Monthly Archives: March 2020

Your Tribe

So, you find yourself spending more time by yourself or with your immediate family. How’s that going? Hopefully you are healthy and safe. That said, how much are you missing people that you didn’t realize you’d miss?

This is the whole “don’t know what you have until it’s gone” thing. It does give you an opportunity for some self-examination. What is your perception? Are you “by yourself” or are you “alone”? There is a great difference in these. I hope that those of you who feel alone make the connections that you need. This school has been built as family. We all grow and support each other.

Reaching out is an interesting thing. I’ve had a couple people tell me “no one ever calls me, so why should I call them?” It’s the wrong attitude. Don’t let your pride or ego position yourself as the elite that others should come to and then feel bad when they don’t. Your family and your tribe are there for you. Talk, message, email or other to keep each other stable during this time.

I’ve had some insights over these last weeks. I knew that I gained energy from class, whether as teacher or student, which is a reason I’ve continued for all these years. It has been amazing how bad days are forgotten by the end of class. In fact, the bigger the class, the more energy gained.

I’ve been very fortunate to have developed such a strong tribe through teaching. They are people that I can count on and have complete faith in. The inner circle of the tribe always help me find solutions to problems and challenges. Make sure to call upon your family and tribe as you need!

Martial Arts and the World Today

The World is all messed up! Things have changed greatly over the past few weeks. Quite a bit has not been good. This can wreak havoc on the emotions and stability of a person’s temperament.

I’ve seen a great number of martial arts schools take to online classes and training workouts. This is a great opportunity for students and schools to remain working within their local communities. It also has created growth in the online potential as a training resource.

This, though, is a bit of a limited view of how the martial arts truly trains students. Remembering that the physical training is only 10% of a student’s training, How can we provide something beyond the physical?

Recently, a friend was lamenting about her anxiety for what is going to happen. Yes, she is a glass half empty kinda person. Major fears about health, work, family and other random ideas has had her curled up a couch fearful of almost everything.

Chatting with her, it was a dramatic response to her fears. This is where the other 90% of training appears. The principles and theories within the martial arts will help a student create strength within their world. In this instance, I mentioned the Seidokan Aikido’s version of Happo Undo (eight direction exercise).

The exercise helps a student practice doing one item at a time, then moving on to the next. Well, even further in my thought, that is to do one item as completely as possible and put it away, then move on to the next item. If you leave some of your “mind” on the previous item, then nothing within the second item will get accomplished.

Now with this in mind, I started listed some of the different items that she was stressing about. Next came questions about how far she had worked on each including if there could be more done. Step by step through each (btw, no one has just eight things going on in their lives) item helped her find where she had control. She began to see where she had control and where she had to have patience to let other get their work done before she could move forward again.

She gained some peace of mind and agreed to work on the patience. This would be an illustration of how a student develops discipline also. Students need to keep in mind that the tenets, principles, theories, and concepts presented during class are not limited to class training. They are for everyday life.