“Sensei Does 25”


We play  a game at the end of class with this big red cube. It has exercises and challenges for the students on each side, except one……one said is for the Teacher. It boldly states Teacher does 25. 

Our students love it, they love to see the Teachers drop down and give 25 pushups. Its a great chance for the Teacher/Sensei/Professor/Coach to lead by example, to humble themselves, and remind themselves and their students that Blackbelt is a Verb, and not a Noun. That it is a state of action, not a state of stagnation.

I have seen this cube at a few martial arts schools, and even saw a few with the Teacher Does 25 taped over…….It breaks my heart as an instructor, a student, and as someone who loves martial arts.

Teacher does 25 is a mindset, and a culture that is sorely needed in the martial arts community, in our communities, and our country. 

Leadership is defined by action, by holding to not just the same standard you hold those you lead to, but exceeding that expectation, in the hopes that those you lead might do the same.

What opportunities for growth and leadership have you “taped over”?

My challenge to you is to rip that tape of today, that sting is much less than that of keeping it on.

Joshua Page,



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. 


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!



-Joshua Page,



Waiting for Change…….

Everyone wants to make a change in some part of their life. Maybe it’s income, body weight, fitness level, education…the list goes on and on, but everyone wants to make some kind of positive change.

What separates the successful, and those who are struggling, despairing, and complaining is many of us are simply waiting.

Waiting for the right time, the right conditions, for the next holiday to be over, until after the next Birthday, until work slows down, the kids are in school…..again, the list goes on and on.

The truth is there are no right conditions, there is no favorable time, there will always be another holiday, birthday, time constraint…….excuse to keep you waiting.

The good news is that the healthy you, the happy you, the successful you, the you that you dream about and more is out there waiting…….for you to come along and uncover it.

To uncover it a piece at a time through diligent and daily efforts. Through hard work, and dedication, and most of all through staying the course.

We think of change happening in an instant. Maybe it is the age we live in, where everything happens at the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. In an age of before and after pictures, we never get to see all the in between pictures. Never get to see the struggles, and the time it takes to get to after.

Remember, until we get started….we are just stuck on “before”, and that is no way for you, me, or anyone to live our lives.

Get up, get out, and start moving. Start living……and stop waiting for change.

-Joshua Page

Hickory Academy of Martial Arts



Dedication….from Moment to Moment

Just in case you were thinking about slacking, laying low, skipping out on your goals this week.

Remember this, “winning” and succeeding is not a one time thing, it is not a big event, not one pivotal moment. It is an every day thing, it is a habit, it is in the decisions and actions we make from moment to moment.

Champions are “winning” one second at a time, through continued effort, continuous discipline, through continuing to strive past our own limitations, or own negative self talk, past our doubt, and fears, and the judgments of others.

DEDICATION is not a personality trait, it IS A VERB….something that is breathed into life by being put into ACTION……

-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


Success Beyond Talent

Early success is a mix of talent and luck. Simply being in the right place at the right time, or having a natural inclination to something, make initial achievement seem easy.

Continued success however, has a funnel effect. Imagine how easy it is to pour something through a large funnel….now flip it around and try again!

Continued success is more often than not a result of continuing to show up as the funnel gets smaller and smaller, continuing through mistakes, carrying on past defeats and disappointments.

Making it past where luck and natural skill can never take you.

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

“No one can hurt me, without my permission.”

Ghandi is credited with that famous quote: “No one can hurt me without my permission.”

People’s actions, unkind words, lies, deceptions hold no sway over me until I give them permission to.

I am in control of how I feel, the emotions I choose to process, the ideas and truths I choose to believe.

The only person that can hurt me……is me. It seems radical, but isn’t it the only way that makes sense?

When I allow others to control how I think and feel, I allow them to be in charge of my life, in charge of my present and my future.

Today, be the captain of your ship, the architect of your success, the boss of…..you!

Joshua Page, 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,

Worst things first….

Poor asparagus, sitting quietly untouched all meal, just waiting for the chance to leave the plate and make someone healthy.  It is not until it is being scrapped into the trash before it’s sad fate is realized.

It’s natural for us to put off those things we don’t like, even when they will be beneficial to use in the long run.

This week put “the worst….first”, the cake can wait until there is something to celebrate.

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

But it’s Cold!

4 degree weather on the way to work this morning was less than fun.

That being said, I still made it to work this morning!

There will be so many obstacles between you and your goals, the trick however is getting past inconvenience, past comfortable, past easy, and on to successful.

4, 40, or 400 degrees we all have work to do, purpose to find, life to live and love!

-Joshua Page,