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What you can, when you can, while you can

Uncategorized Dec 06, 2019

It was Winston Churchill who said “Perfection is the enemy of progress.”. That may seem contradictory to Kung Fu, since we are all striving for perfection, as we should be on our entire journey through life, but what I myself take from the saying is that we must do what we can, when we can, while we can. The perfect opportunity or the perfect conditions for our development will never arise.

Many people fail to work on their own self cultivation because they are waiting for something, and often something beyond their control. They say, “Once I get in shape, I’ll start learning Kung Fu”, or “once I have the free time”. Some of us do this in smaller ways but they can still be detrimental to our overall progress. For example, “my uniform isn’t clean so I’ll skip class”, or “I’m already 10 minutes late so I’ll just go another night”. The worst one I hear, which to me is one of the most cringe-worthy...

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Mind Focus: Reducing Stress at Work while Enriching Your Relationships with Family

Uncategorized Jun 30, 2019
 

The 2nd Law of Concentration; Focus Your Mind. This is the second lesson we teach kids and teens when they come in to learn Kung Fu for the first time. The first thing we teach is focus your eyes, learn how to look people in the eyes, and keep your eyes on what you’re doing and who you’re speaking with, something that’s lost for many young people, but I talked about that in a separate post, so today we’ll talk about the second, which is focus your mind; focusing your mind, thoughts, and intentions. For kids we teach that focusing your mind means being in the moment, paying attention to what’s going on around you, and if you can do that you can react very quickly to things, and that translates into discipline, when they learn that then they are taught to apply the same focus at home, for example if you’re mind is focused and you’re paying attention, and a parent asks you to clean your room, then you should be able to do it right away without...

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Developing Self Discipline by Keeping Score

Uncategorized Jun 03, 2019

There’s this weird fad going around about not keeping score because someone’s feelings will get hurt if you keep score, if you have a winner you have a loser. I understand the well intentioned concept with regard to competitive sports, however since I don’t teach competitive sports I’m not really going to comment on it in that regard, I’m instead going to comment on how that pertains to life, because if this idea of not keeping score isn’t kept in the right context, it can be very counter-productive in life in general.

 If we apply the not-keeping score to everything, it can be very detrimental to a child’s level of discipline later on. I teach Kung Fu, which although is a combative art, actually has more to do with self cultivation and self development than it has to do with combat.  Kung Fu means literally, the skill we acquire after time and sacrifice. Which means, if we’re following a Kung Fu path, we’re always...

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Improving Confidence in Kids - how eye focus can improve confidence in kids

Uncategorized May 23, 2019

Although we teach martial arts are main focus is to make sure that our students are developing confidence, discipline, and focus as well as getting in fantastic shape, but today I mostly want to share with you some concepts we use to develop confidence in our students so they can speak up for themselves, be less susceptible to bullying and they can learn to make bigger steps out of their comfort zones so they can achieve more academically, athletically, and in all other areas of life as well.

 

Parents often bring their kids in for this trial because their little ones are lacking confidence in themselves. This makes it difficult for them to try new things, meet new people, and set goals for themselves. Although parents recognize that confidence is a important trait for their kids to have, they get frustrated that this trait isn’t always developed in school by default.

 

They feel their kids would get better results if they would stop saying things like “I...

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Improving Speed and Reflexes while Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Uncategorized Apr 10, 2019
 

 Today I want to talk about the importance of building up speed in your reflexes while at the same time learning to greatly reduce stress in your life. They’re actually greatly linked, and if you work on one you can work on the other at the same time.
People often ask me about Tai Chi, if we teach tai chi, and we of course we do in our higher level programs. When other martial artist, especially the MMA guys, they say, well why? It’s a waste of time unless you’re old, right? It’s not really good for fighting, to which I have to disagree. Not necessarily because the moves in the system, but because it teaches you how to breathe and relax, which is one thing we all need more of, much more of. The ability to breathe and relax on command is important for so many reasons. On a combative level for 1, if you can relax during physical combat we will save a ton of strength, so you can fight much longer. When we’re tense we have muscles firing that we...

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The Secret to Raising Confident Kids - Part 2

Uncategorized Feb 23, 2019
 

Last week I spoke about developing confidence in terms of personal achievement, but the other part of that that I mentioned was developing confidence in more of a social context. This is what we work on with our students on the very first day. The first thing we teach them is the importance of eye focus, as we say. “Focus your Eyes”. Hugely important today more than ever, especially since society as a whole is losing this ability. As much as this makes sense on a basic common or not so common sense level, there is a much deeper layer to this.

About 20 years ago, a Kung Fu master taught me a lesson that greatly shifted my perception and led me to where I am today, and without it I’d probably be miserable at job that I hate instead of the job that I love. That lesson was that the mind follows the body, and the body follows the mind. You see a common idea is that the mind body connection as a linear path. You have a thought, feeling, frame of mind, and if you’re...

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The Secret to Raising Confident Kids - Part 1

Uncategorized Feb 16, 2019
 

A lot of times martial arts enthusiasts just shout confidence without having a clear understanding as to how to achieving that. If we don’t have a clear system of achieving it then we’re just kind of hoping that we put our kids in and a confident kid will be spat out, well that’s not always the case if we don’t have the right systems in place.

Confidence comes from the experience of genuine success. Now note that I said genuine success. False success will lead to false confidence. What I mean by false success is that if we do something for our kids without giving them the risk of failure then they won’t experience true success in something. Likewise if we just lie to our kids and keep telling them they’re fantastic and great at everything even when they’re not, that’s false success. If everyone gets a trophy that’s false success.

It’s ok if not everyone gets a trophy because life is filled with abundant opportunities to...

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Black Sashes Take The Stairs!

Uncategorized Feb 11, 2019
 

Put principles like this into action in a way that will improve your fitness, focus, confidence, and discipline in an environment of awesome friendly people...

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SImple; Useful: Chambering your hands

Uncategorized Feb 06, 2019

I wanted to write about something amazingly simple but very useful that with your overall physical health as well as your mental health and your confidence.

It’s kind of funny how simple it is, but as my teacher Grand Master Philipman Chow says simple; useful.

I’m talking about Chambering; a very basic position in martial arts that often gets overlooked because there’s nothing too glamorous or fancy about it.

I was reminded about this whole lesson actually by one of my students, who’s a great massage therapist and they were teaching some of their clients to chamber their hands like we do in Kung Fu to help with their posture and it helped them a lot because they’re typically hunched over all the time like a lot of us are. Our shoulders are getting rounded out and our neck is arching forward from sitting at a desk so much. Now, this obviously has negative physical effects, but one thing we don’t think about enough is the effect it has on us...

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Develop Rock-Solid Discipline in your kids

Uncategorized Feb 05, 2019

The 4 Essential Steps to Mastering Discipline (hint: NOT just for martial artists :-)   )

 

Often times we have parents bring their kids in to try martial arts because they want them to have discipline. They usually know someone who currently has their child in our program and has seen amazing improvements and they wonder what made all the difference.  They say “wow, he’s so well behaved now… what changed?” and the enrolled parent will say “Martial Arts”...and that’ll be the end of it.

This leads to the illusion that martial arts will automatically teach discipline. You put them in; a disciplined kid comes out. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. It’s a community approach. Often people mistakenly claim martial arts just happens to teach discipline. This is not always the case. Not all martial arts are equal, some have different focuses, but many instructors and enthusiasts just blurt out...

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