction and a sitting position for longer instruction. The point is, asking for attention comes first and is systematized. We also teach that you listen with your ears, eyes (eye contact) and body (staying still).

 

Try this. Come up with your own listening position (or use one from your child’s dojo.) and the next time you have an important instruction, ask them first to assume that listing position.  Don’t make it too serious have fun with it. See if they move a little quicker for you.

Continue reading 5 Principles of Discipline from the Dojo You Can Use in Your Home

Timing

You’re flying down the highway at seventy-five miles per hour when break lights flash in front of you. Slowing down you check your rear view then side view mirrors. Just before the car in the left lane passes you...