The Case for Kindness….

Imeboysn the Immortal words of Patrick Swayze from the classic film Road House (ok maybe classic is a stretch) “Be Nice…Until it’s time Not to be nice.”
Great advice, but it begs the question. When is it time not to be nice? When exactly is enough…enough? When do you have the Green Light not to be nice?
We see people making the decision to “not be nice” daily. Just think about the last time you were in traffic….especially when there is road construction going on, or a slow driver… the left lane. Or maybe in the drive thru when you have to do the dreaded “drive up and wait for your food”, even worse…..when your Netflix is being slow! Did you make the decision not to be nice one of those times?
Of course you did, we all do, and probably….most likely….more often than not… didn’t help at all. It probably didn’t make you feel any better, and it defintly didn’t make anyone else feel great either.
So the answer to when is it time “not to be nice” is……never. There is always a chance to smile, always time to breath and take a second to respond the right way, to push aside all those unhelpful things and to just be nice.
It doesn’t mean you can’t be honest, or genuine. Or that you have to be a door mat for people to walk all over.
It means that even when the answer is no, or when you have to relay bad news, or you are on the receiving end of some good old fashioned “ugliness” you can always be nice.
Kindness is the one commodity that increases the more its used. It is that secret ingredient that makes everything taste better. It is the invisible beauty product that gives your face and your personality just a little more glow. It is the medicine that heals in a way that is hard to see, but easy to feel. It is the gift that makes the giver and the receiver feel like they both got something priceless.
Not Convinced? Then I challenge you to take our 50 Day Kindness Challenge it is a simple program, its free, and if it doesn’t work we will triple refund you (did I mention its free). 
bookNeed More Help? Simply Download our free “50 Days” Book to get ideas and step by step instructions and challenges to reach 50 awesome acts of kindness.
What you will find is the power of simply being nice….to be nice, and you will feel the clam and peace that comes from letting go of all those “not to be nice” moments, and you might even help some one else do the same……

3 Ways to Handle Criticism….

One thing that never seems to be in short supply is criticism. People always have an opinion of things you can do better, if you don’t believe me….just ask them!
In fact learning how to ask for advice, and what to do with that criticism can be one of the most beneficial, and most difficult things we can do to help us grow, develop, and succeed in Martial Arts and in Life.
Here are three quick strategies to help you figure out what advice to keep, what to sweep, and how to keep it all in perspective.
1) Choose the right voices: When accepting advice, always make sure to consider the source. For example if you want advice on how to be a better martial artist, you should probably ask someone who is good at martial arts. Always seek expert advice, it will save you time, effort, and decrease the amount of time it takes you to improve. One tiny piece of advice from an expert is worth more than a book from a novice.
2) Act on good Advice: When someone who know what they are talking about gives you some good advice the worst thing you can do is……Ignore It! Don’t worry if you have, we all have done it at some point or another, and more often than not it is not on purpose. That is why you will here your teachers say some things over and over again, some ideas an concepts take time to soak in, and our understanding of them will deepen and broaden with time. Do it now, understand it later, revisit it after that, and understand it a little better each time we do.
3) “Chew the Meat and Spit Out the Bones” In other words take what is useful and let the rest go. When you get criticism that is anything but constructive, or you get criticism that is just meant to hurt or bring you down…….simply discard it. More often than not the bad things people say about us, have nothing to do about us. In fact the more a person talks about you, the more we tend to learn about them and their perspective on life.
To review: Criticism is a good and necessary part of success, just make sure you find the right voice, you act on it, and you let everything that isn’t useful, or is hurtful or harmful roll right of your back!
-Get up, Get Out, and Get Moving!
Joshua Page, Hickory Academy of Martial Arts

Find the Right Ears

I wanted to share with you guys an excerpt from a new book project I am working on with Nate Lambert, we have been working with children and families going through bullying situations for the past few years and decided to devote the time and effort to make an interactive book families can use to deal with bullying. 

Enjoy the following short excerpt, give us feedback, idea, or questions about bullying we can add to our book, or just share your bullying story and help us keep someone “out of harms way”. 


  1. Find the Right Ears 

We have identified our problems, we have decided the best way to communicate our problems, we have practiced and rehearsed and know we are ready to make a leap of faith and ask for help, but who do we ask and why? What if they don’t care? What if they don’t help……all of the what if’s are swirling around your head right now, all of the doubt, and even all those things the bully is saying about you are probably bubbling up to the surface. Your self esteem, and self efficacy are at an all time low. 

