Posts Tagged ‘Failure’

Keep your head in the game

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, State of Mind, Training notes,Tags: , , , ,
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Your Legs are not giving out;
Your Mind is giving up.

Defeat is easy. There are always a million excuses lying around for you to grab onto. We typically defeat ourselves, but that moment before we allow defeat there is an opportunity to be better than you are. Face it your mind wants to give up before my body does, all you need to do is utter the phrase…I can’t… Be better than you are, say yes I can, instead and tough it out. This applies during Training, on the Mat or in Life.

Keep your head in the game, say I can…and believe it. If you truly can’t, you need to be honest about why not and work to overcome the reason. “I can’t” means you won’t because it is the easier way. Take the road less travelled, …because you can…

Why we practice

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Karate, State of Mind, Training notes,Tags: , , ,
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Often we forget why we practice so much.  When that happens we become complacent and that is when bad things happen.  To often we think we can put off our training until tomorrow.  We practice today so we are prepared today, not tomorrow when it might be to late.

I am reminded of this truth today as I anticipate surgery I will have this coming week.  I have been complacent lately mostly because of my injury; but that is no excuse.  We live in an increasingly dangerous world, tomorrow is not the time to prepare.  This graphic reminded me of that.  Even though I may be limited in my physical training over the next few weeks, I can continue to train and will strive to do so…

sweat_or_bleed

What does your 2014 look like?

ktadmin Posted in Articles of Interest, Competition, Karate, Training notes,Tags: , , , , , ,
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Forget New Year resolutions, they don’t work for a litany of reasons. One of those reasons is you are taught through media and social engineering that you are OK the way you are. You are taught there is no ideal or perfect way or state of being. You are taught to be consumers not producers. Your kids are taught so too. There is a constant onslaught of relax, chill, you are fine, be happy with yourself, and a host of other new age bull crap messages. We are taught to look outward not inward. Not feeling well, buy something! Where is the proof? If you need proof you are blind, but here is a graphic of the average American that demonstrates what I am talking about:
1985-2013 how things have changed.

What was once uncommon has become common.  What was once sought after is now shunned.  We have let ourselves be led to an instant gratification society, we don’t want to work, we want it now, no pain, no sweat, no effort.  I see this every week no matter where I go.

This pertains to the Martial Arts because people don’t earn their belts anymore, they buy them (with rare exceptions).  The funny thing is they don’t even know they are doing it, buying their advancement.  Most Martial Arts schools know that in order for students to “stick” with their training, they have to keep them interested because if success doesn’t come quickly it will be abandon as too hard.

Today everyone gets a trophy!  There is no First place…it is disgusting.  The sad part is it is pervasive in every aspect of our society and like any cancer it is spreading.  The only solution is to push back, to push a culture of success and failure, to stress the importance of hard work and sweat, personal reflection and improvement.  Our greatest competitor should be ourselves, but that takes honesty, did you give it your all?  Was that your best?  No excuses, excuses are the slippery slope to mediocrity.

 

Can’t

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Articles of Interest, Quotes, State of Mind, Training notes,Tags: , , , ,
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Words spoken by others are powerless unless we give them power.  “Sticks & Stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you”.  I’ve spoken and written on that in the past.  That is not the topic today but it is an important backdrop.  While we should be thick skinned when people speak hurtfully or hatefully towards us, this is only half of the equation.

Words do have power.  Words can define our being and our existence.  The words we use, think and in some sense feel can affect us both mentally, physically and spiritually.  Can’t or Can Not is just such a word.  One of my students reminded me of this last night.  We were working on a new block drill which he was having a hard time with.  In trying to correct him he got frustrated and said “I Can’t”…and that was the end of it.  You see, “I Can’t” turned into he couldn’t because he believed it and more importantly he quit with that proclamation.  It didn’t matter that I knew he could.  It didn’t matter that he knew how to do the block already.  Through his proclamation, “I Can’t” he made the possible, impossible.  He changed the state of his mind from positive effort to negative reservation of defeat.  I spoke to him about this and having no affect had him sit out the rest of that drill to reflect.

Later in the class we were doing bag work, a standing side kick to be specific, and I corrected something he was doing wrong.  After a couple of corrections he began to say ” I c…” I was ready for him and abruptly cut him off and admonished him to not finish that statement.  I then helped him focus, reminded him of the correct technique, distracted his mind and within three attempts he was doing it correctly!  Unlike the first drill, I had stopped his negative statement before it became his truth and in doing so helped him succeed.

