Having some really cold weather here in Minnesota provided the opportunity to do some searching for more lessons to learn and bring to my students. I found this article “The Big Secret to A Successful Career” on LinkedIn and thought that it not only fit how to be successful in a career but in martial arts training (which, in turn, will add even more success to your career).

I saw a motivational piece recently that is echoed here. It read “Hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard.” This is SO much an important factor in everything that you do that it can’t be repeated enough. This was illustrated to me during a discussion with the late Shihan Roderick Kobayashi about teaching Aikido. He stated that the better teachers are usually the one who struggled most trying to learn the arts. As it took more effort for these students to develop their technique and understand them more fully, they were better prepared to teach those techniques.

Having younglings in school, I can appreciate the “get up early” idea but I don’t know that the time is the issue. It probably fits well into the careers that keep regular office hours. I think that it is more important, that when you get up, you actually get moving on the tasks at hand. Developing a schedule for daily items to get your day started is important.

I can truly relate to making sure that you do what matters every day. In the past few months, I’ve lost my way. I have had the great fortune of meeting and working with, even if briefly, several outstanding self defense and martial arts teachers in recent months. While the topics were some that I had an idea about, I found so much more (sadly, some material should have already been understood) to develop.

Marc MacYoung (nononsenselfdefense.com) and Rory Miller (chirontraining.com) showed me new twists on the defensive tactics and self defense training that I had worked on as part of my corporate/contract security positions. They also teach beyond the physical aspects of self defense. Their insights into socialized violence and the dynamics of how the violence occurs brings an academic level to the training. I also thank Kasey Keckeisen (practicalbudo.blogspot.com) for having connected with me and allowed me to find this training.

Shortly after meeting/training with these gentlemen, I connected with Sensei Tim Jurgens (Ryukyu Kobudo Shimbukan) and Sensei Jerry Holt. They renewed my curiosity in the bunhae (application) that is within our poomsae, even though their training is in Okinawan arts. The work with them continued as I was introduced to Skip Taylor (background). A workshop with Shiu-fu Taylor (I hope I spelled the title correctly) showed the similarities in techniques and application across several martial arts.

And so my dilemma began…
With such great information being provided, what should I focus on?
I spent 15 years learning and developing defensive tactics/self defense for security personnel but never found the “piece” that allowed me to regularly train officers. Now, add the information that MacYoung & Miller can provide, the programs that I have developed could be even more effective. Even though I am not actively doing security work, I do believe that the officers are greatly under-trained [due to 1) using law enforcement standards for non-law enforcement situations and 2) societies lack of actual interest in security]
The insights into the applications within technique (for Taekwondo, Haidong Gumdo and Aikido) provide more than enough material to spend the rest of my days developing more in depth information for my students and their students. Several discussions recently have made it clear that I’ve only been rambling on without making a point.

All this leads to make sure you’re paying attention to the details. This is easily done within the poomsae/gumbub as you practice. Each technique including movement, stance, direction and power need to be reviewed to ensure they are correct. Such focus and discipline should also help you see the details in your job.

Listening is a challenge for many. This comes from a couple of factors. Hopefully, it isn’t the teacher’s ego making him/her talk. The ego is one of the main factors, especially in senior students, that gets in the way of listening. It can be difficult to put yourself back into the role of a beginner, which should be a regular practice. Not putting your ego away can keep you from adding to your knowledge.

Listening also becomes one of the ways to learn new material. Many things can be learned through physically doing techniques but there needs to be further study. This includes listening, reading and finding additional teachers. Just as you don’t limit the amount of material to learn, don’t limit how you learn it. Sometimes material is only available in one format. Don’t skip it because you don’t like learning that way. Its been repeated in many articles that I found recently…don’t stop learning! Its something that you have to do no matter what else you do in life.

Preparing yourself mentally is done in many ways. It starts with tests in grade school through university, then into interviews and jobs. Regular martial arts classes help develop the discipline, focus, perseverance and (indomitable) spirit that can be applied to everything that you do. Never underestimate the strength that integrity, courtesy and courage will give you.

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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