I read the following article this morning and had to share it with you. As you know, I consider the development of Leadership a key element of our mission of empowering lives through martial art. This excellent article on the power of leading by example is a good reminder for all of us that what we do speaks much louder than what we say.
Lieutenant Norman Dike froze in the face of fire. Dike led Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, during the wintery attack on the Nazi-occupied town of Foy, part of the overall Battle of the Bulge during World War II.
He was a replacement officer who’d allegedly been sent down from higher offices to receive some combat experience before he could be promoted. Behind his back, his men, the elite paratroopers later known as the Band of Brothers, dubbed him “Foxhole Norman”—a man who’d rather cower than fight.
During the attack on Foy, with enemy bullets slicing toward them, Dike wrongly positioned himself and his soldiers behind a haystack. There, he and his men sat as defenseless as hunted ducks. If Dike was ever going to achieve his objective, he needed to lead his men to surge forward and liberate the town. He needed to move! But Dike sat, petrified, panicked, already defeated.
From haystack to attack
From high on a hill, Captain Dick Winters, then battalion executive officer, surveyed the debacle. He spun on his heel and spotted the capable Lieutenant Ronald Speirs, leader of Dog Company, who stood poised in reserve. Winters ordered Speirs to run to the haystack, relieve Dike of his command, and lead the men to victory.
Lieutenant Ronald Speirs
Speirs sprinted forward, took control, and rallied the soldiers up from behind the haystack and onward. But before they could fully take the town and succeed, one more of Dike’s messes needed to be cleaned up.
Earlier, Dike had ordered one platoon to circle the town and see if they could flank the enemy. It might have sounded good at first, but it proved a lousy plan. The men were exposed to sniper fire during the run. Plus, without a radio, they couldn’t receive further orders. Sure enough, five E Company soldiers had taken bullets and gone down.
To countermand Dike’s initial order, Speirs ran alone straight through the town, chock full of weaponized Nazi soldiers. At first, miraculously, the Nazis held their fire, thinking perhaps he was a medic. Then the truth became clear. Shocked, their mouths hung open. Why was this one American officer running straight through their midst?! Didn’t he know he was now their number one target?
Shots rang out, right and left. Undaunted, unphased, and focused like a laser, Speirs ran straight to the lone platoon and set them straight. The truly astonishing thing, reported the men who were there, was that after Spiers ran through the highly dangerous town—he turned around and ran straight back to finish the job.
The power of example—for better or worse
When I think of the differences between lieutenants Dike and Spiers, I’m reminded of the adage that more is caught than taught. Overt instruction works to lead people, yet influence makes the strongest impact. The best leaders lead not only by instruction. They lead by example.
Lieutenant Dike wore the uniform of a leader. He certainly instructed his men to do things. But Speirs showed his men how to do things, and in doing so displayed true courage and empowered his men to successfully complete their objective. He kept cool under fire, and as much as he barked out the correct orders to keep moving forward, he effectively led his men by sheer example of his bravery.
Have you ever considered how your actions can speak louder than words? Whether it’s your management on the battlefield, in the workplace, in your volunteer organization, or within your family, your actions help set the tone, establish the mood, and create values and biases within the people you lead.
This realization can cause us to double check our work ethic, attitude, and management style, because both our good and bad habits rub off on others we care about.
Article by Michael Brotherton
And taken from Michael Hyatt Leadership Training
By Mark Silva, GetStudents.com
I started taking martial arts lessons with my dad in our living room when I was about 7 years old. We had just moved to Florida and I was starting at a new school midway through the year. I was probably the shortest kid in my class. Scrawny little arms, big wobbly head. I knew I was going to have to let time take care of most of those things, but I wanted to be good at karate ASAP. I had to get in shape. I needed to do some push-ups at the very least.
I met all my friends when my dad finally opened his first karate school in our new town. I had a slight advantage over the other kids because I was pretty close to the instructor. But then older, taller, and more athletic students started joining me in class. I knew I had to step my game up to be able to compete. I was inspired by watching them kick higher than me. I was inspired by hearing them yell louder than me. I knew I had to try harder. At the very least, I could do some push-ups.
