Why Martial Arts?


ks fk sunset copyEffective combat skill is essential for our students.

However, martial arts is more than a method of self-protection from an attacker. It’s self-protection from all those invisible enemies in life that can drag us down.  Those enemies take the form of negative emotions and poor decisions that affect the quality of our lives.  They may lead us to a sedentary or toxic lifestyle.  They may drag us down with anger, stress, fear, worry, perfectionism, apathy,  and discouragement.

Our reaction to those negatives can lead us to all the over-indulgences we use to distract ourselves from facing those invisible enemies.  We practice defending against an attacker when in reality 7 of the 10 most likely things to kills are controlled by what we eat, how we exercise and how we handle stress.  Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure, cancer, Alzheimer’s, respiratory disease, these deathstyles are influenced by your lifestyle.

We might fight sadness with food and then become more sad because we made our body and mind sick and now aren’t in the physical condition we want to be.  We might withdraw socially to avoid facing our problems or self-medicate to avoid the pain of being in a place in life we don’t want to be.  So often negative mental states are places where you feel like you have no control over your life.

In Martial Arts training, learning how to control an opponent in a self-defense situation is the context that used to concentrate our focus but the benefits extend far beyond basic self-defense.  In learning how to control your opponent, you learn how to control yourself.

After experiencing an intense training session you’ve tested your skills and worked to out-think and outmaneuver your opponent.  Sometimes you are successful and sometimes your opponent is.  Martial Arts teaches us that there is no true defeat.  With the attitude of a Warrior-Scholar, we realize that within every defeat lives the opportunity to learn and improve. Mistakes become just another way to improve.  This attitude fosters fortitude and a strength of mind that cultivates harmony and emotional equilibrium.  It’s a state of mind that fosters peace.

Eventually, a new student changes their focus from attempting to defeat their enemy to learning from their enemy, from aggression to understanding,  from confusion to confidence.  We know that the real challenges in life aren’t so easily defeated and require practice, patience, and perseverance to overcome.

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For us, martial arts is more than a challenging, interesting, fun and enriching path to fitness that combines thousands of years of history, culture, and philosophy.  It’s a way of facing challenges, a practice that seeks but never achieves perfection.

It’s not about achieving a single victory or earning a black-belt, although those experiences are extremely rewarding, the true value exists in the practice that becomes your journey through life.


Enemies Along the Road: 7 ways to fight back against frustration and disapointment.

We have an idea of how we want our live’s to be and sometimes when those ideals seem far away or out of reach, frustration and disappointment creep in. These invisible enemies of frustration and disappointment hide along the paths we travel in pursuit of our most important endeavors. When they attack, fight back! Here are 7 tips for spiritual self-defense. 

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  1. Review your progress.  Take stock in the fact that you’ve set a goal.  Knowing that you want to make a change is a significant step forward.
  2. The path to realizing your objective is not a straight line.  Think of how we walk, drive, or ride a bike. Most of the time is spent making subtle corrections to keep you aligned with where you want to go.  Stop lights, slower traffic, and other obstacles will be in your path. Patience and perseverance will see you through.
  3. Break big dreams into smaller goals.  Losing 30 pounds is a project. Break that project into smaller, behavior driven goals.  I will strength train 3 times this week for a minimum of 45 minutes. Schedule it and track it.  You must measure your progress in order to manage your progress.Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 12.45.54 PM
  4. Develop an attitude of appreciation.  Start with the small stuff.  The small stuff IS the big stuff.  In the morning and the evening take a moment to note 3 things you are grateful for and be specific.  That warm conversation you had with a loved one, a refreshing walk at the Nature Center, the healthy meal you just ate.  Take a moment to reflect on the wonders of the daily moments.  They are only ordinary if you don’t pay attention to them.
  5.  Reward yourself and plan something to look forward to.   If you know you are going to be upping your workout routine, tightening your budget, or eating more nutritiously,  reward yourself with a massage, an inexpensive day out or a healthy but tasty fruit smoothie.  Find something within your new discipline that makes you feel good and is in alignment with your pursuit.
  6.  Ask for help and give help.  Asking for help doesn’t always mean finding a mentor in person.  Find role models that have achieved what you are seeking to achieve.  Read their books, blogs, and watch their videos.  Become inspired.  Seek others that are on the same path and create a dialog about overcoming challenges.  Read, grow, learn, it’s a lifelong practice.  Realize that you too have something to offer.  Everyone is a role model for someone.  Never underestimate the good that can come by stepping out of your own head and your own problems to help another achieve their goals.  That’s the kind of fulfillment that becomes fuel for your own journey and reminds you to keep going.
  7. Re-connect with the deep psychological desire at the root of your goal.  Your goal isn’t really just about making more money, losing weight, having a more fulfilling relationship, or earning your Black Belt, it’s about being a happier healthier person.  It’s about joy, passion and having a goal worth pursuing because it makes you a better person through the striving for it.   Why do you want to lose that weight, get that new job or deepen your relationship? Connect the goal with something real and how you’ll feel.  You want more career success so you can have less stress, more time with your family, more security? You want to lose that weight so you can look good (it’s ok to say it!)  live longer, do more, date with confidence?


Goals are a means to achieve a higher state of being.  The real trick is you can create that state right now. Feel successful, more healthy, more confident, less stressed, right now.  Cultivate that awareness of being fit in your mind FIRST and then guide your choices and actions to align with that self-concept.  Keep at it.  Just like driving you will begin to drift off course, get lost, or stuck in traffic.  Make the necessary course corrections.  By facing those obstacles, with grace, poise, perseverance, and awareness they become the means of achievement.  The obstacles are the sharpening stone of your mind-sword.  They are the practice.  Accept them, understand them and use them to live an extraordinary life.