No. 1: Make “Yes” Your Favorite Word.
Try to never say no. The reason is obvious. Yes is positive, and no is not. Yes propels people forward, and no does not. Yes tells your students that they’re exceptional and that they’re leaving “run of the mill” in the dust. No does none of that.
Still, many people love to say no. Sometimes it’s because they’re just used to it. Sometimes it’s because that’s the way they were taught. Occasionally it’s because they believe it gives them a sense of power and control.
In the dojo, some people reflexively say things like, “No, you must wait until I tell you it’s time.” The question the student posed could have been about earning the next belt, learning a new kata, competing in a tournament or getting a drink of water. It’s not surprising that “no people” usually have a low student count.
In the 1980s, I read a popular self-help book titled Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No. While that book had nothing to do with creating a martial arts business plan, “no” managed to find its way into my dojo’s day-to-day operations. That never should have happened.
Much later, I learned that saying yes often leads to hard work but that work almost always pays off. It sends the message “I will go to the ends of the earth to help you.” In contrast, saying no sends the message “I don’t get paid enough to do that.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
“Made In Chinatown” Finding Love, Culture And Heritage
Question: What’s crazier than sending your horse to audition for The Godfather, wackier than two parrots saying, “Are you talking to me?” and wilder than the Scarecrow introducing Toto to the Wizard of Oz by stating, “Say hello to my little friend,” and thereafter referring to himself as the Scar-crow?
MISTAKES CAN BE EMBARRASSING
THAT A DIRECTOR OF MY CITY’S OPERA COMPANY WOULD CALL ME SEEMED A LITTLE ODD. THERE ARE PROBABLY SOME MONKEYS WHO KNOW MORE ABOUT OPERA THAN I DO. BUT THE DIRECTOR WAS INVITING ME TO LUNCH, SO OF COURSE, I WENT.
THERE'S A NEW “SHERO” IN TOWN, AND HER NAME IS GILLIAN WHITE!
GILLIAN WHITE HAS WORKED IN FILM AND TELEVISION FOR 25 YEARS — FAR LONGER THAN SHE’S BEEN MARRIED TO MICHAEL JAI WHITE, WHOM SHE WED IN 2015. RECENTLY, SHE’S CREATED A BUZZ IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY BECAUSE OF HER ROLE AS ZARA INTAKE BACK, A MOVIE THAT ALSO STARS HER HUSBAND AND TEACHER, AS WELL AS MICKEY ROURKE. AFTER EIGHT YEARS OF HYBRID TRAINING THAT INCLUDES KYOKUSHIN KARATE AND AN ARRAY OF EFFECTIVE FIGHTING STYLES, GILLIAN WILL STEP INTO HISTORY AS THE FIRST BLACK FEMALE MARTIAL ARTIST TO PLAY THE LEAD IN AN ACTION FILM WHEN TAKE BACK IS RELEASED THIS YEAR.
PURPOSE, FEAR AND MINDSET
WHEN THE SUBJECT OF SELF-DEFENSE COMES UP, THE AVERAGE PERSON GENERALLY THINKS OF THE PHYSICAL TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS THAT ARE INVOLVED. WHEN I COME ACROSS SUCH A PERSON AND GET AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE SOME KNOWLEDGE ABOUT REAL SELF-DEFENSE, I USUALLY START BY INFORMING HIM OR HER THAT SOME IMPORTANT PREREQUISITES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED BEFORE DELVING INTO THE PHYSICAL ARENA.
DEAR HOLLYWOOD: REBOOT “WMAC MASTERS”
IT’S TIME TO REBOOT WMAC MASTERS. YEAH, I SAID IT, AND I MEANT IT. IF YOU WEREN’T A KID IN THE 1990S, YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T EVEN HEARD OF THE FICTIONAL WORLD MARTIAL ARTS COUNCIL AND THE TV SHOW BASED ON IT. IN THAT CASE, YOU’RE IN LUCK BECAUSE I’M ABOUT TO GIVE YOU THE LOWDOWN.
FINAL DESTINATION? NO WAY — WE'RE JUST GETTING STARTED!
IF YOU’RE UP ON YOUR MARTIAL ARTS HISTORY — OR YOU FREQUENT OUR WEBSITE OR FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA — YOU KNOW THAT BLACK BELT WAS FOUNDED IN 1961. IF YOU’RE EVEN MARGINALLY PROFICIENT AT MATH, YOU KNOW THAT MAKES THE MAG 60 YEARS OLD THIS YEAR.
Return of the king
COVID Might Have Won Last Year, But THE U.S. OPEN — the World’s Biggest Martial Arts Tournament — Is Back in Action!
CREATING UNBEATABLE PARENT-INSTRUCTOR TEAMS
“IN A TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL, PARENTS AND INSTRUCTORS BECOME AN UNBEATABLE TEAM HELPING SHAPE CHILDREN FOR THE PATH TO SUCCESS.”
JAW TRAINING FOR STRIKERS
NEWS FLASH: FIGHTERS GET PUNCHED IN THE JAW! THE JAW AND ITS HINGES, ALONG WITH THE CHIN, ARE COMMON TARGETS FOR KNOCKOUT ARTISTS. A WELL-PLACED PUNCH TO THE JAW CAN RENDER AN OTHERWISE TREMENDOUSLY CONDITIONED ATHLETE UNCONSCIOUS IN A HEARTBEAT.
2021 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONS & CONTENDERS
Ones to Watch at the World’s Most Prestigious Martial Arts Competition
The Pen Is Mightier
Horrified by the war in Ukraine, artisan pen makers across the globe are using their skills to make a difference.
PAINT THE TOWN
When a pair of coastal bon vivants visit their elegant a pied-à-terre in Atlanta, colorful cocktail parties are on the menu.
The Veil Whisperer
Has the secret to upgrading a wedding’s trickiest accessory been in front of your eyes all along?
The most powerful union in sports meets its match
Visitors entering the 30th-floor lobby of Major League Baseball’s old headquarters on Park Avenue in New York a few years back would immediately encounter 30 mannequins, one for each of the league’s teams. The display was impressive, but some players who visited the offices couldn’t help but notice what each mannequin was missing: its head.
The Last Kingdom
ORIGINAL DRAMA There will never be another hero like brave, cocky and conflicted warrior Uhtred (the magnetic Alexander Dreymon, above left), a 9th-century Saxon who was kidnapped as a child and raised by Viking Danes.
THE AMERICAN WEST
ROMANCE OF THE WEST: THE WILD WEST SHO- After the Civil War, the West was romanticized by dime novels by writers like Ned Buntline and stage shows featuring frontier luminaries such as Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickock and Texas Jack Omohundro.
The Girl Makes a Show
Quinta Brunson got famous through her memes. Now she has created the most charming show of the winter.
Everything You Need Is Already Within You
"Nate Morell celebrates the healing beauty of the dawn and a beautiful sunrise. Through this connection with nature, he also discovers the purpose of our human existence."
Is This Drone Really a Spy?
China’s DJI rules the global market for unmanned aerial vehicles. That has the U.S. worried about national security
A Global Urge to Lie Flat
Burned-out millennials and Gen Zers are quitting their jobs by the millions