This week’s Student Spotlight

karate kid

Student Spotlight

The Bushido School of Karate is so appreciative of the students and families that are a part of our Bushido Karate family. We’ve had the pleasure of teaching for over 2 decades and in that time have been privileged to teach thousands of students. Everyone started at the beginning with no shortcuts, and we are so proud of their accomplishments.  Our weekly Student Spotlight features randomly chosen students on their own journey at The Bushido School of Karate.

This week’s spotlight is on Frankie!

  • Frankie is 7 years old, is going into 3rd grade and is a green belt at Bushido Karate. He started karate classes in January 2016.
  • Frankie says:  “(My favorite thing about Bushido Karate is) breaking wood (boards)and passing to the next belt.”
  • Frankie’s mom  says: “(I chose Bushido Karate for my son) to help with discipline and overall behavior.”
green belt karate kid

Student spotlight on Frankie! July 11, 2018

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Inspired by the “F” word

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This 4-letter word makes most people cringe. People try to avoid using it in a sentence and will seek any synonym that isn’t as harsh. It can invoke an emotional response and trigger action.

Why is the “f” word so bad?

Did you figure it out? This is a “G” rated blog, so I wouldn’t even go there . That cringe-worthy word I’m speaking of is “fail”. There – I said it.  That wasn’t so bad. And the fact is that it isn’t bad! It doesn’t feel good, but neither does having a cavity filled!

It’s an outcome, not a life sentence

At The Bushido School of Karate we make an announcement before every belt promotion test. It’s important to educate and re-enforce that our test’s are not ceremonies. We do not award belts; rather, our students earn their belts. There may be students who do not go home with a new belt. The opposite of pass is fail. Plain and simple.  Failing is just an outcome; it does not make someone a failure.

Of course those who failed will be disappointed. That’s where a parent can make all the difference. After 20 years of owning and operating our karate school we have seen the gambit of emotional responses and the actions that follow.  The following suggestions are based on real-life scenarios. Our findings have not been psychologically analyzed or studied, formally conducted, or funded with grants. They are observations based on only one thing: experience.

What to do when your kid fails

Of course they need comfort, but not coddling. When a parent is upset, the child will have the same response. An acknowledgement of their failure is important, but stroking their ego is not. Martial arts are inherently tough, both physically and mentally. If earning a black belt were that easy you would see as many kids wearing karate gis around town after class as you do young soccer players wearing their uniforms after practice.

Sometimes the reason for failing is obvious, even to the untrained eye. Sloppy techniques, inconsistent focus and just not knowing are among the more blatant mistakes. Don’t overthink this, but do try to find out what can be done to improve. Has your child missed classes or not adhered to their schedule of classes? Is there any time at your school or dojo when students can make plans for informal training with higher ranks (sometimes called Open Mat). Are there any resources available outside of class for practicing at home? 

One of the best things you can do is not treat the word fail as a bad word. The greatest innovations of our time have been the result of success after multiple failures. It’s a part of life, and without it we would never know joy. ( I think I paraphrased Eleanor Roosevelt there. )

Osu, keep on keeping on

 

4 Ways Martial Arts Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur

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I found this article on Inc.com by Jeff Yasuda, Founder and CEO, Feed.fm . It lists great reasons for business entrepreneurs to participate in martial arts classes. The author not only talks the talk, he also walks the walk!

Martial arts training can help you cope with failure, learn from mistakes, and handle the stresses of your business

Let’s start with a sterotype. Like many Asian kids, I grew up taking martial arts: judo, shotokan karate, American kempo, taekwondo, Wing Chun, and jujutsu, to name a few.
Perhaps at the outset, my parents thought it was a good way for me to connect with my cultural heritage (or lack thereof). Or, more likely, as a “well-rounded” kid who was also simply “round,” maybe my parents wanted me to be able to protect myself.
At the time, it all seemed pointless: the useless stretching, the weird “ai ya!” screams, rote memorization of movements that made no sense, and the mental torture of meditation.

As the years went on, I began to realize the importance of the rituals of these arts that have existed for thousands of years, but nonetheless I moved on to other endeavors.
After a long hiatus, a few years ago I joined an awesome school here in San Francisco. At first, it was mainly for my son to learn self-discipline through martial arts, but I soon started taking classes myself. Within a few months, my instructor, who was half my age and a great practitioner, encouraged me to start to spar. Against the wishes of my wife and my own sensibilities of what a 40-year-old man shouldn’t do, I cautiously agreed.

Every week I went to sparring class knowing I would lose. My instructor was better than me in every way: faster, fitter, stronger. I’d be lucky to get even a few punches or kicks in, while he tap-danced on my face.
So why take this abuse?
I LOVE IT!

Go ask a startup entrepreneur why they take the abuse: long hours, rejection, no salary, eating ramen, etc. and you’ll get the same answer.
There are several parallels between the martial arts and building a company that have made me a better entrepreneur. Four come to mind immediately.

