The Person most likely to Attack You!

Mass shootings, car bombings, riots, and genocide are words that we hear all to often in today’s world. 

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We are faced with some pretty harsh realities every time we turn on TV, the radio, online…..pretty much anywhere we get our news these days.

It is easy to get caught up, to begin to worry about who is sitting behind you in the theater. About that noise you thought you heard. About that stranger walking too close to you in the parking lot……but……

The reality is right now, statistically speaking, is the safest time to live in all of recorded history. For the most part we come and go through our daily lives in relative safety, without the threat of injury, dismemberment, or death from our fellow man.

The sad reality is that we are more likely to get attacked by ourselves than anyone else.

Our heart is more likely to harm us than anyone else. The killer hiding downstairs is the refrigerator! Filled with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure….and some Tupperware with some  new strain of fungus growing steadily.

quickreliefWe are more likely to be harmed by our device, induced insomnia. By our inability to sleep and decompress without some show, movie, or podcast blurring in our headphones than anyone hiding under our bed.

We are more likely to sabotage ourselves with self doubt, with apathy, and just plain laziness then have someone tamper with our brake lines.

The good news however is that we are our best defense against……..ourselves. Here are a few tips of keeping you safe from YOU!

  1. Turn the devices off! Take time to be connected to people not the internet. To be surrounded with silence every once and a while. IMG_0994To get lost in nature more, and online less. The truth is we are designed to be a part of the world around us, to engage with people, places, and things, and without the aid of a screen.
  2. Trash In, Trash Out! You literally are what you eat. Pick foods that make your body feel good, even if the don’t make your mouth feel good. Buy foods with an ingredient list as small as possible, and made from ingredients that you can pronounce without a chemistry degree. Eat to enjoy the next ten years of your life, and not the next ten minutes.
  3. Invest in Yourself Everyday! Your success, your joy, your health is not a result of major change over short periods of time. It is made from small, incremental changes that we stick with over time. That crash diet…..is going to crash in a few weeks, but the decision to eliminate carbonated drinks will pay dividends for your entire life.

These are just a few, but they are more than enough to get you started. Good luck, and GET UP, GET OUT, and GET MOVING!

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-Joshua Page,

www.hickorymartialarts.com

 

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Reaching your Dreams

Your dreams are only in reach while you are awake.

Rise from your Dreams to rise up to the challenges and opportunities that will make them a reality.

Take the step most won’t. We all dream, but most of us won’t take that first step towards our dreams and desires.

Do not rise gently, but with purpose, with intent and clarity, and when that seems impossible, simply rise and put your head down into a run, or exercise, or anything difficult until it does.

Finally and most importantly smile. Smile and enjoy the ride……you are one of the few awake people, living their dreams.

Joshua Page,

http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

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

http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

The Bow Tie and Dog Collar Approach to Training…..

In life, in business, in relationships always….act with class, take the high road, smile when it is difficult, swallow your words even when you feel the acid bubbling up. Keep your bow tie straight, and your smile bright.

In training, on the mats, when you are drilling always….be loyal, keep the people around you safe, care more about the team than you do yourself, show up with your tail waging in the sunshine, and the rain….and never give less than your absolute best.

A gentleman never bends his back, unless he is helping someone up, and a dog never waivers in his commitment to the people he loves…..take a little bit of both into your training, and your life this week.

-Joshua Page,
http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

20 Minutes Between Snacks…..Quick Holiday Workout Ideas

It is the best time of the year again, to be with the ones we love, relax, recharge……and get fat! Here are a few quick workouts to keep your body as close to it’s pre holiday shape as possible, or  at least help keep you from being mistaken for one of Santa’s reindeer  this Holiday Season.

Routine #1) Ten, Ten and Ten: Very simple, very quick, and no equipment needed. Simply do 10 jumping jacks, ten pushups, and ten squats and repeat for ten two minute rounds. Rest 30 seconds to one minute between each round depending on your fitness level, or how much egg nog you have had!

Routine #2) Shadow Boxing: Again another simple, no equipment needed workout. Start with a one minute round of jumping jacks to get your body warm, and then go straight into a three minute shadow boxing round. If you are new to shadow boxing, it is easy. Just imagine an opponent in front of you, keep your hands up, chin down and start throwing punches in two’s, three’s, and four’s while you move and focus on simulating a real fight. Repeat the jumping jacks, and shadow sparing for five rounds for a quick pre-glutton christmas feast.

Routine #3) “Forest, I can’t feel my legs.” Quick but not easy routine to blast your legs into submission, and burn some of those Ninja Bread Cookies off. I would write down all the details, but I have got a Christmas ham with my name all over it calling from the next room. Check out the video below for all the details, and make sure you enjoy the holidays……..between a few quick workouts!

Goal and Values Part 1

Right now everyone has already made, or are in the process of making your goals for the new year…a few of us have already broken our resolutions!

A huge boost to our success in this new year is in how we set up our goals, and how we set ourselves up to succeed.

Goal, resolutions, promises don’t have to be about denial, and suffering. They can be about living out our dreams and passions!

Part one our two part series talks about just that!
See part two here: http://youtu.be/_yS78dikdxU

Enjoy, and good luck living your goals this year!
-Joshua Page, http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

“Lift as You Climb”

Tamashi: Loosely translated Tamashi is a Japanese word that means spirit. In our martial arts academy we use tamashi to embody the concepts of leadership and team building with our students.

