I received some pretty rough news. I have a herniated disc and a possible fractured vertebra. The degenerated discs in my lower back are likely due to years of training, competing, and rough-housing with big boys on the mat. The fractured vertebra came from a recent “Hey, y’all, watch this,” moments. I don’t know how … Continue reading How to Be Happy Despite Fate’s Fickle Ways.
How do you think of your teammates? Do you see them as a few welcome acquaintances that you meet with a couple of times per week? Or are they something more, a necessary support group you can’t live without? In many martial arts (and fitness groups as well), we often hear a term, but we … Continue reading Back To The Primitive: Finding Your Tribe.
In one of my Judo matches several years ago, I was in an intense struggle for grips, and I was losing the battle. I heard my coach yelling, “You’re not moving him, Josh. He’s moving you.” My coach was right. I was letting my opponent lead the dance. In the famed Japanese swordsman and martial … Continue reading Winning: It’s all in his head.
At a family gathering, a young woman was asked why she cut the ends off the ham she had brought to the meal. “My mom always cut the ends off,” she replied. The young lady asked her mother later why she cut the ends off the ham. “I’m not sure, but my mother used to … Continue reading Family Traditions: A Recipe for Realization
Photo by Chi Lok TSANG on Unsplash What does it take to stand up for your beliefs? Have you ever asked yourself what you would do if you were faced with giving up or fighting back? We are witnessing an interesting phenomenon in our country and our world right now. People are fighting back, sometimes … Continue reading We Were Meant To Be Courageous
In many ways, Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning” is a memoir and a treatise on human tenacity. In one way, it tells of Frankl’s hardships in the Nazi imprisonment camps, Auschwitz being the worst. In another manner, the book gives us insight into how we can endure in the hardest of times and the … Continue reading Readings #5: Man’s Search For Meaning (Suffering and Success)
It finally came. The day we had all waited for. The studio has reopened for us to get back on the mat. Now we can all take a deep sigh of relief… cautiously. As we reopen and resume our martial arts training, what does it look like? Is it perfectly identical to the way it … Continue reading Resume and Remain: Fighting Back After the Pandemic
“Finish him,” was the famous phrase heard on Mortal Kombat 3 when it came time to obliterate your opponent. You might remember the drunken wobble Raiden does just before Sub-Zero uppercuts him into oblivion. Good times. As a kid, another part of the game always stood out: the opening credits. The phrase flashing across the … Continue reading Mortal Kombat: A Quality Education
How many times have you seen the memes on social media displaying how nature differentiates apex predators? There’s one with a black snake that looks like a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Then there’s one (see inset) about people with cauliflower ears. These memes make for an interesting discussion. What about your appearance indicates you know … Continue reading 2 Reasons to Improve Your Body Language
“No fair,” cries my son when he thinks his sister got a bigger piece of candy. “No fair,” he cries when I tell him he can’t go outside and play until he cleans his room. I politely remind him that sometimes, life isn’t fair. We see this often with children, but we don’t recognize it … Continue reading Why Me?: Unfairness and Life
In a recent webinar on Tactical Communication put on by the Verbal Judo Institute, the instructor often cited Sun Tzu’s Art of War. In Verbal Judo, one of the key parts of de-escalation and tactical communication is empathy. Several definitions are floating around, but in essence, empathy is the ability to “recognize, understand, and share … Continue reading Sun Tzu and Empathy: Spying on on the Enemy
In my last post, I mentioned James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits. Before reading that book, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. The two books were written over 15 years apart, but they both discuss elements of our environment and how those elements shape who we are and how we can change, for better … Continue reading Readings #4: The Tipping Point (Changing Your Environment, part 2)
Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to keep up that workout routine or why you can’t stay on top of your diet? Maybe you can’t seem to make that work deadline because social media or video games rob you of much needed time. We often think we can change our habits through willpower … Continue reading Readings #3: Atomic Habits (Changing Your Environment, part 1)
Amid the mire of COVID-19 (the Corona Virus), I have been soul-searching for what matters most in life. Judging by the pilfering of the bread aisle and toilet paper from grocery stores, it would seem that many think bathroom visits and toast are essential to human prosperity. The world is watching, waiting to see what … Continue reading Persevering with Patience (Perspective for a Pandemic)
Continuing with a previous post about failure and how it can lead to successes, I want to discuss a book I am reading. For Christmas, I received Ryan Holiday’s “The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Are of Turning Trials into Triumph.” I have been a follower of Holiday’s blog, The Daily Stoic, and I’ve … Continue reading Readings #2: The Obstacle is the Way – The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
I recently heard Yoda say this on Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery, hmm… but weakness, folly, failure also. Yes: failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Aside from being a martial arts instructor, I run a tutoring center at a college and I also … Continue reading Re-framing Failure: Learning from your losses.
If you haven't picked up Old School Jiu Jitsu founder Brian Jones's book, Manifesto, you are missing out on a gem. Jiu Jitsu is about fun, fellowship, and food for thought, but the core principle of Jiu Jitsu is fighting. An excerpt from the first few pages lays out the thesis: "Jiu Jitsu training provides … Continue reading Readings #1: Old School Jiu Jitsu – Manifesto
“Pressure is persuasion,” I yelled to one of my students as he tried to pass his opponent’s guard. The tournament official next to me looked at me funny and smiled. “I like that,” he said. Afterward, the official and I had a conversation about persuasion and martial arts. Part of my professional background is in … Continue reading Passing Guard: Pressure is Persuasion
We were just kids who wanted to wrestle. It’s hard to believe where we all are today. It seems like a different world. As we progress through our journey in martial arts, we face many obstacles such as learning curves, harder techniques, and tougher opponents. The young men in this picture faced obstacles over the … Continue reading Keep your head up.
I know it's been a few months since my last post, so I wanted to touch base. I haven't given up opining—quite the contrary. I have had numerous things on my mind lately, much of which I am eager to share with you in the coming months. In my last post, I mentioned that I … Continue reading Building a Legacy
If you ever wonder what I do when I am not training or waxing philosophical on a mat, here is one thing I do in what little spare time I have: write. If you read this blog, you already knew that. I write for local newspapers and magazines as well as research papers for graduate … Continue reading A Lesson Learned
Judo coach Hap Wheeler always has words of encouragement for his students as they maneuver through techniques against unwilling opponents: “Pull the trigger.” I hear him say this phrase in my head often when I hesitate to do something. My last post was about fear and how to use it to do new things and learn … Continue reading Pull the trigger and eat the frog.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - attributed to Mark Twain I recently had a friend ask me … Continue reading Are you using your fear properly?
Other than a few random sheltered individuals, most people know who the Jedi are. Who doesn’t love master Yoda and even have a special place in their hearts for Darth Vader, the Jedi who was led astray by his anger and the dark side? What if the Jedi were real people? Who might they be? … Continue reading Jedi Lifestyle: 3 Ways to Use the Force
Do they reveal things about you or the world around you that make you pause to remember, reflect, or regret? If the answer is no, then what you are reading is safe.
JD lists some of the most important things you can do to be prepared for uncertain and unsettling times. For the full explanation of each item, check out his blog. It's full of important information. Here is his list: First, immediately develop a communications plan… Second, immediately collect open-source intelligence (OSINT)… Third, check … Continue reading What You Should Do Right Now — Tactical Training Systems – Reblog