After a few years of training and competing in tournaments it was time to reach my ultimate goal: BLACK BELT. At that point I was really good at doing my forms. I had all of the techniques memorized. I was growing and I was in pretty good shape. There was one thing hanging over my head...I knew I had to do 100 push-ups to complete my belt test.
I practiced every day. I pushed myself harder than ever in class. I did push-ups in my bedroom before school every morning. Fitness isn’t always fun, but it feels great and it makes you a better, healthier person. I wanted to be able to knock out those push-ups faster than anyone else. I reached my goal. I am a BLACK BELT.
I’m a grown man now, but I still have a lot of the same goals. This year I plan on eating healthier things I cook at home. I plan on running more, going on more walks, swimming in the ocean, staying active! Let’s set these goals together. If we keep an eye on each other we can make them all a reality this year. Good things come to those who sweat!
Focus is a skill we all begin to learn on day one of our martial arts classes. We quickly understand that having good focus will be super important to learning our forms, improving our techniques, and moving through belt ranks. Focus is the ability to concentrate without being distracted.
Parents: When watching classes you will see the kids standing at attention, sitting with their hands still or kneeling with their hand on their knees. The goal is to put kids in a position when learning so they can't be distracted by other kids moving, using their arms, squiggling around or being restless. Once the body is focused we teach the children to keep their eyes on the instructor. One of the cues we use is to yell out "Eyes on who?" the kids respond "Eyes on you!" Kids learn that their eyes must be on the person talking. This is taught in class and of course we remind the kids to do this at home and at school. Then we teach them to "focus their mind." The idea is that when distractions are at a minimum the children find it easier to concentrate.
I want you to focus on the future. I want you to focus on your goals. You become what you think about the most. If you think about all the negative things in your life or remarks you hear, you tend to notice them more and more. I want you to focus on positive thinking and the things you do well. This will come around and help you improve the things that need work.
My highest purpose and calling is raising up tomorrow's leaders today by helping children develop self confidence, self esteem, focus, discipline and, most importantly, to discover and develop their own personality and their own gifts- the ones with which they are destined to change with the world.
I have often contended that children today are over diagnosed and too often medicated. I would have been too, if the conditions were the same as they are today. I even fell into the cycle not too long ago, allowing some other people to convince me that my youngest son needed to be on drugs for his supposed ADHD. Thankfully, that didn't last long. He himself identified that the drugs were negatively affecting him and asked to come off of them. Instead, I now homeschool him and he is back very active in the dojo. He is excelling again, academically and personally, and on the path to bringing his inner greatness out.
Now please don't misread what I am sharing. I am not in any way condemning traditional public school education; it works for most kids and in fact my two older sons excelled there. I am also not saying that there are not conditions that legitamatly do require medication.
But here is what I AM saying:
It was an article shared by my KMMA Affiliate Yannick Grunan of Canada that inspired me to share this today. The article shares some important ideas from Harvard Psycologist Jerome Kagan about ADHD, depression and other "mental disorders".
You can read it here.
I thank God, my team and all my student family that I get to fulfill my purpose in life by helping kids. We show the child with "too much" energy how to focus that power for good, and the children with "too little" energy or motivation or confidence to develop these to become the best and highest version of themselves.
Most importantly we value and appreciate every child, identify their inner strengths and help them identify, appreciate and develop their own gifts for themselves. I could think of nothing on earth I'd rather do.
Grand Master Stephen Del Castillo
We asked kids in an online survey: "What should a coach care about most?" You might expect them to answer "to focus on winning." But "Put me in, coach!" is what most kids really want.
In fact, the majority didn't think winning was all that important. Only 7% of girls said coaches should be most concerned with winning, while about 18% of boys said so.
Here's what boys and girls value most in a coach:
64% said giving everyone a chance to play
27% said teaching new skills
9% said winning
Striving for excellence is a great goal, but when coaches and parents apply too much pressure, kids can get overly worried or push themselves too hard physically, leading to injuries. Some kids may even go on unhealthy diets to lose or gain weight to be better at their sport.
And when sports become too competitive, kids who have only average or below-average skills might spend too much time on the bench instead of learning new skills.
