Just Jump…..Why You Should Start Martial Arts Now

“As soon as I get in shape…..When my schedule is not so busy…..when I have a little more money……as soon as I start my diet……when I get a little stronger.”


We have all heard these or said these before starting our martial arts training. They are the little things we tell ourselves and others about why we can’t train…..and they are all natural.

 The truth is we know deep down that we really want to train, but the thought of walking into an Academy just plain scares us.


The good news is…..you don’t have to be! Training in a good Academy will not be a scary experience, will not require you to be an Olympic athlete, and it not just affordable…..but you can’t afford not to do it!

 “AS SOON AS I GET IN SHAPE”………They only way to get in martial arts shape, is by doing martial arts. No other exercise can duplicate the movement and coordination you develop on the mat. More importantly it is one of the only forms of exercise that lets you develop at your own pace, that focuses on perfect technique, and smooth repetition.

 “When my Schedule is not so Busy”…….The truth is, our schedule is never going to slow down. Life has a way of piling up responsibilities, events, obligations. We have to make time for ourselves, to remember we have the power to create the lives we want to live. The great news is you can stay consistent, make phenomenal growth, and reach your goals by setting aside a few hours each week and sticking to it.

The Average Adult spends 3 Hours a day in screen time……..imagine just investing that much time on yourself over the course of a whole week. We create time for the things we value!

 “I Can’t Afford to Train.” The cost of training might seem expensive at first glance, but training at most Academies only costs between 3 to 5 Dollars a day. Less than the Starbucks you picked up this morning, or the First Run Movie Ticket you bought this weekend, less than a night out on the town…..and that is just the short term.  Consider the long term cost…..your insurance copay is probably more expensive than 3 to 6 Months of Training. Medication to treat preventable illness and injury, the cost of injuries that could be avoided by training, just the feeling and benefit of having a healthy body outweighs the cost of class. You literally cannot Afford to Train!

 Training at a Good Academy is like becoming a part of a Positive, Caring, Team. Where each person is dedicated not just to self improvement, but to helping you improve too! The atmosphere is positive, the classes are challenging and fun….and it is kind of place that you look forward to coming back to.

 Don’t wait………Jump. Jump into training, into a new life, a new year, and a journey that will last a Lifetime!

Ready to Jump, Find a Great Academy Here: http://www.carolinabjj.com


On Mastery and Martial Arts

“As a martial artist I get the opportunity to work and study with some truly amazing people, I also get to meet some people who are truly amazed with themselves. I met one of the two today. Which prompted the following observation: Any self proclaimed Master, is most likely a poor judge of character. True talent, true knowledge, and skill needs no proclamation. Real Mastery is usually marked by humility, generosity, and kindness.”


The greats, do not need to tell anyone they are great. It is evident in the way that the speak, the way they move, the way they instruct on the mats. More importantly, it shows in the way they treat others, the life they live, and the example they set off the mat.

To become a Teachers Teacher, a true Master, like Helio Gracie, like Rickson Gracie, like Pedro Sauer, like Gichin Funakoshi, requires a commitment, vision, and effort that very few can ever conceive, and even fewer will ever achieve.

Anyone can claim greatness,  but the lack thereof is readily seen in their actions. There is no way to talk your way into a set of skills that are gained through a lifetime of effort, to fake the deep level of understanding that comes through years of study and dedication. Simply put you can’t google your way into mastery.  


Manners and Martial Arts

IMG_0893Good manners, common courtesy, and respect seem to be in a bit of a decline in recent history.

With the advent of social media, and the power of anonymity it provides, it is easier than ever to say and do things that you might not do in person. In a society that seems to be speeding up exponentially, people just don’t seem to have the time……..for patience.

Popular culture is bombarded with examples of this type of behavior, even our Presidential Debates have taken on a decidedly “Jersey Shore” feel to them. Most of the popular shows, movies, and media are filled with topics, and language that are anything but respectful, courteous, and kind.

As we go speeding through our day, inundated with bad examples, running eternally late, tethered to our devices is it any wonder why manners seem to be in short supply?

In fact manners might be considered one of the great challenges ours and future generations face. Why is that you might ask? Because manners….how you speak to others, how you treat others, how you act to the people we meet, the people we love….and those that we have trouble dealing with is in direct relation to the amount of self respect we have for ourselves, for the respect we have for the people around us, and is a direct reflection of the morals, and principles that guide our lives.

