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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15842
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2022 12:11 pm    Post subject: You Are Enough!! Reply with quote

More than often, MAists have been served on a very cold plate one big fat misunderstanding both on and off the floor. MAists are pushed and probed that they need more than themselves.

Much of the blame lays upon the mighty dollar. That mighty dollar can be thrusted into any vessel and then decorated in such a way that that vessel looks not only inviting but swallowed as though that bobble is a must have and a must be at any cost. Including integrity.

Rank is the evilness that it truly is, and because of that, I place rank as the most wanted thing in any MA school. It’s not an illusion. It’s a real thing that keeps harping itself anyway that it can.

Labels can be a great thing until that great thing becomes more of an obsession to possess than what it really is. Labels can also be something to hide behind, but alas, the floor reveals the truth but only if one can be perfectly honest with themselves.

For as long as I can remember, I’m always encouraging my students to believe in themselves on and off the floor. Testing Cycles, relating to Ranks, will always take care of themselves, so as a student, they just need to not worry about any Testing Cycle; they’re just not that important.

If you never become a black belt, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never earn a MA Honorific Shogo Title, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never earn another rank and/or title; YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never win any tournaments, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never become a part of the Hierarchy in you styles Governing Body, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never become a Chief Instructor, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never open your own MA school, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If your never receive another promotion, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never ever earn anything beyond what you’ve already honestly earned in the MA, YOU ARE ENOUGH…LIKE YOU ARE!!

You do not need all of those labels; YOU ARE ENOUGH!!

Being yourself should always be enough. Without getting to religious, God made YOU, and guess what?? YOU ARE ENOUGH!! He made you; you’re His child, so guess what?? YOU ARE ENOUGH…LIKE YOU ARE!!

Things come to those who diligently, patiently, and strive for, however, if it never happens again, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! I believe that once a person embraces the fact that without whatever it is that one's searching for that that person IS ENOUGH, the person will be able to much more effective as a person, and even as a MAist.

Sure, it’s easy for someone like me to embrace that which I’m sharing with you because I’ve been blessed greatly during my 55 years on the floor, but as hard as it might be to believe, without all of that stuff, I’M ENOUGH!!

Imho.




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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29434
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two thumbs up, Bob! Very nice.
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DarthPenguin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 224
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2022 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree.

Reminds me of a conversation i had with someone last night about a grading they are worried about sitting. I said to them that what does it matter in the big scale of things? Will they be become better overnight since they have a new belt? No. Will they become worse overnight because they didn't get it? No.

A new belt will open up new material for them to learn. Thats it really. Can they learn this material without the belt? Yes of course they can. If they don't want to grade then don't grade! If they do want to then do it. But don't get worried about it!

I have used the phrase "i would rather BE a belt than HAVE a belt" before and i think it is in a similar vein.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1996
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2022 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: You Are Enough!! Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
If you never become a black belt, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never earn a MA Honorific Shogo Title, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never earn another rank and/or title; YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never win any tournaments, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never become a part of the Hierarchy in you styles Governing Body, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never become a Chief Instructor, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never open your own MA school, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If your never receive another promotion, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never ever earn anything beyond what you’ve already honestly earned in the MA, YOU ARE ENOUGH…LIKE YOU ARE!!


When I moved away for college, and then back home to find that my teacher had closed the dojo and stopped teaching, I struggled for a long time on whether I could call myself a Martial Artist. I learned from people outside the dojo. I took up Longfist and Southern Mantis so that I could round out my training, but looking back, a large part of it was to feel like I was still a Martial Artist. I don't regret my experiences, but the reason remains.

I now know better. I was practicing (and still do) almost daily (I take Sundays to rest), and when I'm not practicing physically, I'm thinking about it constantly. Being a Martial Artist is a mind set that comes with training. To your point above, Bob, I love talking about Martial Arts. I've talked to a lot of people who got to some kyu-rank and then quit for whatever reason. Every time, they always feel regret, or a sense that they aren't a "real" Martial Artist and every time, I tell them that they are incorrect. Once or twice, these conversations have led to them going back to the dojo.

