Excellence, Machismo, and Hardcore Training

Let me say first that I am all for the pursuit of excellence. Challenging yourself to be better is daunting, daring, and rewarding. On this road, you must find the edges of your comfort, push beyond your physical limitations, and surmount many an emotional hurdle. And though much of this is truly hard, little of …

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Unsolicited Help isn’t Help–It’s Harm

When you’re working with a partner and you see them making an error it can seem like the right thing to give them a correction in order to help them improve. However, unsolicited help is often not help at all, it’s harm. The Problems with Unsolicited Help It’s disempowering 90% of learning happens in absence …

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How Noticing Your Students Outside Class Can Make a Profound Difference

Canoeing is one of the first physical activities I remember being captured by. I love the water, and there was something powerful and graceful about navigating a craft with a simple flat piece of wood through the chaotic eddies and currents of a river or inlet. This interest may never have taken hold if it …

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On Talent, Practice, and Patience.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece called Three Things You Should be Saying to Your Martial Arts Students, where I encouraged teachers to reinforce for their students that practice matters more than talent. I received a lot of great feedback and got into some great discussions. The piece was even translated into French …

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Five Rules for Being a Great Martial Arts Instructor

With one instructor intensive behind me and another coming in February, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to be a great instructor. There are many false roads along this path and I’ve certainly had my share of internal struggles. I thought I’d share a few pieces of advice that I have found valuable. …

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The Journey of Being Vulnerable – Poetry and Words from Tanya Davis

I don’t usually share other links on my blog as the purpose for me has been to express my own thoughts, ideas, and feelings; To challenge myself to present myself in the world in a bold and vulnerable way and not perhaps hide behind the easy sharing of others’ ideas. Yet tonight when I sat …

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Don’t Boost People Up – Help Them Boost Themselves Up

When someone is down in the dumps, often the worst thing you can do is try to boost them up with praise. 1. This is often a waste of your breath. If someone is stuck in a negative space, they’re often resistant or even obstructive to efforts to pull them away from their current position. …

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Making others feel good instead of helping others be good

“In your relationships, are you concerned about making others feel good about themselves or are you concerned with making them feel good about you?” This question was posed by David Hoyt, in a recent blog post on John Maxwell’s blog. As a leader I certainly started as the latter and have over time developed myself …

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Develop the Skills to Face Challenge and Growth

To have a fulfilling life it is essential that you grow. Yet growth is rich with challenge and challenge is inherently uncomfortable because it moves us away from where we are at ease. Operating in this realm of unrest comes naturally to very few, those who are good at playing in this space have developed …

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Speed and Perfection Are the Enemy of Hard Learning

“Speed and perfection are the enemy of hard learning” says Carol Dweck in her insightful book Mindset. When we praise our students for doing things quickly and without error we tell them that speed and perfection are more valuable than challenge and failure. Yet to truly master difficult things we need to put ourselves into …

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