But…..don’t worry, it is normal, very normal. Everyone feels, or has felt that exact same way at some point or another, and getting through this initial resistance is part of getting your problem solved, one giant leap closer to getting past this ugly situation, and back to enjoying your life at school, or work, or whatever space a bullying is stealing from you. It is part of a process that you will build a lifetime of future success upon. 

So don’t look at this part with dread, or fear, or doubt, embrace it, get excited, help is on the way!

4) Qualities of the right ears:

Now that we are ready to talk, let’s talk about who we can confide this issue with. 

  1. Find someone you trust: pick someone you know that is trustworthy, that you feel safe telling your problem to. Parents, pastors, teachers, coaches, a close friend can be good places to start. 
  2. Find Someone who can help: Your dog will listen to your problem, will care, and probably love to help…..but they are not in any position to. Pick someone who is in a position to make a difference with their words or influence. The old phrase “it’s not what you know…it’s who you know” comes to mind with this step. Look for a person of positive influence. 
  3. Find Someone who is fair: We are not looking for revenge, someone to bully our bully, so we don’t need to look for a bigger bully, or someone who is only interested in your outcome. We need someone who will work with you, and the bully, who has everyone’s best interest in mind. Look for someone who can help…..everyone. 
  4. Find a person of action: So many people talk, and so few walk. Look for a person of action, who will get things done, and won’t stop until the job is done, again we don’t just need someone to lend an ear like our faithful dog will, but someone who will lend a hand. Find a person of action.

Exercise: Make a list of people with the right kind of ears. Some of them might not have all those qualities, or you may be unsure about them, but we will always have doubts, and fears. We have to plan as best as we can and then become persons of action ourselves and speak up to someone we think will help. 


From the upcoming book “Out of Harms Way” by Joshua Page and Nate Lambert


Out of Harms Way Episode 7: You can’t run from your problems

Our seventh episode on bullying, and bullying issues deals with dealing with your problems head on, and finding positive outlets to deal with stress, and the people in your life who can support you through a bullying situation.

See all of this series as it unfolds:
Facebook @Out of Harms Way

The Impact of Simple Kindness

Problems, especially big ones, don’t seem to be in short supply these days. Sometimes we can’t help but feel somewhat helpless about many of the things that are going on in our world. In these times it is easy to lose our bearings, and even our faith in people.

The following story was a wonderful reminder to me about the impact we can have with the most simple actions, and how one seemingly small act can grow and multiply and have a profound affect on people, communities and the world.

-Joshua Page

What you need to be a Man, that every boy should know…

For the last few months I have opened the doors of our dojo to any family in our community that is having trouble with bullies. Honestly, it has been tougher than I expected. Not from the teaching or education standpoint, but from having to see how bullying is affecting those involved. The stress that it puts on a family being bullied. Seeing the children being bullied come in upset and frustrated about being bullied and very much confused about why someone is being so mean to them. As a man, and a father of three boys it is particularly tough seeing boys come in who have been bullied because as I have been through it myself, and can’t help but to think what if someone was doing this to one of my sons.

It is so frustrating to see bullies who have been misinformed about what it is to be a man, how real men act and behave. Acting out the hyper masculine, ego driven roles that popular culture, and advertisers are so good at selling us.

It’s one of the reasons that martial arts training is so valuable. It gives men a clear picture of what real toughness is, both mentally and physically. It creates a hierarchy that teaches respect for your teachers, fellow students, and yourself. Patience is developed through teaching and working with new students. Humility is learned through round after round with people whose skill is far greater than yours, and having to ask those people to share his/her knowledge with you. A sense of gratitude is formed for all those who have had to support and teach you on your path towards blackblet.

Above all it forges one of the skills vital to become a man that we don’t see on TV, or don’t talk about in locker rooms.

Kindness: A boy cannot become a man without being kind. Without learning the power of giving with no expectation of reward. About helping others who are less fortunate or advantaged as they are. Not separating themselves from those who they consider different, but taking the time to appreciate and learn from others.

Boys seperate themselves into groups based on all kinds of useless criteria like how much money they have, how high they can jump, how far they can throw a ball, etc. Men realize these things are a fleeting as they are useless, and seek to find those people who not only improve their athletic ability but the quality of their character as well. Oh yea, and for goodness sake smiling every one and awhile doesn’t hurt either!

Click here to see a video of a real man in action. I have shared it before and will continue to do so untill I find a better example of what a real man looks like in action. Maybe one of the aspiring men reading this article will tackle a project like this one day (hint, hint).