Can you have good manners, and be devoid of solid morals and guiding principles? Of course you can (See: Eddie Haskell), but you cannot have solid morals and guiding principles without having good manners.

Yes Sir, and Yes Mam are the building blocks of something far more important…..Respect.

That is one of the most powerful lessons Martial Arts teaches us. Having an environment, where it is the rule, and not the exception to use manners sets the stage for mutual respect. Having an environment where there are high expectations or consequences for what comes out of your mouth, fosters responsibility. Being held to a high standard of behavior on and off the mats, is a great way to build a leader.

From bowing on the mats, to shaking the instructors hand, looking classmates in the eyes and thanking them for a good class, bowing to an opponent before you fight and hugging them after the match is over, respecting the hierarchy of belts, and being expected to demonstrate and perfect required lessons/techniques, to helping new students…..the list goes on and on and on. Martial Arts is one of the few places where manners are expected, morals are not just taught, but displayed by the teachers and high ranking students, where respect, kindness, humility, and perseverance are celebrated, encouraged, and taught…..one on one, without screens, without phones, and without apology.  

-Joshua Page, Hickory Academy of Martial Arts


Being a Nail to Become a Hammer


Everyone is prepared to win. To accept victory. To hold the Trophy. 

Not everyone has wrapped their brain around being…….well……just plain whooped. 

It takes the right frame of mind to accept that today was not your day, that no mistakes were made in the judging, no excuses can explain away, no amount of denial will erase the fact that today you were the nail, and someone else was the hammer.

Most people react to being the nail by quitting whatever it is that they happen to be a nail in. That might be a karate, or jiu-jitsu class, it could be a sport, it might even be a class at school, a subject of interest, or even a relationship. 

To them being a nail is too much of many different emotions, like embarrassment, like failure, like they are inferior, like they are weak, like many different things that just makes their stomach churn.

What they fail to understand is that being a nail is the only way understand how to be a hammer.

As we begin to deal with what the hammer throws at us, we first begin to understand how to survive adversity, we begin to be toughened by the hammer, we have a chance to calm down in the face of it, and start to see when it is headed for us.

We start to be able to resist it’s force, we begin to find it’s patterns, to understand it’s movement, to know how the hammer does what it does.

Compared to the newer nails we hardly even look like a nail anymore, we certainly don’t act like one. We have been forged by the hammer, not driven away by it.

We are ready to become the hammer, to keep the new nails in check, and shape them the way we have been shaped.

We will teach them how to become a hammer by being a nail because we understand the process through our own experience, through our own perseverance, and through our own time as a nail.

Wherever you are in your journey remember it is a never ending cycle. Sometimes you are the hammer, sometimes you are the nail. Either way, just be glad they haven’t put you back in the tool box yet!

-Joshua Page


Bees, Flowers……and Destiny

I had a “Hallmark Moment” the other day. Sitting in a beautiful country inn, surrounded by happy people, a beautiful day beaming in through the windows, illuminating a breathtaking flower garden with children running and playing.

As I was soaking it in, I noticed bees buzzing from flower to flower….something I have seen thousands of times before…..something I never really stopped to consider for how amazing it is.

A plant that somehow over the course of time developed itself to produce a nectar the bees would be drawn to, a nectar whose purpose is to get the bees to land just so the plants pollen will collect onto the bee, and have the chance to be transferred to another plant, for the possibility of pollination. For the chance of making a new plant, to help continue the cycle of life for future plants….and for future bees.

What is even more intriguing are all of the millions of other wonderful connections that can be traced back to this one phenomena, of all of the connections that this one particular “every day” occurrence lead to.

It leads me to believe.

There is no every day, no ordinary, no run of the mill. That this world and everything in it are here for a purpose, that we are all designed with a purpose, with a connection to the world around us, as a much needed piece in an ever-growing puzzle.

That just by being yourself, being true to who you are, can and will send ripples through the entire planet. The we are all designed with a purpose, and a reason for being.

Find yours today, and start living the life you were born for.

