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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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  • What great customers we have!

    What great customers we have!

    Not a bad likeness, I think. This was a drawing given to me by one of my young Tae Kwon-Do students. It was his parting gift to me and his thanks for my instruction as he moves to another part of Texas. We will all miss you Kavin! I'm always amazed by my students and their abilities. It's a great joy to work with young and old people alike, and to see the many talents and signs of good character come forth as I get to know them. I'm a truly blessed person to be surrounded by so many special and loving people. Though I may fail to say thank you, at least know that my heart is absolutely filled with gratitude for all of my wonderful customers. I learned recently that the greeting "namaste" ....

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  • How firm a foundation!

    How firm a foundation!

    In church on Sunday I heard a wonderful hymn: How firm a foundation . In it, a line spoke to me: "What more can He say than to you He hath said?" Of course "He" refers to God, but it made me think about the way we humans think and act. We are always looking for something new, when largely what we need has already been given to us. This is even more present in children who lack the mental and emotional maturity to distinguish things of value for things that are new. Let us help children see that they don't need a new thing, but rather to understand the value of what they've been given. This goes for the spoken word as well as the material item. Follow our Cypress-Jones Rd-Jersey Village ....

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  • Success is just around the corner from failure

    Success is just around the corner from failure

    The other night I noticed how hard a student of mine was working on their Taekwondo pattern. He's made significant progress and the complex sequence of movements has not been easy for him to execute. Even though he didn't realize it, I wouldn't let him "stripe," or advance. It's not that he did such a poor job, it's that I expected more from him. With young children, getting a reward can sometimes be counterproductive to real achievement. For instance, an easy "A" in school will make them think they are so smart that they don't have to study or do homework. In my way of thinking, I would rather have the young person strive a little more for that stripe if only so that they don't rest ....

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