10th Degree master instructor Greg Silva says, "I have been a martial arts instructor for 46 years. I believe there are no better coaches than martial arts teachers." Martial Arts instructors know that the door to success open "in" not "out". That means the success to building an athlete who is well balanced yet understands that being in top shape and a top performer begins with the proper attitude, confidence, self esteem, sportsmanship and self control. This building from the "inside out" will prevent kids from being lazy, giving up, or quitting. The nature of martial arts with setting continuous goals is a key to it's success. And there is no bench to sit on. All kids learn, train and compete while playing the "game" in every class they take.
To see how martial arts teaches so much, join us in our free "Beginners Martial Arts" Workshop
Quitting. We quit jobs, we quit marriages, we walk out on friendships and sometimes we let people down when the going gets tough. Sometimes it is necessary, even the right thing to do. Our kids quit teams and music lessons, art classes and after school programs.
Sometimes it’s necessary, but sometimes they are bored or don’t like the coach or would just rather play video games at home. Deciding when to let your kids quit something, be it Gymboree, Little League or SAT prep, is a question that never goes away.
My kids have tried it all. I have driven them to sports, found drum teachers, glass blowing lessons, painting and ceramics classes. They have tried their hands at their school newspapers, student government, ESL tutoring and computer programming camp, though why that qualifies as camp, I am sure that I will never know. In the end, they did not commit to most of these activities, but at the same time, I never let them quit a single activity.
Our rule is simple: Try any activity that we have the resources to make possible. Go once, go even twice but if you commit, I told my kids, there will be no quitting. At the risk of overgeneralizing, I think our children have so many choices of ways to enrich their lives that sometimes kids quit an activity as an easy response to frustration or boredom.
I regret many of the things in life that I quit, not because I was enjoying them when I left, but because if I had stuck it out and reached any sort of competency, I might have found that elusive enjoyment. In reality, this meant that my kids had to stick with the team until the season ended or an art class until the sessions ended. There was no walking out on computer camp because it was dumb or quitting drums because we recognized a dearth of musical talent. Every activity was to be seen through to completion.
Why was I so tough on them? Why draw what might seem like an arbitrary line in the sand?
Constancy, commitment and loyalty are all values I hoped to instill in my sons. Learning to endure something even when it became boring or unpleasant, when the coach or teacher didn’t like my kid, or vice versa, seemed a lesson truly worth teaching. I thought that the first time I let them walk away from something just because at that moment it didn’t suit them was the last time I had any credibility about endurance or resilience because the refrain henceforth would have been, “but you let me quit….”
Over time, my kids learned they were never going to be allowed to quit things so they should be careful about what they committed themselves to, because the word commit was going to be taken literally. The result? Good things and bad. Perhaps they didn’t try things they might have, although we usually made clear up front that you could try something (say by going once or twice) but after they signed up we were done with discussions.
But we had bad days, really frustrating end-of-my-rope days. There were tantrums and miserable practices and screaming scenes where I reminded them that this was something they had said they wanted to do. The upside? They had long, enduring relationships with instructors, coaches and teammates who changed and enriched their lives. One high school son has been on the same soccer team for nine years. It is the stuff that childhood memories are made of.
I sound so confident now, but on a weekly and sometimes daily basis I was wracked by self-doubt and misgivings and even now am not sure if what I did was right. The one thing that I have observed is this: My college-age sons have true passions, things they study in school and activities they are involved in outside of the classroom.
Passions are not like dreams for most of us, we don’t wake up one morning and find they have miraculously come to us in the night. Parents often talk about helping kids find their passions. But passions do not always reveal themselves unbidden, as often they are a result of hard work and dedication, the joy that comes of doing something well.
My kids’ passions are the result of endless hours spent learning a subject or mastering a skill. In each case, it is something that in childhood they begged and pleaded with me to quit and in late adolescence they have told me how much they enjoy. I made them stick things out because mastery, even at a child’s level takes time and repetition.
Competence breeds confidence but success and accomplishment breed self-esteem and social well-being. One of my college kids, by his choice, still plays on a soccer team. Yet in a particular parenting low point, I pushed his 12-year-old self out of the car to make him play when the practices had ramped up and become far more difficult.