The idea is simple as you move up the belt ranking, you become responsible for all the students below you in rank. It becomes your duty to make sure they stay in a positive spirit, through your leadership and guidance. It creates a culture of responsibility, interdependence, and creates a sense of family on our mats.

As we become more successful, as we age, as we climb the ladder of life it becomes our responsibility to “lift as we climb”. 

What good is success if we cannot share that gift with others, if we can’t build on the foundation that we used to become successful in the first place?

You might not realize it, but you have been given blessings that others can only dream about, you have gifts and talents that people you know and love are struggling to obtain.

Take a moment to lift someone up, to share your blessings, your gifts, your talents, your love. You will find by lifting others, you cannot help but climb higher.

“The rising tide, raises all the ships in the harbor”

-Joshua Page, www.hickorymartialarts.com

Adopting a Testing Lifestyle

How many Thursday nights have you spent in hurried preparation for Friday’s test! I think we have all been there at least once, and if you haven’t don’t worry I have got you covered!

It is the same in the martial arts world as it is in school. So many students wait until they are on the testing list, or until the big tournament is a week away to kick their training into “testing mode”.

Just like the tests we cram for in school, they have mixed results….squeaking by and sometimes falling flat on their face figuratively, and physically!

The wonderful and sometimes difficult thing about testing is that is not a date on the calendar, it is not just one day out of the year, and in the case of a blackbelt test it is not something that just happens once over the course of a ten year career.

Testing is a daily process, a daily practice. Each day is the test, each day is the challenge and opportunity to improve. It’s the sum of those days, those test, that forge the student into the teacher, the teacher into the master, and at the highest level the master back into the student.

The question is, are you training like it? Are you showing up in “testing mode”? Are you prepared to give all out effort, focus, and attention on class today?

I hope you are, and I hope when your testing date comes up you live by the code of staying ready so you don’t have to get ready.

I will promote those who have passed 10,000 small tests, before I will even consider the person who showed up for one big one.

-Joshua Page

http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

Selfish to Selfless

Traffic…..it brings out the best in us yes? If you get cut off, your mouth and fingers…well one of them…seem to be on auto pilot. However if you are the one cutting someone off well….you are late for something important!

Both are equally selfish and I bet you have been on both sides of that coin, I know I have, especially the cutting people off part (it was for something important right?).

Traffic, like any pressure situation, seems to squeeze the worst out of even the best of us. It serves as reminder to us that far too often we act and behave as if we are the only person on the planet with responsibilities, important matters, pressures, and stress.

Two quotes keep circling my brain that help me during the pressure situations. The first is “it’s not about you”….the idea that conflict by default is always between two or more people. That if I only consider my feeling and viewpoint, I am only getting half the story.

The other quote that keeps me sane is “in the end, only kindness matters”. Being first in line, or missing my exit will in the end of this life be of no consequence. What I say, do, think, and feel as a result will have ripples and waves far beyond my days on this earth.

We can’t change traffic, we can’t always change how people treat us, but we have control over how it effects us, our happiness both present and future.

Btw, if I happen to see you in traffic…remember I am going somewhere important!

Presence over Presents

Presents are those things that shine until something else catches our eye, presence is the gift that will shine long after we are gone.

 Somewhere along the way we have tied love to possessions (look under a Christmas tree). Somewhere we tied how we measure love to the zeros on the price tags of those possessions (see engagement rings). Somewhere along the way we lost focus on presence and focused on presents.

One of the most vivid and painful memories of my youth was standing looking out the window in my living room waiting for my Father to show up for Christmas. He was a solider you see, stationed overseas, and Christmas was one of the few times I would see him. Minutes that seemed lives hours, turned into hours that seemed like days, and then the inevitable phone call and excuse why he wouldn’t be coming that day crushed me. It wasn’t the first time and would not be the last, and it wasn’t the missing presents that hurt me, it was the missing presence.

Presence however is not always a physical location, especially in this world of electronic distractions, busy schedules, political and economic stress. Presence is about make a real, visceral connection to the people in your life. Presence is an action word. It’s about being involved in the small things like cleaning your child’s runny noses for them, to big things like teaching them how to live by living a life of purpose for them.

Presence is however much harder to produce than presents sometimes, especially for men (What don’t you ladies do better than us that doesn’t involve picking up heavy things?) It requires a person to have a strong sense of who they are, what the believe in, and the courage to put those guiding principles into action.

If you are having trouble turning your “presence into a present”, or if you need help turning your good intentions into real actions I urge you to try our 50 days to change your life with simple kindness challenge. It is designed to stretch you out of what is comfortable, and into what is wonderful. Don’t just try it, live it for 50 days and it will be impossible not to be unchanged, touched, and closer to your self and those around you.

A portion of all of our proceeds will go towards funding our special needs martial arts class, that is free to any child in our community with developmental disabilities. That contribution in and of itself is will help to provide not just an opportunity for a child who otherwise might not have the opportunity to train and benefit from the martial arts, but it affords kids and adults from our weekly classes the ability to come in and work with those children and learn the power of presence first hand.

-Joshua Page
http://www.hickorymartialarts.com