9 Stupid Reasons to Be In the Dojo. . .And, The 1 Good Reason YOU SHOULD!

Have you ever met someone in your dojo who just doesn’t get it!?


The student (and sometimes teacher) who will do martial arts for every reason under the sun, except for the reason they should!

The reason that will give them the best results. . .

The reason that will give them the greatest satisfaction. . .

So here are some of the ignorant, the creepy and at times downright stupid “reasons” to train I’ve seen over the years from students and teacher alike, and the simple answer I have for all of them.

1) When your Mom drops you off and you don’t want to be there. . .



2) When you’re trying to escape your personal problems. . .


3) When you want a way to flirt with the girls in the dojo behind your wife’s back. . .

That’s creepy! Stop it! JUST TRAIN!


4) When you want to believe training will make you a Jedi. . .

Do or Do not. . . JUST TRAIN!


5) When you  fake an injury just to get attention. . .



6) When you have a crush on the Sensei. . .

Ugh. . .Grow up! JUST TRAIN!


7) When you want to be the next Karate Kid. . .

Wax on. Wax off. JUST TRAIN!


8) When you’re looking for a father figure. . .

Get therapy! JUST TRAIN!


Well, maybe not therapy from him. . . 

9) When you want your next belt. . .



10) When you want to be a respected martial artist. . .

That seems legitimate. . .JUST TRAIN!


“JUST TRAIN!” It’s Chuck Norris APPROVED!

When you enter the dojo, there’s only one reason and one reason only to be in that room.

So, Shut up!



You Invested In The Wrong One. . .

You know the one. . .

A Student

A student who showed so much promise. . .

With the ability to pick up movements with ease and grace,

An ability to strike and kick as if it was second nature, leaving you with the feeling you have found a prodigy.

You know the one. . .

A Teacher

A teacher who showed so much promise. . .

With skill and knowledge so far beyond your own.

A paradoxical ability to challenge and encourage you, leaving you with the feeling you’d be lost without them.

But then. . .

Something happens. . .

The masquerade ends. . .

And, something dark deep down seeps out from beyond their mask.

They are not what we hoped them to be. They never were.

You know the one. . .

A Student

A student who speaks wrongly behind your back

With the natural ability to lie and deceive;

A prodigy with the cloak and dagger.

You know the one. . .

A Teacher

A teacher who lacks moral stamina.

The ability to choose vice over virtue.

They submit to nothing, except their own temptations.

But perhaps the mask they once wore was not one of their choosing

It is a mask we projected.

We were so desperate to grasp at the hybrid of elegance and ugliness that we put what we desired most in the forefront only to watch it dissolve away, leaving you with this empty feeling. . .

You invested in the wrong one.

Post Script:

No matter the reason—whether it was simply a talented student who went off to university, a teacher who started teaching “chi- balls,” or something far more insidious—being disappointed by someone in whom you’ve made the careful decision to invest your time, energy and, dare I say, love is never easy. But, as the Buddha says, “all things are impermanent” and as that emptiness passes, you’ll find that in its place friendships with more dedicated students and respectable teachers will blossom far greater than the void that was left. Those are the people worth investing in.  

May’s Video of the Month: Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White is an actor that has starred in movies such as Black Dynamite and Blood and Bone. He is also a director, writer and a superb martial artist!

Michael Jai White, a student of Bill “Superfoot” Wallace, was even voted Black Belt Magazine’s 2014 Man of the year.

In this video, he says that “boxers are taught how to throw a flawed punch” and beautifully demonstrates the importance of moving in a straight line with the late Kimbo Slice.

Humorously surprising, Kimbo with his MMA background just can’t keep up with Michael’s karate punch. In doing so, he proves you don’t have to be fast if you just move in a straight line.

Check it out!

March’s Video of the Month: Tim Larkin, The Paradox of Violence

“Violence is rarely the answer, but when it is. . . it is the only answer.”

This TED Talk by Tim Larkin explores a topic that, as martial artists, we are very familiar with: violence.

Tim Larkin is a former military officer and aided in redesigning how special operations personnel prepared for close combat. In his 25-year career, Tim has trained people in 52 countries and has over 10,000 clients that have trained in his Target Focus Training (TFT), including celebrities, special law enforcement and military special operations units.

In his presentation, he talks about the “tool of violence.” Despite the fact that as a society we have stigmatized the tool of violence, associating it with the criminal element, it is a tool that is accessible to all of us. How the tool is used can either be determined as just or criminal depending on our intent and the context.

Tim points out that “when it comes to the tool of violence, the best information comes from the worst people in society,” most of which “reside in our prison system.” Those in the prison system use violence very specifically to maintain power and they are extremely efficient at it. “They are the best at being able to kill with their bare hands or with a tool,” but the majority of these individuals have absolutely no martial arts or combat sports training.

Then, what makes them so good at violence?

  1. “They’re not trying to compete. They only want to injure.

While looking at the UFC, Tim points out it has 31 rules and 27 of them prohibit injury. When a competitor is injured in the UFC, the event stops immediately and the athlete receives the treatment they need. “Injury has no place in competition.”

2. “Those in prison NEVER see themselves in the inferior position. They always see themselves in the winning position AND think of ways to improve upon it.”

Most of us, however, will almost always view ourselves from the victim’s position. Yet, as Tim says we all have the ability to be good at using the tool of violence. Since the dawn of human existence, we’ve needed it to survive and have learned that by causing serious injury we can “bypass bigger, stronger and faster individuals.”

But, to be able to act upon this, we must shift our thinking because when violence is the answer, it is the only answer.

Watch Tim Larkin’s talk in full in the video below.


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