Martial Arts helps kids learn to stick with things and have fun along the way. Through a series of goal setting and learning new skills kids are constantly motivated, inspired and gain competence. I have personally trained 100 or more black belt kids. They all have gained skills like self esteem, confidence, courage, tenacity and perseverance. Parents tell me things like, "Of course the kids have highs and lows in training. Many have wanted to quit along the way. But that's okay. It's okay to want to quit." The real important things is to team up with the parents, child and instructor to make sure the child doesn't quit when that feeling come along.
From Grown and Flown
From The Well Armed Woman
There are some basic defensive tips every women should know and make part of their daily lives.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Self defense begins before you even know you need it. Always and in all situations, from going to the grocery store to finding your car in a dark parking lot - scan and be aware of what and who is around you and know where you are. Observe and think "what if?".
What if someone jumped out at you from behind that car? What would you do?
Part of what makes a women vulnerable to attack is the appearance of not paying attention, or appearing uncomfortable. Projecting a confident attentive presence can be a powerful deterrent. We are creatures of habit. It is far too easy to be lax in familiar surroundings and we lose the edge of really checking our surroundings and looking for anything unusual - especially in and around our own neighborhoods, homes, workplaces and cars. Many women are stalked and their habits watched over a period of time to take advantage of when their guard is likely down.
LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
We as women, have powerful instincts - trust them and use them to your advantage. If something or someone does not "feel" safe - you are probably right and should take steps to avoid them. Do not concern yourself with what other's will think that it is a silly, paranoid thought. Listen to your gut and act accordingly.
Have your keys out and ready before starting for the parking lot or your front door. Don't wait until you get in your car to begin the typically long search for your keys in your purse. Don't organize your purchases or review your receipts in the car or do anything that keeps you from locking the doors, starting the engine and leaving immediately. Review your receipts before leaving the store and place your bags in the car quickly. Lock your doors and make sure your car windows are up immediately upon entering the car. Once you enter your home, shut the door and lock it immediately, even if it means making multiple trips to the car to unload your purchases. Take the time to lock the doors each trip. Know where you are going and be ready with keys or whatever you may need before you get there.
BE PREPARED FOR FLIGHT OR FIGHT
Being in the mindset that you will fight to protect yourself and knowing how you will do that ahead of time not only gives you greater confidence but increases your chance of successfully defending yourself. Escape is always the best option. Being aware and thinking defensively will help you to see "the possibilities" of flight or fight before anything happens. I would suggest that if you choose to carry a firearm, that you take an armed personal defense course and if you do not carry a firearm, a basic self defense course is highly recommended. These self-defense programs should include simulated assaults with a fully padded instructor in realistic rape and attack scenarios, to allow you to practice what you've learned.
Just as we teach our children to stay away from strangers, we need to practice what we teach. Keep your distance when walking past strangers and be observant and mentally prepared. If a car pulls up and needs assistance, keep a very safe distance if you choose to offer help - or simply keep moving. With the internet becoming one of the most common ways we meet new people, extreme caution should be used when giving out any personal information or addresses. Everyone and anyone can look and seem "safe" online. Trust no one.
PROTECTING YOURSELF AT HOME
Home invasion crimes are on the rise. The best way to prevent a home invasion is to always keep your doors and windows locked with effective locks and to simply never, ever open your door unless you either are certain you know who's on the other side or you can verify that they have a legitimate reason for being there. Many criminals will dress up as a repair man or even a police officer. You can call the company or the police station to verify before opening your door. In the event that an intruder breaks in while you're home, you should have a safe room in your house to which you can retreat. Such a room should be equipped with a strong door, deadbolt lock, phone (preferably cell phone), and a can of pepper spray, fire extinguisher or safely stored firearm.
Contact us today - we can help prepare you for real world self-defense situations!
According to KidsHealth.org when children feel good about themselves, it sets them up for success — in everything from school to friendships. Positive feelings like self-acceptance or self-confidence help kids try new challenges, cope with mistakes, and try again. Taking pride in their abilities and accomplishments helps kids do their best.
By contrast, kids with low self-esteem might feel unsure of themselves. If they think others won't accept them, they may not participate as often. They may allow themselves to be treated poorly and have a hard time standing up for themselves. Kids who don't expect to do well may avoid challenges, give up easily, or be unable to bounce back from mistakes.
