Friday, December 21, 2007

Martial Arts and Real Life: Learning From The Agony of Defeat

Success at home, work or on the mat is what drives all of us. Sooner or later, you’re going to want something more. It’s in our very nature to succeed. It is a primary survival instinct. The benefits of success are obvious. Sense of accomplishment, self worth and self-actualization are a few. Other, less obvious by-products are confidence and attitude.
While these feelings help to drive us and are our eventual goals and reasons to be successful, they do little in helping us become successful. They are psychological effects of accomplishment. The real technical growth, the real “nuts and bolts” lay in every setback and every failure.

Vince Lombardi said, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser” why correct in it’s spirit. There is far more to be gained from our losses than our triumphs. Every loss is a tool for improvement. Because it’s only when you fail, that you look inside yourself to determine what went wrong and how to correct it. With each failure you are forced to rally your courage and rise to the occasion.

After you win, you concentrate on the achievement of your goal rather than the mistakes you made. Your very nature allows you to enjoy the accomplishment and gain confidence and attitude. Which are extremely powerful tools, because BELIEVEING you can be successful is a lot more powerful than THINKNG you can be successful. But these don’t help you improve technically or spiritually.

Every loss, every injury, every defeat is an opportunity for growth. It’s easy to have fun when everything goes smoothly, but when does that ever happen? We think everyone has it easier than we do. This is obviously not the case. EVERYONE has the same issues that you do. It’s all relative to everyone: a hangnail seems like a big deal to someone who has never broken a finger. The difference is, some people deal with them and move forward, others rationalize their decision and go home.

Dealing with a setback forces you to be honest and critical with yourself. This isn’t an easy thing to do. But once you’ve abandoned the excuses and stopped pointing the finger, only then will you really grow and improve.

All natural ability aside, what separates the good from the not so good and the God-awful, is the ability to take a real long and hard look in the mirror and take stock. You will always hear excuses, we all have them. If you chose to stop at the excuse, you will remain there.; technically, mentally and physically. You will be forced to repeat the same failure over and over again. It’s a cycle of habit. Because if it’s not this, it will be something else and you will spend the rest of your life wondering “why they get all the brakes” or “why are they so lucky”. Remember, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. This habit of quitting when things get difficult is one you don’t want to develop.

Every career, every life, is replete with failure and setbacks. It’s up to you to work through them and force yourself to develop the habit of getting up again and again and again.

Everything that happens in the Dojo is symbolic of life. That’s way Dojo literally means “WAY PLACE”. It’s the place to study THE WAY. Simply put, the way of everything, the way of life. When you miss a technique or have difficulty learning a skill, you train to improve and become competent at that skill. When you are injured you train yourself to work with your injury.

What’s the difference between an injured shoulder, a bad back or a broken hand than someone who is short, slow and slight of build? Should those people not even try? Maybe we should tell everyone under 5’5” and 120 pounds, “Don’t Bother”.

Last week we concluded a five-week training course with a group of people with a wide variety of disabilities from slight learning problems to severe physical issues. All of these people, everyday learned to adapt and over come themselves and their environment. They developed the skill of overcoming obstacles. They came to the same conclusion that this is my life and like the man says, “Get busy living or get busy dying”. This is the real reason you study bushido.

Skills are habits, habits, and both good and bad are learned behaviors. On the mat you learn how to overcome set backs and adversity. Listen, you will never be 100%. You will never be perfect. There will always be something wrong. It’s how you handle your setbacks and obstacles that make you who you are. Martial arts are about overcoming adversity. It allows you to practice these habits in a “controlled” environment. It teaches you to develop these habits. These habits are imprinted on you and become a part of your behavior. These behaviors are what make the difference between a life lived and living a life.

The more and more I study; the more I realize what a genius Kano was. He developed Judo to articulate the real benefits of bushido. He developed a way to train life’s most important skills: appreciation and respect of one another, efficiency or best use of resources, and purpose.

Enjoy your setbacks, learn from them, because after you accomplish your goal, they are what you will remember and they will matter most.

Martial Art and Self Defense

Sunday, December 16, 2007

“How To Increase Your Chances of Survival By 300 % in 10 hours Or Less

with The Self Defense Company’s 10 Lesson Self Defense© Course”

Predators, criminals, will strike when you least expect it. Like any animal, they will take advantage and exploit your weakness. You see examples of this every day thousands of people like you are the victim of a violent crime that will leave your loved ones angry and frustrated. And if you’re lucky enough to survive the assault, you will do what you can to pick up the pieces and move on.

You may live in a nice house, work in a nice area and maybe stay in a nice hotel. But all it takes is one wrong turn, or one meeting to go late and you’re in for the fight of your life.

For years I have been instructing people like you, battlefield proven techniques and strategies, that weren’t dreamt up in a studio, or conjured up in a dojo. They come from over 70 years of hard learned life or death lessons from people in civilian, law enforcement, military and criminal life styles and occupations.

You may know me as Damian Ross, founder of the ZenShin Dojo in Pompton Lakes NJ ( and international competitor and coach, but I am also the president of The Self Defense Company ( and developer of the Professional Instructor Program. This organization was founded to teach people around the world the truth about self defense and martial arts, to help them protect themselves better and to put realism back into the martial arts. To do this, we created the 10 lesson self defense course. This course will take ANYONE regardless of age, experience, size and physical ability and teach them how to become a tough target in 10 hours of less.

How successful is The 10 lesson Self Defense Course taught by our accredited, Professional Instructors? Extremely! Every day we receive dozens of inquiries as to how to learn this method of self preservation and right now there are people all over the world who are becoming more confident, more self reliant through the 10 Lesson Self Defense Course. So much in fact, it is becoming the fastest growing self defense course in the world. Every month we are reaching new people and empowering those with the street smarts and the skills to come home safely. No secrets, no magic, no instant ninja - just what has been proven to work time and time again

How Can You Get More Information About Training In The Revolutionary 10 Lesson Self Defense Course Today?
Just go to to find and instructor in your area.

We know everybody can’t dedicate the time to a full martial arts program but every one does have the time and responsibility to learn how to identify hazardous and situations and escape from danger (and you don’t need a Black Belt to do this).

In the 10 Lesson Self Defense Course you won’t learn a handful of techniques like most seminars and courses teach you and send you on your way only to be forgotten over the next few days. The 10 Lesson Self Defense Course will teach you a systemized protocol beginning with non-lethal technologies like pepper spray and personal alarms and ending with combat proven World War II and Battlefield Jujutsu hand to hand techniques designed to give you maximum fire power, keep you mobile and aware and create avenues of escape a violent, determined assailant. The course is taught in a semi private format (10 students at a time). This will guarantee that you will get proper hands on training and attention that will make the most out of your training.

For more information just go to and request your free information kit.

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