Skip to Content

Category Archives: Philosophy

The OODA Loop For Daily Life

The OODA loop was Air Force Colonel John Boyd’s creation. It started as a way to help train fighter pilots and has been adapted to other military and law enforcement applications.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Elements of Victory

“VICTORY”! What a sound word. Every athletes want victory in their every matches, games or tournaments.

0 0 Continue Reading →

To Black Belt…And Beyond!

You will find it in the advertising for almost every martial arts school around. The pitch to make you a “Black Belt” has been sold for decades.

0 0 Continue Reading →


Teaching+QuoteThis is probably one of the best saying that I’ve seen for how the martial arts should be taught. Well, all education for that matter but that is for another post.

There is a lot of discussion about how to teach according to the best learning style for the student. Which may or may not be accurate. The video below – Learning Styles Don’t Exist – fits my thoughts on this, but I’m no scientist.

The key point here, to me, is the end of Franklin’s quote “…involve me and I learn.” This goes past the learning style and gets to the passion of the student. If the student sees interest and value, then being involved will amplify the amount of learning that happens. Unless that happens, no learning will occur regardless of how they learn or the teaching style used.

While I was trying to motivate a couple colored belts to step up their efforts in preparation to testing, I had one of junior black belts tell me that I could “just make them work harder.” When I asked him how I should do that, he responded with “You could have them do more drills and count faster to make them keep up.” My next question to him was “Will that really help them get better?”

That is the real trick, right? No matter what my teaching style or how prepared the lesson plan or how well the drills and other training fits the curriculum, there is still the need for the student to WANT to learn it.


Once the choice is made to put in effort and spend time actively working to learn a subject, then there are no limits to what can be accomplished. There are several examples out on YouTube that illustrate this. The key to their success is not just the practice but the commitment to learning. This becomes extremely important when you consider that the physical aspects of martial arts training (and probably all physical activity training or sport) is only 10% of the material needed to be learned. As there are only so many ways to kick and strike, it is the learning of how to use these techniques and adapt them to a variety of situations becomes vital. Seeing the applications beyond the basics is the real learning. Developing the principles (for living) and the concepts/strategies used to apply techniques provide the opportunities to use you knowledge in all areas of life for greater success in everything that you do.

I will involve you in the teachings. Are you determined to learn?

0 0 Continue Reading →

What’s With All the Korean Stuff?

I feel that “all the Korean stuff” regardless of misguided expectations or politics, is an integral component of taekwondo, inseparable from physical training and paramount to a comprehensive understanding of the culture and philosophy from which the traditional Korean martial art was spawned.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Unforgivable Insult

There are many who jump from school to school, or organization to organization, improperly seeking for this of highest of bonds by requesting higher rank, despicable at best, but worse is the student who does not “value his instructor’s honor above his, who does not behave with the nature of propriety by promoting moral sense, by lacking faithfulness and sincerity based on righteousness, and having the inability to judge right from wrong in matters concerning himself.”

0 0 Continue Reading →

Retaining Black Belts

Retaining black belts, particularly adults, for the long term, without the anchor of burdensome membership contracts as a fundamental retention tool weighing them down, is a balancing act between commitment, motivation and commercial solvency.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Leader Development

Do not assume that you already “know” what leader development is. To paraphrase numerous articles and books on developmental systems, three things must be present for a developmental system is to be effective

0 0 Continue Reading →

What is a good instructor?

In some nondescript, intuitive, immeasurable, non-quantitative, inexplicable way I have begun to sense who the good martial arts instructor is and who is the journeyman that merely shows up and makes a presentation in TKD.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Thinking about Budo

Budo is about life and death. Techniques should be as efficient as possible with almost no openings. If there is even one small opening someone will eventually exploit it. Even after using a technique to successfully defeat 100 enemies you could be killed by the 101st.

0 0 Continue Reading →