Having low self-esteem can block success. It can leave kids distracted by the stress of how to deal with everyday challenges.
How Self-Esteem Develops
Contrary to what some might think, self-esteem does not come telling kids they're wonderful, special, and great (even though they are!). Giving every child a trophy doesn't help kids' self-esteem. Indeed, it's possible for kids to feel good about themselves even when they fail.
When children compete — win or lose — they see that their own hard work and practice can make a difference. Earning a prize contributes to self-esteem only when a kid knows he or she earned it.
Self-esteem is the result of experiences that help a child feel capable, effective, and accepted.
How Martial Arts training can help
When kids learn to do things for themselves and feel proud of what they can do, they feel capable. Martial Arts is fun to learn and performing moves with a class build competence and then confidence.
Children feel effective when they see that good things come from efforts like trying hard, getting close to a goal, or making progress. Earning belts in martial arts is all about goal setting and teaches kids that hard work and effort pays off.
When kids feel accepted and understood by a parent or someone close, they are likely to accept themselves, too. Their good feelings about themselves multiply as their sensei or teacher praise good behaviors, help when needed, and give encouragement and support. Students in martial arts support and encourage each other. Events like graduations, social events and being part of a team of other positive kids is all part of Martial Arts.
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The Winner’s Exchange refers to an exchange in which the buyer receives more value than what they pay for the product or service that they purchase. I learned this principle from Grant Cardone, sales trainer and author of the 10x Rule, and thought immediately about the services we sell at KMMA. I have no doubt that the benefits of the training that we provide are far more valuable to the buyer than the tuition that we charge. Yet there is a second premise to the Winner’s Exchange that absolutely MUST be present for the first to be true. I will address both, and what we (both seller and buyer) must do to ensure that the winner’s exchange takes place.
The first premise of the winner’s exchange was simply that the buyer must receive even more value than the money that they paid for the good or service that they purchased and received. In the case of our martial arts programs, children receive self-esteem, focus, discipline, confidence, communication and many other character and leadership skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. How can there be any doubt that this is worth exceedingly and abundantly more than we charge? The truth is that we could charge 10x as much and the benefits of our program would still be worth it. The confidence, character and leadership skills KMMA develops and instills in our Blackbelts is priceless.
These benefits exist for our teen and adult students too and we haven’t even spoken yet about the physical fitness and real-world self-defense aspects of the program that most adults actually begin for. Youth, teens and adults get more physically fit which is of course also priceless in a modern world where obesity and other health related illness are actually the greatest threats to our safety of all; but what of the student that actually does get the unfortunate opportunity to apply the self-defense techniques of our system? I say unfortunate because the physical aspects of what we teach is real world life or death self-defense stuff. It is unfortunate should anyone end up in a situation where they have to use violence to defend themselves. It would be more unfortunate if they find themselves in the same situation unequipped to do so. Should a KMMA student ever have to apply what they have learned and trained for in self-defense, the fact that they had the confidence, skills and mental preparedness to get home safely makes this training, again, priceless.
There is therefore indisputable evidence that the training that a student receives through our KMMA programs delivers the winner’s exchange. Not always, though, and this brings us to the second premise of the winner’s exchange. Grant Cardone used the example of one of his books. He said that if he sells the book to the customer and the customer takes it, reads it and applies it, that $30 book may be worth $30,000 or more to the one who read it. This is a winner’s exchange because the buyer receives so much more value than what they paid and now will even become an avid promoter of Grant and his work because of the amazing value received. In the example, however, where the buyer never reads the book, the value is never delivered and the winner’s exchange never really took place.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when we fail to get a student through their program. I mean, the truth is that even a few months of training at KMMA will positively affect anyone, but the real deep and abundant benefits of training happen at Blackbelt and beyond. One of our slogans at KMMA, which I got from my mentor Grand Master Greg Silva, is that “This Is A Blackbelt School”. What this means is that it is our goal to get every student at least to Blackbelt and to deliver the fantastic physical, mental, spiritual and communal benefits that this experience provides. These benefits go with the Blackbelt out of the dojo and into the world, making them be better fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, students, teachers, employees, employers, business people and, in short, be more successful in anything and everything that they do, every goal they set and every role they play! If I sound like I am promising a lot it is because I know that it is true! I have experienced this in my own life and seen it in the lives of many blackbelts we have had the honor of training over the years since we opened in October of 2000, including my own sons. It is remarkable the transformations that occur with time in training on the Blackbelt Quest and beyond.
