Some people will never come to martial arts. That's fine. Some people will come and leave. Thats cool too. But some people will come for a long time, then drop out. Why? What are they doing now and what should they be doing instead?
The world is changing. Fast! Let's not beat around the bush. If you were in martial arts and you aren't now, what the hell are you doing?
"I'm doing blank, man. It's a new hobby." Ok, but you aren't in high school anymore. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." On a scale of 1 to 10, how talented are you? Most people will never make it unless they are at the top, a 10. What is your talent level when you were born? If you were naturally a 5, with learned skill, you might be able to increase to a 6, maybe a 7. If you were born will a talent at 2, with training, you might be a 3 or 4. You will never make it to 10 if you can't blank very damn good already. My point? Time to put away childish things. The NWO or the Muslim extremists come, or that midnight murderer comes, you can't do a little dance to make them leave. This is survival now. The world is different. It's coming. If you choose your hobby over the protection of your family and property, something is wrong.
"I have anxiety and can't bring myself to come to class." I get that. I suffer from anxiety too, many do. But you have to choose your battles. You have to master it, or it will master you. We are a friendly, and very fun bunch. We laugh continually and the atmosphere is great. We are not Cobra Kai mouthpieces here with strict discipline. Time is running out for that excuse. Get your unprotected, vulnerable butt out of your car sitting in the parking lot and come in. Half the battle is getting there. Most of the things we worry about never happen. Get to class. When the day the corrupt government comes to take your life, liberty, and freedom, your anxiety will experience a whole new level, unless you master it. Get to class.
"But I am in [bad club] and don't want to leave it." Great, but [bad club] is bad news and not the kind of person we want these skills to get to. But if you are willing to put away these stupid allegiances, you can train and have a better life. It's one or the other, bro. They won't save you when the day comes that the tax man is coming for your tax evasion. No, they won't.
"I owe money to the dojo so I don't/can't come back." Big deal. It's just money, man. Yes you still have to pay it, but not right away. Get in the groove of things and deal with the primary issue, protection. We can talk about the money thing later and make it easy. I still enjoyed you as a person and friend. Money doesn't change that.
"I am seriously jealous of your accomplishments." Yeah, that happens. I can't help it. But technically, that is a problem with yourself, not with me. It hasn't gone to my head and it hasn't changed what's import with interpersonal relationships. Just get to class. Are you going to sacrifice your family's safety over your jealousy?
"I am mad that you wouldn't lend me money." Yeah, well, boo. You wanted to buy [bad thing] with it. If I don't approve of that from a spiritual standpoint, do you really think I am doing to break my convictions just because you are my friend? Get over it. I'll lend money to my friends, but not if you are going to do something stupid with it. I still love you as a brother, I just won't facilitate your bad habits, ever. When I was a teen and was invited to parties, I was secretly pouring alcohol down the sink because I couldn't stand watching my friends destroy themselves. I'll do what you hate, even if its the best thing for you.
"I heard bad things about you...by a rival of yours." Well consider the source. Haha. Of course a poor spirited rival of mine will try to discredit me. I've heard everything about me. I honestly don't care anymore. You should have enough brains in your head to know the truth. I usually get something in email evil everyday. Guess what I do? Delete. Or I see in Facebook, "Hey you stu..." That's all I need to see. I never, ever read it. It goes straight to trash. But this is really about you. If you base your feeling and decisions on something you read or heard, what can I say. Haha. Thats some foolishness right there. And most people won't ask me outright if something is true or not because they don't have the guts, then when they try, they actually hear themselves and realize how stupid the question even sounds. But you know what? It's ok. I am still willing to call you friend and you are allowed to come to class. So come.
"I was butthurt about your stance on [hot topic]." Sounds like a personal problem. But I already know. The hand of forgiveness is open to you always. Are you man enough?
"I have a boyfriend/girlfriend now." Ok, so (s)he is going to defend you? Forever? Always? I have serious doubts about the logic behind this. I strongly suggest you learn to defend yourself. Relying on the police, or something else, and not yourself, if a bad strategy. Now get to class.
"I really want Krav Maga." Well Ninjutsu is better, quite frankly. And I stand by that. Krav Maga is really just a militarized (as far as time, not effectiveness) downgrade of Ninjutsu anyway. Coincidentally, we have a Krav Maga certified trainer with us now.