1. Learning to embrace failure

Every week, I enter class knowing that I will fail. But diving into situations knowing that the odds are stacked against you builds a certain toughness of character. Nine out of 10 start-ups fail. The most successful startup entrepreneurs are ones who fall flat on their face nine times, learn why they failed, and keep going up against the odds to find just one idea that works. In sparring, when I fail, I literally get punched in the face. It sucks. When I fail as a startup entrepreneur, it sucks, but it certainly doesn’t suck as much as getting punched in the face. I really used to fear failure. Now, I accept as just a necessary part of the road to success.

2. Learning to control emotions

The first time I sparred as a teenager, it was awful. More specifically, I was hit with a five-punch combination and took a side kick to my stomach that put me on the floor. I remember getting up, yelling several expletives, and going after my sparring partner with a highly unsuccessful “windmill” style of punching. When that didn’t work, I tried to tackle him. That prompted another five-punch combination and side-kick from my sparring partner, which sent me sprawling.

When I got up from the floor I was in a rage and my sensei (teacher) moved in to break up the “fight”–quite honestly, to protect me from getting destroyed again. I remember him saying, “OK, Jeff. What did we learn from this?”
I responded, “We learned that [such-in-such] is an asshole!”
“No,” my instructor calmly responded, “YOU are the asshole. When you lost control of your emotions, you turned into a horrible fighter..”

While I was incredibly pissed off, I must admit that it made perfect sense as I wiped away mucous and blood from my nose. “When you lose control of your emotions, you just lose. Period,” the instructor explained.

I’ve found that getting out-of-control upset when things go wrong in the startup world just creates more problems. Sure, there are tons of disappointments, rejections, and professionally embarrassing episodes along the entrepreneurial path, but having emotional outbursts creates a bad culture and makes it tougher for everyone to pick up the pieces and start again.

3. Stress relief

Find a standalone punching bag and start firing away with your fists of fury when things go awry. Believe me, it’s a great stress reliever! Startups are hard. You have investors, employees, customers, business partners, and vendors to whom you have to report. When things go wrong (which they always do), there is stress. The bigger the problem, the bigger the stress. Learning to find healthy ways to relieve that stress is a good thing, and sparring works for me.

4. Learning to learn

Once my ego gets out of the way about the importance of winning or being the better sparring partner, I’m receptive to learning where I can do better. Since I expect to lose, I want to learn why I lose. I ask for feedback.

In my startup, like performing a science project in grade school, we often have a hypothesis, a procedure to execute the experiment, and then record the results. Most of the time, it’s a failure, the odds are against us. But understanding why it failed is incredibly valuable. Quantify the results. Question EVERYTHING.
So go out there, do a bit of research about which martial art works best for you, and go join a school. A little bit of “Kung Fu Fighting” just might make you a better entrepreneur.

Published on: Sep 9, 2014

 

 

This week’s Student Spotlight

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Student Spotlight

The Bushido School of Karate is so appreciative of the students and families that are a part of our Bushido Karate family. We’ve had the pleasure of teaching for over 2 decades and in that time have been privileged to teach thousands of students. Everyone started at the beginning with no shortcuts, and we are so proud of their accomplishments.  Our weekly Student Spotlight features randomly chosen students on their own journey at The Bushido School of Karate.

This week’s spotlight is on Sebastian!

  • Sebastian is 10 years old, is going into 6th grade and is a yellow belt at Bushido Karate. He started karate classes in September 2016.
  • Sebastian says:  “My favorite thing about Bushido Karate is the forms of every belt I earn”.
  • Sebastian’s mom  says: “Sebastian needed something that could teach him about discipline, respect and values. We found all that at Bushido Karate  since we walked in the front door. We saw him improve in his confidence and attitude with others, and we knew we made the right call at Bushido (Karate).”
karate boy image

Student spotlight on Sebastian! June 27, 2018

 

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Who will be in the spotlight next week? Subscribe to receive e-mails about our blog posts and you’ll be among the first to know!  Plus you’ll receive  CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR BODY® Martial Arts Fitness by BUSHIDO KARATE episodes, inspiration to recharge your day and posts on topics that matter to you!

12 inspiring ways to improve your day

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These twelve short “stories” are all very good stories and make us think twice about the daily happenings in our lives as we deal with others!! They came to me in an email this morning. While a couple of them are gut-wrenching, sometimes that is when the deepest change can happen. I hope this list of twelve inspiring and thought-changing narratives will improve your day, and your perception!

What does success mean to you?

1. Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said;

“Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”

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2. Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70s what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said;

“Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.”

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3. Today, after my 72-hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said;

“On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”

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4. Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died;

he licked the tears off my face.

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5. Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too.

A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job.

I start tomorrow.

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6. Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died.

She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”

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7. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed,

I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.

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8. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?”

Because that’s where I keep all my stuff,” she said.

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9. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that,

I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

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10. Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said,

“I hope you feel better soon.”

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11. Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today. If you need me, I’m a phone call away.”

It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.

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12. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating.

The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.”

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The best sermons are lived, not preached.

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Osu, enjoy today!

 

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