Episode 1. Welcome, Respect is Earned

articles podcast Feb 24, 2020

There is no script here, I'm not reading from any type of teleprompter. I am doing this entire project in my dojo, from my dojo and it is about my job. My dojo has been reasonably successful over the last 12 years. My measuring tool for success is based on the development of my students.

My school we has about 200 family members and many of my students travel to Japan yearly, spending time training. But this course is about you and how the functions of my Dojo, and the different systems that I've developed work.

Many people tell me that martial arts shouldn't be commercialized. People would tell me about their teacher, teaching out of their garage in exchange for breakfast on Sunday mornings. That's all they would accept for training, on and on and on.

I've seen so many people martyr themselves to the martial arts here in the United States. We have this enormous sort of stigma of 'if you don't bow when you walk in the door, then you to drop into, push-ups, on your knuckles, on a board .. or you stand in a horse stance and someone whips you in the thigh with a .. cane because you spoke when you weren't supposed to be speaking.

And all of this nonsense.

Yes, as a teacher you have to demonstrate a commanding presence in your role. Of course, at all times you have to be a commanding model of your martial art, but you're in no way in any position to be an authoritative figure in someone's life. Influence is something completely different.

Learn how I run my Dojo on one system, it's easy actually. 

Your students come into your dojo because they're pursuing an influential figure in their life. That's you.

They can walk out that door whenever they want, and if they do with a bad influence and with a bad experience - shame on you. It discredits martial arts instructors, but what's worse is that it discredits the martial art that you/we study. What's even worse than that, the student probably is not going to return to the martial arts as some type of activity to enrich their life at any level.

Our job is to actually give of ourselves to enrich the lives of these people who come to our Dojo. Then that to the next level. We need to provide these students with something much greater than anything they expect. We need to provide them with new dreams, new goals and to carry that much further than they ever thought possible.

Up to that point in our Dojo, 'we' wash the mats between every class. Our students literally get on their hands and knees, going up and down, washing the mats. But I'm the first one on the map with my students. In the traditional context, the

Dojo was defined by the model of students going up the chain of command, so to speak. The youngest students are going to follow the senior by example.

And there's nobody more senior in your training grouper in your Dojo than you. So therefore, it's your obligation to present giri at the highest level yourself.



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