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ENGAGEMENT: Recognizing the Value of Training - The Keys to Martial Arts Mastery, Key #6

by Jeffrey M. Miller

Remember when you first started training? For some, it was just a few days or weeks ago, for others, years have gone by since we took our first step on the Path of Warrior Mastery. But, can you remember?

Even more importantly, can you remember what brought you to the program? What was going on in your life at the time. How long had you been thinking about taking martial arts classes and why then, at that moment, did you decide to take action?

Remember what you told us you wanted to get from the program? Remember the personal interview during your first visit as-well-as the chats since then? What is it that the martial arts gives you or helps you with that keeps you coming to class?


And, more importantly than "why" you began training is "how do you know it's working in your life? How have you been tracking your results? Aside from new belts and tips and all the trappings' that say you've done a lot, how has your training been helping with those areas of your life you said you wanted to fix?

You see, it's one thing to say that you want to learn martial arts or to become a warrior and it's quite another matter to be doing what is necessary to become the new you in your dreams. As one of my teachers says...

.."everybody wants to progress

..everyone is into personal development, but...

..very few are willing to look in the mirror to see where he or she is, right now. Very few are willing to ask the really hard questions like "why do I do things the way I do," or, "what habits do I have that are getting in my way?"

"Unfortunately, on the road to anywhere... can't get there from not-here."

One of the best signs that your teachers have to see who is, and who is not fully engaged in the program is that questing, seeking attitude. The students and members (yes, parents are learning too) who ask the most questions, or more specifically the right questions, are the ones who are both 1) progressing faster than average and 2) less likely to see that progress because their eyes are constantly on the road in front of them. For these students, the questions are not, "when do I test for my next belt or get my next tip," but, "how does this ABC relate to XYZ part of my life?

Everyone of us has the capacity to engage in what we are doing at the 100% level. No one can give 110% and giving less is under achievement. But, many students, both academic and within the martial arts, shoot themselves in the foot without even knowing it. It's almost as, without consciously knowing the damage they are causing, set themselves up for failure before ever taking the first step towards achieving their goal.

One way this is done is in not being able to clearly see or focus on what's important as discussed above. The other is in being willing to accept less than best at the outset.

While we may be Okay with getting less because we know we gave it our all, many have the habit of setting a goal like, "I want to lose 20 pounds," and then, in the very next breath, expressing, "but I'd be Okay with losing 5."

How destructive our speech can be to our own subconscious focus - don't you think?

So, as we enter the next quarter of this year, let's focus on the original goals, with any modifications since beginning. And, with an eye on results, lets be here (or anywhere you find yourself for that matter), fully engaged 100%. Let's ask the questions that will allow growth to be almost automatic and, if we find something that isn't serving us - if we cannot fully engage - recognize it as a distraction and let it go.

The goal of the Warrior Mastery & Leadership Program is to produce, what in Japanese is called, the Tatsujin - the human being developed to his or her fullest potential.

Not a karate master.

Not a good martial artist.

Not a Black Belt.

The goal is to become a Tatsujin...

..a master of life!

About The Author

Jeffrey M. Miller is the founder and director of Warrior Concepts International in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. He is the author of the "Foundations of Self-Defense Mastery" eCourse, which is available free of charge to subscribers of his self defense newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter at: He is also the creator of the EDR: Non-Martial Arts Defensive Training Program, author of the book, "The Karate-Myth" as-well-as the powerful, "Danger Prevention Tactics" video. Additional information is available by visiting

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