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  • Bragging On My Students

    Bragging On My Students

    Yesterday, on Mother's Day, the Innovative Martial Arts Academy Demonstration Team performed in Wakefield, for an event called, Run Like a Mother. My kids performed exceptionally, but that is not why I'm writing right now. Just before the 5K was to start, the event holders played, The Star Spangled Banner. My kids, along with their parents stood tall with their hands over their hearts, hats in hand. Being a veteran, it's almost instinctual to go to attention and give respect for our Country's anthem, and to the flag symbolizing our great nation. First, my eyes were over the many people who just kept walking, even after seeing people standing hands over their hearts, indifferent. Some ....

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  • How Much More Valuable

    How Much More Valuable

    Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

    Sometimes it’s just nice to be reminded that there is someone or something out there bigger than us, and that we are always provided for according to our needs. This is a verse of hope and promise. We put so much worry and anxiety into our lives wondering how we are going to make our goals, put food on the table, make our bills, and generally make all ends meet. This verse reminds us to put our worries aside, that we will indeed be taken care of. Let’s let go of our worry, put it ....

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  • Stop the INSANITY

    Stop the INSANITY

    The definition of INSANITY was defined by Albert Einstein as ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This may sound so simple, but most of us are caught up in the insanity. We all have those things we want to change about ourselves, about our life, etc., but we never seem to reach them. A good example in my own life, I remember when I was a young martial arts teacher. I had a very small class in a gym and I could never get past having 7 to 10 students. I’d have plenty of people come in and watch class, and I’d want to show them how good the class was, so I’d teach the most devastating techniques I could think of to show them ....

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  • Present Living

    Present Living

    Lao Tzu wrote, “ When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad. Being and non-being create each other. Difficult and easy support each other. Long and short define each other. High and low depend on each other. Before and after follow each other.” If you read further he cautions about making judgements and comparisons, because they support and are born out of each other. A person who lives in the present doesn’t look at their current situation and say, “This is good.” Or, “This is bad.” It just is. Life should be a journey, not a destination. So, ....

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  • Be the Solution

    Be the Solution

    “It’s better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    Imagine sitting in a dark room. A room so dark, if you held your hand in front of you, you can’t even make out the shape of it. Now, imagine, other people in this room with you. You hear one person angrily point out the obvious, “It so dark in here!” Another talks about the days when the room wasn’t so dark. Another finds and tries the light switch, but it doesn’t work. “Nothing ever goes right!”, she shouts! Finally, a candle is lit, and from that one candle, the world has changed for everyone in the room. It’s so easy ....

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    Everyone has their own reason for enrolling themselves or their children into martial arts. Since I’ve been training in martial arts for over 40 years, it’s been my experience that most people start their children in martial arts for better focus or for bullying problems. But I’ve had parents who have come in for better physical fitness, more confidence, more discipline, etc. What’s fun and what has also been my experience is when they get the results they were looking for, but also get so much more. A good example of this was a student named Michael (not his real name) came in because his mother was told from Michael’s pediatrician that martial arts is a ....

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  • TIME


    Time is our most precious commodity. It’s our richest treasure. It’s the one thing that once gone, you can never get back. Money comes and goes, and material possessions are always replaceable. Most of us do not know how much time we’re going to get, but we can be sure that every breath we take, we certainly have less left. When it gets down to it, we can only do two things with our time; we can spend it, or we can waste it. When we apply that truth to the people in our lives, there are people worth spending our time, and there are people who waste our time. The same goes with activities. Some are wise investments of our time while others are time wasters. As I ....

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  • Someday Never Comes

    Someday Never Comes

    When I was a young man, I lived a life in expectations that rarely resulted in things turning out the way I envisioned. Before I was 22, I was in the military, I had a wife and two young children. I knew that someday, I was going to make enough money, I was going to take my family on that nice vacation or buy that nice car or house. Someday, I’m going to take my kids to do this thing, or that thing. The thing is, …someday never came. I never had enough money, I never had the time, things were never the right moment. Those children grew up and out of the house never seeing ‘the someday’. My third child came into this world when I was still 37 years old. As dense ....

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  • Just Smile

    Just Smile

    I once committed myself to an experiment. While out and about, at work, and even at home, I purposefully greeted everyone with a big smile. And as you might have guessed, most of the time a smile was returned. Then, I tried not smiling (hard to do, I’m generally a happy person), and again received the expected result…, I didn’t get any smiles back. Sometimes I got expressed concern, but never smiles. So, I thought on this as an example of the law of attraction. If you want smiles in your life, give smiles. You can do that with almost anything. If you want joy, you give joy, etc. And although I certainly believe in this, I found it goes much further. As I delved ....

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  • Making Pearls

    Making Pearls

    Most people have an idea of how a pearl is made already, but for those who don’t, don’t worry, I’ll quickly educate you. It starts with an irritant, usually a parasite (not a grain of sand), getting into the respiratory system of a clam, oyster, or mussel. The oyster, clam, or mussel then secretes a coating around the irritant called nacre. After time goes by, this secretion builds until we have that valued treasure we have a pearl. We all have irritants in our lives. When I was a kid, I was an easy target for bullying. Seriously, I could play hide and seek by turning sideways. That was one of my irritants. It was my childhood fear every day when I went to middle ....

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