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Inspired by taking a knee, respectfully

teens showing respect
Sharing this post with you, and I hope you will share it too!

Boys halt basketball game to kneel as funeral procession passes; photo goes viral

FRANKLINGTON, La. – A photo of a group of teens playing basketball is going viral – not because of the game, but of what they did as a funeral procession passed by.

It stopped sisters Johannah Stroud and Lynn Bickham Bienvenu in their tracks. It was a procession for their cousin, Velma Kay Crowe, WAFB reports.

The group of kids put down their basketball and took a knee as the procession passed by. They hurried to take a photo.

“It was really impressive,” said Stroud. “It meant a lot.”

Bienvenu shared the photo on Facebook, and it’s now been shared hundreds of times.

In the post, she wrote:

While attending a family funeral the procession passed a group of young boys shooting hoops. Take a look closely. They took a knee not out of disrespect but honor. They was not an adult insight to tell them to stop playing. This meant a great deal to our family. May God bless each one as I feel they will achieve greatness.

The comments have been endless, with thousands embracing the positivity and pouring out a stream of kind words for the boys in the photo.

“People are hungry to see good things and encouraging things,” Stroud said.

As for the young men, they’ve since reached out to family to express condolences for their loss and let them know it was their basketball coach who taught them the importance of taking a knee as a sign of respect.

“We don’t have to do great acts to show kindness, something simple as that or opening a door or being kind to someone, or respectful but it means a lot,” said Stroud.

Read more here. 



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Inspiration to Let it Go

microphone image

It’s not just a song

We all know that song. It is beautiful but if I never heard it again my life would still be content. It’s not just a song, though.  Sometimes it’s the best way to a resolution. Usually easier said than done, but with daily practice it can become your natural response. Really!

First step is willingness


Be willing every day to get practical training! And you also have to be willing to dismiss automatically the anonymous critics. That is critical. Social media is such a powerful tool. Seriously. Don’t even give those people a second thought.

Let me give you some examples of how I “let it go” – whatever it might be:

  1. Someone cuts you off while driving, or is too close for comfort? Maybe, just maybe, he or she is rushing to the hospital for someone. Or their child was not picked up by the school bus and is alone.  It’s always a possibility. So let it go.
  2. Pick your battles! I ask myself the question “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy” when I am tempted to get into a confrontation whose outcome is really just a matter of proving I’m right. Choosing to be happy may bruise your ego a little, but is  such an easier choice! So let it go.
  3. Allow people to make mistakes. Going too fast on the highway and cutting you off is not safe. Not even if the driver is legitimately experiencing an emergency. But people make mistakes and occasionally have poor judgement.  You never know a person’s story. So just let it go.

The ability to let it go is imperative for any advanced martial artist. What would happen if martial arts schools taught students to react rather than act?  Many times the action is to walk away, or let it go. None of that happens overnight though.  Whether it’s martial arts training, or learning to let it go, if you want to be good at it you have to practice. No magic, just practice.

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Bushido Principles: Politeness and Generosity

Bushido Karate quote

Seven Principles of the Bushido

Politeness and generosity are two of the Seven Principles of the Bushido. I’ve chosen to combine them as a theme for this post because of their contrasts; two different words that mean two different things! The cool thing is that we can do both!

Politeness and/or generosity

 Have you ever had to convince a young child to share, or be generous, with their toys. And what about reminding your older child to hold open the door for someone less capable?  Both of these characteristics are taught by a child’s parents. Most kids can’t understand the kindness and empathy behind those gestures – they do it because they are told. When these qualities are taught and repeated by parents and those influencing children it is the belief  that the child will grow up to be a generous and polite adult. And will understand the importance of how we treat each other.

So what’s the difference?

The difference is that generosity is premeditated while politeness is not. Generosity can be in many forms: shoveling a neighbors driveway, volunteering at a food bank, or helping your fellow students to reach the goal they are striving for. Initiating the action is the idea of generosity.

Politeness is saying please and thank you. It is holding the door for a woman with a stroller. And it is saying yes to the neighbor who had to call and ask for help shoveling. But it is not generosity.

As with any martial arts school, students at The Bushido School of Karate are expected to be polite and kind to each other. And all parents are  generally supportive of teaching and reenforcing good manners. What is harder is to realize an extremely important component of training; generosity of time.  Offering to help other students is perhaps the most influential act you can do to improve your own skill set.  It is expected at higher ranks, is necessary for growth and is the right thing to do. It is the definition of generosity. It defines a martial artist.


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Inspiration: Courage

Courage 1

Find your courage

Courage and confidence are not the same thing.  Confidence sounds like “I got this”, whereas courage sounds like “I’m gonna give it my best shot”.

It is no coincidence that we chose the name “Bushido” to represent our karate school and our style.  In fact it is probably why so many dojos have been inspired to include “Bushido” somewhere in their identity. It holds powerful meaning in the martial arts.

Translated to “The Way of the Warrior”  we felt even more strongly about using Bushido in our name when we learned of The Seven Principles of The Bushido. Note that if you search online you will find derivations of these principles, or virtues.  At The Bushido School of Karate, we use the following seven positive characteristics as the Bushido code:

Courage * Justice * Generosity * Politeness * Honor * Honesty * Loyalty

In this, our first week of blogging, inspiration and courage were at the forefront! It doesn’t take self-confidence to start something new – it takes courage.  You don’t need to lose weight to start working out – you need courage.  And you don’t need to keep making excuses before changing – you need courage to find the reasons to do it. 

It’s usually a lot easier to find excuses than to come up with reasons. We tend to sabotage ourselves into trying nothing and attempting even less. It is so hard to be truthful and honest with ourselves. When we choose to think we’re “too busy” that becomes our excuse. But when we find the courage to be honest with ourselves we usually find fear is the root of our excuses.  Fear of being embarrassed, or feeling inadequate…yeah, that all sounds like “I’m too busy”.  Find your courage and your reasons!