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Thoughts of a "Master"

Coach Evans, Master in Taekwondo, discusses life and lessons he has learned through his years of training and interacting with other human beings.

Going for the Gold!

The Olympics have been all over the TV and news outlets over the past several weeks.  It got me thinking about all the past students I've had who were "Superstars" in martial arts.

Let me start out by saying that I do not teach students to "win" at tournaments.  As some martial artists even require that their students go to tournaments to be considered for higher rank, I have not, do not, will not.  I do suggest they give it a try to see if it's something that they like, however, if they decide to never compete, I don't think anything about it.

There is only one person that I really compete against: ME.  It was always fun to see how I would do at a tournament, but it's not really a complete demonstration of all the hard work I've put into something.

So Olympics.  Hundreds of athletes from all over the world, gathering to each compete in their specific skill set to see who is the "best".  But it doesn't take into account that their "best" one day is not...

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Just a Rock into a River

The other day, on a trip through the US, my 7 year old son threw a rock into a river we were walking by.  After he did, he immediately turned to me and said, "Dad, if you throw a rock in the river, it changes the river forever."

Yep, just some Buddha like wisdom from an innocent kid.  It got me thinking about how we treat others.

We come in contact, one way or another, with many humans on a daily basis.  Online, at work, at the store, etc.  Every interaction with someone else is this: us throwing a rock into the river of their life.

It may be a positive rock, a negative rock, or even a seemingly neutral rock.  But a rock is thrown in their river and they are changed from it.  Just as a real rock in a real river, we may never know how we affected their life and to what extent.

A single kind word, a good deed, or a friendly wave can have a positive effect on their life.  Just as a grumble, sideways glace, or ignoring someone can have the opposite.


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I'll start with a quick story from my life in martial arts:

When I was 12, I was already a Sr. 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo.  I had been practicing TKD for at least 5 years non-stop.  3 days per week.  I had to wait at my rank for longer than normal due to age requirements.  With no testing in the foreseeable future, I felt bored.  I typically didn't have to try hard to "beat" the other kids in my classes and I didn't get corrected much for anything.  In my forms, I was good enough to not get "fixed".  I constantly got the, "Great! Now sit down so the next kid can give it a try!"  I WAS BORED!

My 12 month membership was just a couple months away.  I knew that as soon as it hit, I was done.  No more TKD.  What was the point, anyway.  I obviously was the best I could be.

Then my instructor noticed the boredom in me from just going through the motions.  He asked me to come to the Teen/Adult class one day.  I...

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Who do you want to be?

Who do you want to be?  Not a simple question.  You can be nice, respectful, caring, a jerk.  Anything.

When we're young, we are typically told what to be.  "Be nice." "Be a hard worker." "Be obedient." (Incase you don't know me well, I HATE that word!)

The thing is, you can choose to be whoever you want to be!  It doesn't matter if you are 10 years old or 100.  You have the choice.  You are the ONLY one who has the choice.  If you want to be kind, then decide that you are kind and live that way.  If you want to be a jerk, then own it and live it. (Though we all wish you wouldn't, it is still your decision.)

So how do we decide who we want to be?

First, list the qualities that you want to have and are important for you.  Kind, respectful, caring, knowledgeable, strong, courageous, the list could go on forever.



If we are lucky enough to have more time on this planet, then we know that...

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