Joshua Page,

Success in the Martial Arts

92675704802097857_o1ATBOen_cI get asked from time to time for advice, tips for becoming successful, from students, people I train with, and even from “competitors”. It made me sit down and think about what I think is important and what might be helpful. Here are the keys that I feel are of importance to becoming a good blackbelt, and a pretty good person.

Three Keys to success in martial arts

1) Success in anything, especially martial arts,  is simply about consistency. We are what we consistently do. Not what we do intently for six weeks, or a month. You have heard that “Success is 80% showing up on time” and if that is the case then the other 20% is simply staying there.

The people who make it from white belt to blackbelt, or to a championship level are a diverse group. Some athletic, some young, some rich, some poor, some who started with two left feet, some who started after 30, but what they all have in common is consistency. They show up when it is convenient, and when it is not, they make the extra drive to a quality school, they come to class through the highs and lows, through the heat, and cold, through bumps and bruises, through praise and correction. Before they are an expert in martial arts, they are an expert in showing up.

2) Passion is great to get you started, but you need commitment to keep you going. We are never short on passion…..just look at the marriage rate in America, however commitment is a harder commodity to come be……just look at the divorce rate in America!

Everyone loves coming into the dojo when their uniform is new, all the classmates are new, when you haven’t used all the equipment yet, when the techniques are fresh, and when “that was a cool drill, I like that one!” Passion will sweep you through those first few months no problem.

Passion fails to take you past those first few months, past those bumps in the road…..and their will always be bumps in the road, past those minor injuries, those aches and pains, through that time when the drills aren’t so new “not this again”, past repetition “if I have to sidekick again, I am going to scream”, past seeing the same faces “I have to spar them again!”. Passion ignigtes the flame, but commitment is needed to fan it.

Commitment is continuing to train because it is going to take you somewhere you want to go, make you into someone you want to be. It is the “paddle for your sail boat, when the winds die down for a little bit”

3) Pride, showing up is the first step, passion and commitment come next but pride is the difference maker.

Pride is doing that last rep, like the first because you will not accept any less. Pride is giving it all when there is no chance of you winning because you refuse to accept defeat. Pride is “putting your name on your work”. Pride is what separates who wants it enough to go through the motions, and who wants it enough to become their very best. Pride is found clearly seen at the end of the round, after you have been knocked down, when your nose is bleeding, and just beyond where others have quit. Pride is not a function of athletic ability, genetic gifts, or muscle mass, pride is a function of your heart, your desire to be better, you commitment not to fail, and more importantly not to give up.

Of course the three keys are useless without one important factor…..knowledge. Find a martial artist who you want to be like, who exhibits the three keys above, and who will demonstrate all three in passing their skills, knowledge, and example on to you.

Find these keys in yourself and the people around you, and it is not a question of if, but simply when it will be your time to shine.

Joshua Page,

Hickory Academy of Martial Arts, Hickory NC


Start…..at the end

Have you ever been on a plane that didn’t announce it’s destination? How successful would the airline industry be if they didn’t?

Would you get on a plane if you had no idea where it was going…..probably not. However how many of us wake up every single morning without a clue of where we are going, and if even if we have an idea of where we want to go, we have no clue why.

Start with the end in mind, start with not only where you won’t to go but why. Start with a destination…..and you just might make it.

-Joshua Page,

Ham and Eggs with a side of commitment…..

The Hickory Academy Minute is an ongoing series of quick talks to help you take your training on the mats and expand it into your everyday lives. This Minute is dedicated to commitment.
Enjoy, and share it with someone else who might enjoy it too!

-Joshua Page,

From Dreams to Goals….

PrintWe all have dreams, desires, aspirations, so few of us set goals. Everyone has the desire to be something bigger than they are, but few have the will to make it happen.

If you want to get closer to the version of yourself you imagine in your head when you are driving home, or singing in the shower, simple writing those goals down on paper (a notebook card) is a great step. Greater still is putting an expiration date on those goals. A set time frame that you will revisit, and evaluate your progress, that if you have not met your goal you will regroup, refocus, and move forward toward accomplishing your goal.

Simply put a Goal is not a Goal if it has no expiration date, no deadline….it is simply a dream.

Don’t get me wrong dreams are great, but what if we stopped living our whole lives in our heads and started living our dreams out loud…..2014 is full of deadlines and expiration dates. How many will you use?

Joshua Page, www.hickorymartialarts.com