Tag Archives: Life

What is Success? (part 3)

I hope that you enjoyed What is Success, part 1 and part 2. This week examines the next two levels of the chart, which can be reviewed in part 1.


Quite often the phrase “Being comfortable in my own skin” is used when people actually recognize who they are…for themselves. Poise is where this fits. Once students understand their emotions and don’t allow those emotions to dictate behavior. The learning curve toward this emotional development is steep. Recognizing what are threats to your safety and well-being are the important ones to see but often insecurity allows you to create threats where none exist. Coach Wooden also commented that you should be focused on your character as it truly represents you, rather than be concerned about your reputation as that is what others think of you. This is not the same as confidence but contributes to it.

“Respect without fear” says it all. When you can offer to let others be themselves without judgement or disdain, you illustrate confidence. We are not always confident. Doubts from past failings or lack of knowledge can disrupt confidence. Training helps correct that as it provides a variety of situations (physical and non-physical) that you get to work through with others who are not actually trying to damage you. Your confidence grows as your training continues and discipline grows. Simple things like making sure that you have your house key, phone, wallet and school bag/briefcase with you when you leave the house develops discipline and confidence.


Yes, Coach Wooden told this to his players and won several national championships because of it, but he didn’t intend it to only be about basketball, sport competition. I think that, at least in our school, we’ve adopted “MUDO” to fit this role. I say this because Coach Wooden also had this included in his teachings.


Never accept “good enough” from your work (the things that represent you). The USA Haidong Gumdo Association Senior Chief Master Marshall Parnell is a Marine and regularly comes to train with us. He has given us two very well received ideas – “Embrace the Suck” and “Be a Champion for Humankind” – that completely fit this top thought of Coach Wooden’s chart.

This was part three of a four part series. So, until next time – Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel – tune in for more! Part four next week.

Please comment, like and share this (and my other posts) if you have found it worthwhile. You can also subscribe to get post updates via email with the form below. Thank you!


This is probably one of the best saying that I’ve seen for how the martial arts should be taught. Well, all education for that matter but that is for another post.

There is a lot of discussion about how to teach according to the best learning style for the student. Which may or may not be accurate. The video below – Learning Styles Don’t Exist – fits my thoughts on this, but I’m no scientist.

The key point here, to me, is the end of Franklin’s quote “…involve me and I learn.” This goes past the learning style and gets to the passion of the student. If the student sees interest and value, then being involved will amplify the amount of learning that happens. Unless that happens, no learning will occur regardless of how they learn or the teaching style used.

While I was trying to motivate a couple colored belts to step up their efforts in preparation to testing, I had one of junior black belts tell me that I could “just make them work harder.” When I asked him how I should do that, he responded with “You could have them do more drills and count faster to make them keep up.” My next question to him was “Will that really help them get better?”

That is the real trick, right? No matter what my teaching style or how prepared the lesson plan or how well the drills and other training fits the curriculum, there is still the need for the student to WANT to learn it.


Once the choice is made to put in effort and spend time actively working to learn a subject, then there are no limits to what can be accomplished. There are several examples out on YouTube that illustrate this. The key to their success is not just the practice but the commitment to learning. This becomes extremely important when you consider that the physical aspects of martial arts training (and probably all physical activity training or sport) is only 10% of the material needed to be learned. As there are only so many ways to kick and strike, it is the learning of how to use these techniques and adapt them to a variety of situations becomes vital. Seeing the applications beyond the basics is the real learning. Developing the principles (for living) and the concepts/strategies used to apply techniques provide the opportunities to use you knowledge in all areas of life for greater success in everything that you do.

I will involve you in the teachings. Are you determined to learn?

Please comment, like and share this (and my other posts) if you have found it worthwhile. Thank you!