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

JohnWooden-Pyramid_Of_Success2This level starts to make the process more specific and has applications in many more areas. The martial arts will always promote the self-control of a student, the alertness in personal protection situations, the initiative to further develop knowledge and understanding and the proper intentness of learning these skills. If any of these are under-developed in a martial artists, it will probably result in injury to themselves or others. That said, it is great to see the applications listed as non-physical actions that will benefit the student off the mat.


This level sees a lot of struggle in many students. They train hard but only develop physical conditioning. They work on techniques but only have application for sport. They fail at becoming martial artists as their competitive winning is viewed as something that they did without help.

Too often the mental discipline in the martial arts is thought to be meditation. Can you sit still for a period of time. But that is only a small portion of developing mental strength. This conditioning is also much more difficult to see. Learning to take a punch or a kick is visible but the mental strength to get back to work, keep trying, always moving forward is mostly invisible. Then developing morals is even deeper within the student. Knowing what should be done and whether or not to do it can be a struggle, then put it in a personal protection life threatening situation.

The skills that succeed in tournaments are not the same as those that are needed for personal protection. The development of speed and timing, that are essential to physical applications, must be studied further to understand when to change lanes while on the highway and when to accelerate or brake as you watch the traffic ahead of you. Important here is that he comments “…execute the fundamentals.” This is NOT the new, shiny, flashy toy! It is the basic requirements of the art!

The team spirit is probably the most lacking in the martial arts. Many of the commercial schools have pride in their organization and cheer for their classmates but miss the actual camaraderie and family. The part that makes students get together outside of class to help another student move or celebrate weddings. The real work of the martial arts is serving others.

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

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Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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