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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - Blocking the box

    Blocking the box

    One of the most frustrating things in life is definitely traffic. There's nothing worse than trying to get somewhere, often urgently, and other people are in your way! Rush hour and construction are understood and somewhat accepted, but suffering someone "blocking the box" is just intolerable. This occurs when a driver is so selfish that they would rather block up a 4 way intersection, than miss their light. Every driver has seen this and it's infuriating. What makes a person do something so self-centered? In an age where individualism is placed over kindness and courtesy, I think we'll be seeing more of this and not less. The news seems like an endless reel of people demanding their ....

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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - The joy of work

    The joy of work

    Recently I was listening to a radio program where the host asked his callers to let him know what their first job was. Call after call was filled with laughter and genuinely happy memories of times past. Even the horror stories and bad endings were communicated in good humor. In total, all of the callers had had great experiences, whether good or bad; they were learning experiences! Sometimes I think we try to shield children from work, but we should be the first ones to introduce them to it. Whether it's a few chores at home, a paper route, or a teenagers first "real" job, they should be encouraged and pushed. Of course work has its downsides, but the joy of work should simply overshadow ....

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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - Determination over feelings

    Determination over feelings

    Part of the human condition is being guided by our feelings. Sometimes our feelings serve us very well, and at times they are at odds with our own best interest. I see this frequently when working with children. Physical and mental exercise is good for the body and mind, it releases stress and builds up one's intellect, but can sometimes be lacking in "fun." Spending time in what Steven Covey calls the 4th quadrant, isn't productive, but feels good. This is a zone for mindless escape and frivolity. Those things have their time and place, but should be minimized as they add no tangible value to one's life. I often say to children that we achieve through our determination, not by our ....

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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - Historical context

    Historical context

    9/11 is such a difficult day of remembrance each year. Those of us that lived through it remember so much about where we were and what we saw and felt, and how the world was truly changed forever. Apparently Rudolph Giuliani is encouraging first responders to visit grade schools and give them first-hand accounts of what occurred that day because he fears the next generation won't understand what happened. A curse of being young is a lack of context or respect for a world that has passed before them. While reading the other day, I came across a great passage from Ivanhoe: "He who first opens Chaucer, or any other ancient poet, is so much struck with the obsolete spelling, multiplied ....

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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - Give praise where it's due

    Give praise where it's due

    I'd like to start with some praise for Serena Williams. She's unbelievably talented, hard-working, and holds up as a great role model. It's amazing to witness anyone who rises to the top of their fields, and for Ms. Williams this is no less true. However, this past Saturday, it was disappointing to see how she dealt with her perceived injustice. Even though she raised some great points with the umpire, and surely she's correct about "double standards" for women (Billie Jean King reinforced her arguments), her screaming wasn't productive. She invoked her daughter when complaining about her treatment, but she should have been more concerned about showing her daughter self-control by example. ....

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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - In defense of "Because I said so"

    In defense of "Because I said so"

    It can be a frustrating thing for a child to hear, and it can be lazy parenting, but ..."because I said so," can be one of the most appropriate and best responses that can be given to a child. I'm not advocating this simple sentence for every occasion, nor should it be overused, but it tends to give a parent or teacher authority and re-establishes the hierarchy. Speaking for myself, I like to give a look that suggests that we're done talking. Even the littlest minds seem to calculate that moving on is something in their best interest. The worst mistake a parent can make is to say this magic sentence, then explain themselves. Children aren't owed an explanation, but surely there are times ....

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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - Patience is a virtue but I don't have the time

    Patience is a virtue but I don't have the time

    "Patience is a virtue but I don't have the time" is an ironically funny quote by David Byrne. How true though! We all wish for patience, but lack the patience to get it. Standing in line, sitting in traffic, or waiting for Netflix to load can seem like an eternity. Does anyone remember a time before cell phones could bring us a book, movie, or mindless trifling with apps? The madness needs to be contained in my opinion, or there's little hope for a patient generation to come. Children are seldom asked to be quiet, now they're simply quieted with an electronic device. One must teach children to look for stimulation and entertainment in oneself versus externally. How is this accomplished? I ....

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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - Course correction

    Course correction

    Learning how to drive many years ago, I remember the instructor telling me to stay between the lines. As a new driver, it was a little nerve-racking and intimidating. He told me to make small corrections so as there would be no need for large ones. When children are young, this is the time for those small course corrections in life. A little guidance here, some advice over there, and some rewards and punishment too will do a great deal to build a lifetime of good habits and healthy attitudes. So many times young people are brought to me to "fix," as though I can cure what ails them. No one is beyond redemption, but the work is so much easier when children are young. Follow our Jersey ....

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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - Position and posture

    Position and posture

    At the beginning of the school year I always tell children to sit at the front of the class, to be the student nearest to the teacher. Our eyes track movement and divert our attention. When we see students in front of us, our mind wanders and we become distracted. Positioning oneself directly in front of the teacher will remove obstacles and multiply opportunities for learning. Every movie or TV show you can think of puts the "bad" or poor performing students in the back of the classroom; it's just common knowledge. When possible, see that your student is positioned where they can learn the most. On that note, it's worth mentioning how their bodies should be positioned: upright, if not ....

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  •  in Jersey Village - Eternal Martial Arts - "Not" a good job

    "Not" a good job

    I'm not sure that everything people do is worthy of notice or praise. Especially with children, I fear that we're too quick to tell them good job and pat them on the back. Compliments, praise, and encouraging words feel good to children (and adults), but is it possible that we're lowering the bar for expectations? I've seen adults make absolute spectacles of themselves over their child accomplishing the smallest of feats. It seems acceptable when they're a baby, but imagine praising a teenager for tying their shoes. At some point, praise should be reserved for actual achievement. If it's given liberally, without regard to real merit, praise has the dampening effect of lowering the child's ....

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