Do as I say…. because I do as I say.. or maybe not?

22 Mar

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (Better)
A little better all the time (It can’t get more worse)

My next few blogs are going to be dedicated to changing your mindset, changing the way martial arts schools are run and in general being a much happier person. Thus, it might be a little more for school owners and people running programs. However, if you are a student these may help you understand your instructor a little better.


The economy, the culture, lazy kids, cheap people, disloyal students, the competitor school across town, newspaper ads don’t work, you don’t understand this new social media crap, you’re too old to learn this social media crap, no one understand tradition anymore, MMA has made martial arts crap…. I could continue. Do you know what all of these are? EXCUSES.

All those students who made it to black belt, all those trophies and championships your students won, the “school of the year” award you won, etc. You took credit for all of those successes. You were responsible for all those successes. Why are you unable to take responsibility for your FAILURES?

If you own a martial arts school or are the head instructor, you are responsible for everything. Own up to your decisions and your actions. More importantly, ask for help! This is the hardest thing for a martial arts instructor, admitting you are wrong and need help. And even when it is offered, we make excuses and brush it off… but remember, EVERYTHING that happened in your school was because of you! If you were perfect, you’d be in a much better place? Wouldn’t you be? How can you lecture your students about killing their ego, when you can’t put yours in check?


Am I beating you up? GOOD. The truth hurts, and like an AA meeting, the first step to recovery is getting up and admitting your problem. We need “MAA” as in Martial Artists Anonymous. We need to trash EVERYTHING and rethink and relearn it. Unless of course you have over 1000 students and your school is making $90,000 a month. If it is, sorry, you can stop reading.

No one is saying it is easy. I have had good times and plenty of BAD TIMES. I have had to turn my ego off and accept my failures. And it is a process, an ongoing process. I constantly need to put myself in check, remind myself I am responsible for both my success and failures, and constantly learn new things and improve the way I do things. It’s like that Beatles song…

Speaking of people with over 1000 students and a school making $90,000 a month, let me introduce you to a guy named Michael Parrella. Michael is known as a student of my late teacher, Chan Tai-San. But he actually began training with me. And even in Chan Tai San’s school, he’s my junior. PSSSTTTT, I’m higher ranked! What can Michael teach me? A LOT, including how to be a much happier person. Of course it was hard to “let go,” admit I was the source of my problems, and fix them. But I am so happy I was able to do it and I encourage you all to do it.

WHY? Well, because I learned a new way to do things. An easier, happier way. Why keep banging your head against the wall? And starting in my next blog I’ll start explaining in more concrete terms what I mean by all this.

David Ross


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