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  • The greatest teacher

    The greatest teacher

    According to Robert Kiyosaki, the Dalai Lama said one of his greatest teachers is Mao Tse Tung. Though driven out of Tibet, he marks the experience as the one he learned the most from. What terrific perspective! When one faces adversity and struggle, it should cause them to grow. Too many of our young people are coddled and over protected. Let's help them learn about bad experiences and horrible people so that they can grow stronger and wiser. To shield them from the world is to diminish their capacity to flourish within it. Follow our Cypress-Jersey Village-Jones Rd. blog: www.eternalmartialartshouston.com/blog ....

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  • Self-Defense: an Afterthought

    Self-Defense: an Afterthought

    My son's friend, who is getting ready to go to college, recently had a real scare. She, her mother, and her younger sibling were alone at home late in the evening while dad was out of town. Their camera door bell alerted them of some suspicious activity, yet they brushed it off as a bug or something random that had triggered an electronic alert. Just then, an actual masked intruder was trying to break in through a window. Panicked, and not knowing what to do, they called the police. Fortunately, the police sirens scared the would-be-intruder away and no harm came to the family. After this horrifying incident, the family is enrolled in firearm safety. I don't need to tell anyone that we ....

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  • The abundance of and irreverence toward information

    The abundance of and irreverence toward information

    Earlier this week I snapped a picture of this pristine encyclopedia set comfortably sitting undisturbed on the library shelf. It occurred to me that anyone that wanted to look something up would most likely take advantage of the several computers set up for their convenience. As we live in the information age, I notice that the more available information is, the less it's valued. Living in an on-demand society produces children with little patience and no regard for good old fashioned detective work (especially in a library). I submit that the more someone works for something, the more it will mean to them; information is no different. Let's teach children to appreciate buried treasure as ....

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  • Chuck Norris #9948

    Chuck Norris #9948

    "Chuck Norris is so humble he can brag about it." Look it up, that's actually number 9948. In actuality, I had the great pleasure of meeting him, shaking his hand, and listening to him speak to an audience of about 2000 in attendance. I really walked away from his short speech thinking I'd like to be such a cool guy at his age. He's quite accomplished, famous and well respected. He's actually one of those guys who's done it all and seen everything. Yet, when he spoke to a large audience of martial artists, he started off talking about Bruce Lee to satisfy everyone's curiosity. Then he spoke about his true passion: teaching underprivileged kids martial arts so they can stay away from gangs ....

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  • Self-sufficiency is the greatest lesson

    Self-sufficiency is the greatest lesson

    I feel very fortunate to be able to travel around the country meeting some of the very best teachers on the planet. Some are in education while others are in Martial Arts. Regardless, a great teacher is one who can impart knowledge to others and inspire them to be more. One of the greatest lessons that I ever learned about teaching came from Stephen Covey's book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, he describes getting his son to take ownership of the yard work. Instead of micro-managing him, he focused on the relationship and built the expectation of a clean and attractive yard together. How do we get children to do things for themselves? It's not by making them do it, but ....

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  • Better Together

    Better Together

    I read recently that the fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of death. The reason is said that the idea of public speaking makes the speaker fear rejection and ostracization. How confident can someone be without learning how to feel comfortable around other people? Though I usually think that too much emphasis is given to socialization, we do our children a great disservice if the only interactions they have are online. Recently my son was considering a very prestigious engineering college. All of those who attend this university are quite brainy and analytical. The person promoting the college spoke about the college's internal attempts to address the students' overall lack of ....

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  • False confidence

    False confidence

    In a very enjoyable book, Live by night , the author Dennis Lehane's character Thomas says a line to his son Joe that's so well-said that I just had to pass it along: "You're not sure of anything except your own certainty. Confidence you haven't earned always has the brightest glow." How true! I run into students whose biggest stumbling block is their confidence in themselves. I would rather have a student who lacked confidence than one who falsely trusts in themselves. You can help the former gain confidence, but it's quite a trick to convince the young and foolish in the error of their poor thinking. Follow our Cypress-Jones Rd-Jersey Village blog: ....

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  • What does your face say?

    What does your face say?

    I heard this story a number of years ago, but think of it often. During Thomas Jefferson's presidency, he and some fellow travelers came upon a dangerous river. A bystander watched what the men were doing and selected the President, Thomas Jefferson, to ask if he could cross with them. President Jefferson agreed and had the man climb on his horse. Once they reached the other side safely, one of the men in the party asked the man why he had asked the president instead of someone else. He had no idea that he had asked the President: Thomas Jefferson. His answer was simple: on many of your faces was written the word "no." On his face was written "yes." Let's be sure that we write onto our own ....

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  • The last step is enforcement

    The last step is enforcement

    Wanting children to have a productive break from school, I tell my students that I want them to do two things this summer: read and do chores. Reading improves their brain (and attention span), and chores helps them learn skills while helping out their families. Along the same lines, I offer parents an E-contract. The "E" stands for electronics. It's a simple sheet of paper with 7 squares for 7 days and room on the bottom for 2 signatures. The parents dictate how many minutes or hours the children spend playing with tablets, video games, tv's, phones, etc, each day. It's a contract between the parents and their children and I recommend they place it prominently on the refrigerator. The ....

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  • Alexa, shut up!

    Alexa, shut up!

    The other night I asked my home device Alexa to wake me up in the morning. It also gave me the option of waking up to music which I thought was a pretty neat trick, so I allowed it. The next morning I awoke to Bon Jovi blasting out of the machine. Due to the loud volume level, my vocal attempts to silence Alexa went unheeded. I had to shout "Alexa," turn off! Later, it reminded me of how kids (and adults too), can't receive much in the way of input if constantly giving output. The real trick is to listen twice as much as we talk, so the information can flow in the proper direction. We want Alexa to shut up so it can work, there's a lesson for all of us too surely. Follow our Cypress-Jones ....

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