It is absolutely enough to have been in it. To have loved it, even momentarily. To still think about it from time-to-time. For some, Martial Arts is temporary. For others, an endeavor that we know will never be truly finished. It's allowed to be different things for different people.

Great post, Bob.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1996
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2022 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarthPenguin wrote:
A new belt will open up new material for them to learn. Thats it really. Can they learn this material without the belt? Yes of course they can. If they don't want to grade then don't grade! If they do want to then do it. But don't get worried about it!


To your point here, when I was doing Longfist, the CI didn't use a rank system. He just taught you the next thing when you were ready. Sometimes, he would teach you the next thing if he thought that it would help you understand and become proficient with something that you were currently struggling on. It was a really refreshing thing to be a part of.
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DarthPenguin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 224
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2022 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zaine wrote:
DarthPenguin wrote:
A new belt will open up new material for them to learn. Thats it really. Can they learn this material without the belt? Yes of course they can. If they don't want to grade then don't grade! If they do want to then do it. But don't get worried about it!


To your point here, when I was doing Longfist, the CI didn't use a rank system. He just taught you the next thing when you were ready. Sometimes, he would teach you the next thing if he thought that it would help you understand and become proficient with something that you were currently struggling on. It was a really refreshing thing to be a part of.


That sounds very refreshing tbh. Is one of the things i like about bjj, while there is still a ranking system, it doesn't affect the techniques you are taught (it does affect those usable in competition i know).Technically you could stay a white belt forever and keep learning new stuff - you might get a bit of gentle ribbing for never taking a promotion but it wouldn't stop you learning
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29434
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2022 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zaine wrote:
DarthPenguin wrote:
A new belt will open up new material for them to learn. Thats it really. Can they learn this material without the belt? Yes of course they can. If they don't want to grade then don't grade! If they do want to then do it. But don't get worried about it!


To your point here, when I was doing Longfist, the CI didn't use a rank system. He just taught you the next thing when you were ready. Sometimes, he would teach you the next thing if he thought that it would help you understand and become proficient with something that you were currently struggling on. It was a really refreshing thing to be a part of.


I love this approach, and it's what I love about having my kids Wrestle. No ranks. Results are seen on the mat.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29434
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2022 7:57 pm    Post subject: Re: You Are Enough!! Reply with quote

Zaine wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
If you never become a black belt, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never earn a MA Honorific Shogo Title, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never earn another rank and/or title; YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never win any tournaments, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never become a part of the Hierarchy in you styles Governing Body, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never become a Chief Instructor, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never open your own MA school, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If your never receive another promotion, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! If you never ever earn anything beyond what you’ve already honestly earned in the MA, YOU ARE ENOUGH…LIKE YOU ARE!!


When I moved away for college, and then back home to find that my teacher had closed the dojo and stopped teaching, I struggled for a long time on whether I could call myself a Martial Artist. I learned from people outside the dojo. I took up Longfist and Southern Mantis so that I could round out my training, but looking back, a large part of it was to feel like I was still a Martial Artist. I don't regret my experiences, but the reason remains.

I now know better. I was practicing (and still do) almost daily (I take Sundays to rest), and when I'm not practicing physically, I'm thinking about it constantly. Being a Martial Artist is a mind set that comes with training. To your point above, Bob, I love talking about Martial Arts. I've talked to a lot of people who got to some kyu-rank and then quit for whatever reason. Every time, they always feel regret, or a sense that they aren't a "real" Martial Artist and every time, I tell them that they are incorrect. Once or twice, these conversations have led to them going back to the dojo.

It is absolutely enough to have been in it. To have loved it, even momentarily. To still think about it from time-to-time. For some, Martial Arts is temporary. For others, an endeavor that we know will never be truly finished. It's allowed to be different things for different people.

Great post, Bob.


It's great that you still have this fire, Zaine. I feel like I've lost some of it. And I don't want to. It just seems that with getting older, things have definitely become harder physically, and I've gotten mentally stale because we don't have a large adult student body in our school right now. It's been kind of tough to deal with, but I keep at it, trying to pull myself out of the slump.