That is why I take it so personally when we fail to take a student to Blackbelt. Rather we fail to make them students during the enrollment process or fail to retain them long enough to become blackbelts, I have always felt that we have failed to deliver the benefits we could. In the context of today’s lesson, we failed to deliver the winner’s exchange. Regrettably, this has happened more often than I hope. As I guess I have made clear, it would be my goal to make every student that walks in our door into a strong, confident Blackbelt. So, what can we do to improve the situation and create more winner’s exchange and more Blackbelts?
For Team KMMA and other instructors reading this, we need to do better at every single thing we can to help students succeed. There are many retention procedures on and off the mat that help. I believe that the most important thing of all, though, is that we help them feel like, believe in and start becoming the champions that they can be before they can be. We must inspire confidence and greatness in our students before they possess these traits. Training has to be fun, but more importantly powerful. Classes have to be entertaining, educational and exciting, but more importantly empowering. We must see and create the Blackbelt excellence in all of our students long enough to help then see and create the same in themselves.
Parents, spouses and other family members reading; I know you want to help too. If you were not interested in the benefits for the ones you love, you wouldn’t have put them in our program and you wouldn’t be reading this book. The absolute best thing you could do is also get training. There is something powerful about the family that sets and achieves their betterment goals together! If anything keeps you from this though, you can help by helping us bring out the best in your kids. Encourage and inspire them. Praise their efforts and progress as well as their successes. The latter will come, but the prior come quicker. The good feeling that they get from your encouragement will make them want more. And, when they don’t perform their very best, challenge them to fulfill their potential, but never speak into existence anything less than the winners they will be. We give instruction and example of how to do this in my VIP (Very Involved Parent) coaching classes. Be sure to attend the next one if you haven’t yet.
Finally, if you are reading this and are a student of the martial arts, trust the law of the process. We tend to see everyone else better than they are and ourselves worse than we are. This can create a kind of unhealthy competition that causes us to lose confidence and feel that we are not progressing quickly enough. This is one of the disempowering feelings that causes people to quit. Another is the opposite, wherein you feel like you have seen the same thing over and over again and therefore you know it. This is also disempowering, because it will cause you to get bored and quit long before you ever actually master the skills that you are learning. So, for your training, I will prescribe the same formula that I would for you to empower and create success in any area of life. Set worthy goals (like becoming a Blackbelt) and work consistently and persistently until the object of your desire becomes your reality, and then set the next bigger goal. Trust the law of the process, which tells us that excellence happens daily but not in a day. Come to your Sensei, myself or somebody else that has been where you want to go when you face the inevitable challenges along the way; no great quest was ever won without the slaying of the occasional dragon. When you apply these principles consistently over time, they will become habit and then these habits will form your destiny.
Grand Master Stephen DelCastillo
• Your child comes home missing things or his property has been damaged
• Has injuries he can’t or doesn’t want to explain.
• Has not interaction with other kids after school.
• Seems nervous taking a school bus or walking to school.
• Finds or makes up excuses as to why they can’t go to school
• Takes alternate routes home
• School grades are slipping
• Appears lonely or sad.
• Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches or other physical ailments
• Loss of appetite
• Has lost self confidence.
Note: Children with disabilities may be at a higher risk of being bullied than other children.
Noticing signs like these are your cue to talk to your child and his teacher or counselor.
When talking to your child be sure to connect first.
Example - I’ve been seeing a lot of news reports about bullying. It scares me. Is this type of behavior happening at your school? Are you or your friends having any problem with others picking on you? Who are some of your friends at school? Any kids at school you don’t like? Why don’t you like them?
Follow up with the teacher and ask how your child does socially in school? Who he is friends with? Does the teacher think your child could be bullied or teased?
Continue to seek help. If these signs are not those of being bullied you will want to find out what is causing them. If he is being bullied take some action steps to rebuild his confidence self esteem and possibly his self defense skills before things get physical.