John McEnroe is known as one of the best tennis players in history. He won 77 singles titles, 78 doubles titles, and 7 major titles (4 US Open and 3 Wimbledon).
He was not only known as an incredible tennis player. He was infamous for his temper tantrums on the court that often landed him in trouble with umpires and tennis authorities.
In 1984 McEnroe was playing a match in Stockholm, Sweden he argued with an umpire over a call then got so angry with the umpire’s call, he grabbed a tennis ball and hit it into the crowd. Still angry with the umpire, he walked off the court and smashed a chair and table with his tennis racquet.
While McEnroe was one of the best players in history, his temper cost him many matches, titles, and money over the years. Not to mention, he made himself look ridiculous on many occasions.
We all get angry from time to time. We can’t control what happens in the world. We can’t control what other people say or do, however we can control how we respond to it.
Surely, in the moment it is hard. Sometimes the best answer is to walk away, take a few deep breaths and regain your composure.
Black Belt Champions are not perfect however the true mark of true martial arts practitioner is one that can apply the lessons learned on the mat and remember to put them to use off the mat!
We have all said things in a moment of anger that we later regretted. The problem is even after an apology, you can’t take those words back. They are out there and most people won’t forget what was said.
Here’s an idea. Learn to turn frustration into fascination. Instead of being angry and frustrated at what someone says or does, learn to become fascinated at their actions and thought process. Become fascinated by their point of view.
Does it work every time? No! Nothing works all the time; however, it does work a lot of the time and this little trick can save you from saying and doing things you may later regret.
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One of the things that I have always enjoyed about martial arts training is the opportunity to step onto the mats and eliminate the clutter that has managed to take root in my head. During that training time all of the cares of the world fade away and a zen like state is achieved as the mind becomes calm and focused on the training at hand.
How can we apply the principle of Kanso to the rest our lives? Take a good hard look at pruning people, places, processes and things that are cluttering up your path; that are not adding value to your life or helping you to grow.
To help you get started take a moment to think of just one thing that makes you anxious or unhappy. Eliminate it from your life immediately. Just the thought of getting rid of it makes you feel better already right?! Tomorrow you can choose another and repeat the process.
Enjoy your day!
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On one sunny afternoon a man was walking along the beach and saw another man fishing in the surf with a bait bucket beside him. As he drew closer, he saw that the bait bucket had no lid and had live crabs inside.
“Why don't you cover your bait bucket so the crabs won't escape?” he asked. "You don't understand.” the man replied, "If there is one crab in the bucket it would surely crawl out very quickly. However, when there are many crabs in the bucket, if one tries to crawl up the side, the others will grab hold of it and pull it back down so that it will share the same fate as the rest of them."
Can you relate to this story of the crabs in the bucket?
This is very typical human behavior. If someone tries to improve him or herself, dream big or try something new even our close friends and family can become the crabs that want to pull us back down. It’s not always intentional of course but people like to stay in their own little bubble or comfort zone and want to keep you right there with them!
What’s the lesson here?
Ignore the crabs and don’t be a crab! Fire ahead and do what is right for you. If God has blessed you with a great gift or talent, go ahead and with a leap of faith, give birth to your dreams. It may not be easy and you may not succeed 100% of the time, but you will NEVER share the same fate as those who never try.
Though our martial arts program our students learn to go for it! They also learn that in order to grow personally it is imperative that they encourage and build up those around them. Strength truly is in unity.
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Whether you are a new or seasoned student of the martial arts putting the 3 P’s to practice in your daily life is key to turning an interest into a life long practice.
Purpose – a sense of purpose gives a student a much greater level of focus and discipline. As Nietzsche said ” Given a big enough WHY, people can bear almost any how”. Seek your source of inspiration within or with those closest to you. When becoming successful is as important as breathing no one will be able to stand in your way.
Passion– many students tend to use results as motivators. Reaching the next belt rank or winning a medal at a tournament can be your sources of inspiration but not passion. Your love for your craft should be a natural flow of diligent practice. If a student is focused, healthy and disciplined in his or her practice – improvement should be the main drive. Always seek the perfection of your skill, physical attributes and mental capacity and don’t get distracted by results.
Patience– Malcolm Gladwell in his brilliant book ‘The Outliers’ talks about the 10,000 HOUR RULE- One of the main claims of Outliers is that putting in 10,000 hours of practice is a prerequisite for great achievement.
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Mr. Soares began training in the martial arts at the age of 13 and shortly after graduating High School he earned his Black Belt. Mr. Soares opened a small karate club in 1992. In 1999 he went to serve in the Massachusetts Army National Guard for ten years. During that time Mr. Soares was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as a Flight Medic. While there, in addition to his duties, he also taught self-defense to soldiers in his unit as well as soldiers from other countries. In 2011 he opened Lance Soares’ Family Martial Arts Center in New Bedford and has since served as its director and chief instructor. Mr. Soares is currently an 5th Degree Black Belt in the Parker system of Kenpo Karate.