Hopefully all of my students learned from that event.  I commented on it to drive the point home.  The power of “I can’t” or “I don’t know” or negative statements like them are underestimated by most.  Often people use them as an excuse, for it is easier to say “I can’t” then to try and fail.  Some are so afraid of failure that they would rather never try then to admit they are lacking, in that way they can always fantasize that hey could have, would have or can ‘when they are ready’.  This is perfectly normal among children, it is part of growing up, dealing with fear and personal limitation, however left unchecked it can handicap the adult they will become, leading them to a life of mediocrity filled with missed chances.  ‘Should of, Could of, Would of’ is what they will see when they look back on their life.

Words are powerful.  But the power resides in ourselves, what power we give them, how they affect what we believe about ourselves.

The following quote isn’t in perfect alignment with my above thoughts, but it does speak to staying positive and always giving everything your best effort, regardless of how things seem or the opinions of others.  It may take you more attempts then others to accomplish something but I guarantee if you stay positive and keep trying you will accomplish more then most.

If successful people have one common trait, it’s an utter lack of cynicism. The world owes them nothing. They go out and find what they need without asking for permission; they’re driven, talented, and work through negatives by focusing on the positives.
– Mike Zimmerman

British Karate

ktadmin Posted in Entertainment, Fun Stuff, Video,Tags: , ,
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You have to love British humor…or not, but you will enjoy this…
[zdvideo]http://karatetraining.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/TommyCooperKarateSketchVideo.flv[/zdvideo]
Remember what you look like when you fail to break your next board or mess up your next counter attack!

Loser

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes, State of Mind,Tags: , , ,
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I realized today that I am a loser.  It struck me just like that, no doubts just a sudden clear understanding that I was a loser.  Oh I could make a million excuses for being a loser, they would make logical sense, but it wouldn’t change the fact, I am a loser.  Now that I know this I can see it in the way I walk, the way I carry myself, the way I compensate in so many ways.  But I wasn’t always a loser.  So why now?  Well if I wasn’t a loser I could probably tell you, or better yet write a book and become a rich non-loser!  Hmmm…  Seriously though, I think my loser state has to do with not taking any chances.  Somehow I have become frozen like the proverbial deer in the headlights.  When faced with a decision I choose…indecision.  I think it is for fear of being wrong.  Like I said I can think of a lot of reasons for this but they all sound like excuses, which of course is what losers do…  I guess I need to stop making excuses and start believing in myself and taking some chances.  I know writing this that, that is a long way from happening… They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one…Maybe that is enough for today…

— Anonymous

The above got me to thinking about my own life, about how caught up we get in daily stress and minutia.  So much so that we kind of stagnate, I think I like that term better than loser.  Stagnate: To cease motion, activity, or progress; to cease to advance or change; to become idle or cease to flow.  I think that is what life does to us if we let it and sometimes even if we try not to let it.  It is important to remember also that success can be defined in so many ways, not knowing the reference point of the above writer makes it difficult to gauge the depth of their ‘loser-ness’.  I think many of us place goals that are to difficult to achieve, we set ourselves up for failure.  I am not advocating “settling” or having an ‘this is as good as it gets’ mentality!  But similar to setting a New Years resolution you have to set realistic goals you can achieve.  I think that is where success comes from, setting achievable goals that move you towards some much bigger goal.  It is easy to get lost along the way, to stall in your efforts, to stagnate.  It is easy to rely on excuses to keep yourself in a state of stagnation.  The easy way out, is to feel like a loser, that is the path of a quiter, not a loser.  I think becoming a loser comes from quiting once to often.

So what about you?  Have you given up on your goals because they are to hard or there are to many available excuses?  Where you to busy or tired to workout this week?  I know, you’ll start next week or someday.  Someday. That’s a dangerous word. It’s really just a code for ‘never‘.” [source: Knight and Day].  It is never to late to change but that change has to start some where…some time.  Don’t stagnate, take a chance, move forward, small goal by small goal…

Am I off base or full of it?  Let me know in the comments section!

Failure is an Option

ktadmin Posted in For Kids, Quotes, Training notes, Video,Tags: ,
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I came across this old Nike Commercial that has an awesome message.  Everyone should watch this daily!

This message is especially important for kids to learn, to often we put the emphasis on winning, succeeding and forget to remember that failure is the first step toward success.