"Your rank is not earned." Well, I beg to differ. That rival I mentioned earlier seems to think it was just handed to me, or something. What he doesn't know is, I still had to test for the ranks, they didn't happen all at once like he thinks (yes I did the Godan test, in front of 200 people), and I have 34 years experience in the same style. What's more, I paid for it in blood, sweat, and tears, sacrificed, journeyed overseas, studied (book wise), and kept an open mind. I was able to detect bullshit from predecessors and cut it away like a cancer, and I studied under multiple teachers throughout my life (not 1 like him). I don't kiss ass like he does, I don't swallow everything I'm fed, and I understand that Taijutsu is NOT Ninjutsu. It is a tiny, tiny piece of the overall puzzle. I got it, you didn't, end of story. I am a university graduate, and you are a high school dropout. I served my country in the military. You collect artifacts from the army surplus store. I've been to Japan 11 times, and you were there once, for less than a week! And failed the Godan test 3 times. And the only reason you are suddenly pushing for your own ranks is because of jealousy and a sense of personal superiority, pushed by our former teacher (whom I now outrank, btw), whom stole everything he knows and branded it as his own. You send students into the MMA ring, they always lose, you won't go in yourself... I could go on forever. The guy I'm talking about never stops trash talking me to people. ALL of it lies. He has guys convinced that I lied to them about stuff, then when I ask what it was, they shut up. He even accused my certificates of not being signed by Hatsumi. But in most cases these days, Hatsumi never signs the certificates anymore. Everyone knows that Furuta Sensei does it most of the time, and now Niigata does it. But I guess that's what happens when I can access people in Japan on a moments notice, order certificates myself, fill them in myself, stamp them also, and you can't. Hatsumi said the "spirits" told him to do it. And, it was recommended by three 15th Dans formally, on paper, without my asking for it. God blesses me all the time. I am His faithful servant and He rewards me. It could be you, but you are stubborn. Damn, this is fun! So, you know, your desire for ranks is flattering, but changes nothing. And if any of you out there are tired of his bs, or want to ask me about the truth for a change, you are most welcome. I tell my students not to compete with anyone except themselves. Be better today than you were yesterday. Only the small mind will try to level themselves to someone else.
"I'm working too much." Well we all need a break. Most people on their death beds regret working so much. But working won't save you when your life is faced with peril. Please make time for the important things.
"I'm injured." I hear this one a lot. Injuries don't go away when you need to act. The goal is to work with the injury, or around the injury, but not to stop training. You have a bad back? I get it. Don't roll. Learn a new way to evade. Figure out what you can do. Bad knees, don't rely on that for structure. Work with it, not against it.
"I called the cops on you for something the other day." I know you did. I'm not stupid. I know you did it. But I forgive you and pretend it didn't happen. Just like some of those things you wrote online. Even though I know it was you and you said it was someone else, it's ok. I forgive you.
"I can't afford it." You're in luck! We have free training days all the time. We have alternative payment methods too, like work share or other programs. If it's so bad and you want it bad enough, talk to me. We can figure something out.
"I want something stronger, more painful." Well Ninjutsu can be pretty strong and painful. The problem is, you need to build up to it and then you get it in the upper ranks. And by upper, I mean blackelt, which is really just the beginning ranks. The good stuff starts there. Trust me, bro, you can't handle it at the white belt level. Just learn the technique and build skill, speed, power, accuracy, and form. Then you can get beaten all you want, then take away the form, take away the muscle, take away the technique, and take away the showiness. You'll see.
"You wouldn't help me move." Well my business is more important. If I need to be in Boston to teach an event that will earn $14K, or help you move, guess which one I'll pick? It was last minute and I never know for sure when they will come up. Besides, I'm your teacher first, your friend second. If there is ever a conflict of interest, teacher wins.
"I just don't like you." Well, before you tried to buy a rank from me, you liked me pretty well. It was only after you wanted me to provide a certificate for one of your own students because you couldn't, and I refused, that you turned sour puss. If you want a certificate from me, you will do it the same way as everyone else, exactly. I don't sell ranks. And your attitude shows me I made a good decision. Nagato and Hatsumi have both said to me to rank people based on various things, including their heart. They have also said that a certificate is not a completion of a rank, but permission to begin the next.
"Im offended about [person/thing]." Well, being offended by someone in class happens in every area of life. It's part of personal development. I have worked with people or trained with people for years that I hate, and they never knew it. Why? Because I was there to get something and if I removed myself because of them, then they win and I am the one actually missing out. If you are offended by something, you can refrain from doing it in class, sure, but everything is designed for growth.
If you dislike something and you stop training permanently because of it, how foolish is that? You are going to punish yourself by refusing training and failing to acquire life saving skill? You aren't hurting me. You are hurting yourself and your family.
Short story: When I was a kid, I got a call from my first teacher's teacher (to be) and told me he had a guy that just moved to my (nearby) city (which was a 30 minute drive away). And coincidentally, there was a guy in my town that was going too and that I should call him for a drive. He gave me his name and I almost died. It was my childhood bully that beat me up often. I could have said right there, "screw this" and my life would have been totally different. But I swallowed my pride and called him and asked him for a drive (he was considerably older than me). I knew that I wanted Ninjutsu and nothing was going to stop me, not even weird twists of fate. I trained with him for years under the same teacher, then teacher's teacher and I hated every minute of him being there. But he never knew it. I hid it well and he is still a bully to this day, but now dangerous. But his growth was naturally stunted, as I said earlier, God smiled on me and my devotion because God was 1st in everything I pursued. This other guy, not so much. Now I don't even think of him (except for this blog), and I am reaping rewards I could only have dreamed of.
So, while this has been fun, therapeutic, vague and personal, entertaining, fictional (maybe), it is supposed to shake the heads of people who are stepping away from training for reasons that I feel are, not good enough. And It's sort of similar to a previous blog, but should be different enough that you understand what I'm trying to say. Get back to class.