Wednesday this week, in our T-shirt class, we actually sparred, as we had quite a few students in the class, and even several adults. We've got a new adult student who is a local college student, moved in from another town. She's a 3rd dan in a WTF style, and she sparred with us that night, too. She did really well, and it was just nice to have some adult competition. At first, I was kind of reluctant to spar, because it had been several months since I had done so, but in the end, I felt better for doing it, and I don't think I embarrassed myself.

Finally, I love to talk Martial Arts, too. Problem is, I really haven't done it in so long. I need to get engaged in it again, and I need to do it here for sure. Even if it's a style I know little about, or have only read about, I love hearing about things and talking about differences. I need to do that more, and hopefully, that will start to respark everything.

Thanks for your post. It's really helped me to reflect.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1996
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2022 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: You Are Enough!! Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
It's great that you still have this fire, Zaine. I feel like I've lost some of it. And I don't want to. It just seems that with getting older, things have definitely become harder physically, and I've gotten mentally stale because we don't have a large adult student body in our school right now. It's been kind of tough to deal with, but I keep at it, trying to pull myself out of the slump.

Wednesday this week, in our T-shirt class, we actually sparred, as we had quite a few students in the class, and even several adults. We've got a new adult student who is a local college student, moved in from another town. She's a 3rd dan in a WTF style, and she sparred with us that night, too. She did really well, and it was just nice to have some adult competition. At first, I was kind of reluctant to spar, because it had been several months since I had done so, but in the end, I felt better for doing it, and I don't think I embarrassed myself.

Finally, I love to talk Martial Arts, too. Problem is, I really haven't done it in so long. I need to get engaged in it again, and I need to do it here for sure. Even if it's a style I know little about, or have only read about, I love hearing about things and talking about differences. I need to do that more, and hopefully, that will start to respark everything.

Thanks for your post. It's really helped me to reflect.


I happy that my post helped you, Brian. I've been where you are, during that break. It was constantly a struggle to find motivation to be the Martial Artist that I wanted to be. One of the best things about finding a dojo to go to again was finding people to talk to about Karate. It's been a little over a year since I started going back to dojo training. In that time, I've rocketed from Jukyu to Sankyu and made friends that I cannot imagine not being in my life. One of those friends quickly became my best friend in the realm of Martial Arts. They have 30 years of training to my 20, but we are of an age (they started much younger than I did), and we both have a varied background in Martial Arts. We are starting our own school next month that combines what we know so that we can pass on this knowledge that we have.

All this to say that I definitely support your idea of just finding people to talk about Karate with. Whether you're talking about history, application, or just silly stories from times gone by. When I started doing that, which began as me coming back to this wonderful community in full-force, instead of just lurking, I found that I no longer cared that I hadn't stepped inside of a dojo or learned from a teacher since 2011.

I'll give you that I am only 32, young by most standards (not my 8-year old daughters, though; to her I have one foot in the grave). However, I've convinced my mother, who is 52, to start getting back into it and she has noticed that her body still has far to go.

Obviously, I don't know how old you are, Brian. However, being an expert in mental health due to my own lifelong battle with Depression, Anxiety, and ADHD, and my graduate studies as a mental health counselor, I hope that I don't overstep a line here. I think that the pandemic and quarantines have caused a lot of us to reflect on life. Therapy appointments rose so much during the pandemic that we suddenly began experiencing a shortage of therapists. We couldn't keep up with demand. I'm not here telling you to get therapy (though if you want therapy I definitely support that, I think that everyone should see a therapist at least once in their lives). I'm just saying that reflection is the mental health theme of the last 2.5 years. As I reflected on my life and my accomplishments, I found that I came up short. It wasn't until my wife and my family called me silly and showed me all the things that I had done that I snapped out of it and realized that not only had I accomplished an honestly insane amount, but that I still had so much to give of myself. I wonder if that's not what you're experiencing now, as well.

Regardless (and I know that was rambling but I do have a Master's in English so I'm prone to it), I know that the advice and insights that you have given here have helped me greatly in my journey as a Martial Artist. When I was on the KF Staff, I often looked to your wisdom in how to present myself as a representation of KarateForums. I think that you'll find the fuel to turn your spark into a roaring blaze once more.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29434
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2022 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Zaine. That means a lot. It's great to see your contributions again.
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