I am not going to lie. After 39 years of teaching martial arts my first name (Brent) sounds weird when people call me by it. I know that may seem strange so I make a joke out of it in class. If someone answers me with Yep or Uh huh I often say those are my cousins from down south or Canada. It's not an ego thing mind you, it's a matter of simple courtesy. I never in a million years would have thought calling me by my first name would do have made me feel strange. Sir, Mr. Tibbetts, Master T are all the norm to me. At home I never hear my name it's always Dad, honey, sweetheart and so on. I guess because nobody ever calls me by Brent that when I do hear my name it makes me ignore it at times. Not on purpose but because it seems like it's maybe somebody else they are talking to. In a way being of service to others has made me lose my name and I kind of like it!
It's tough to make friends. It's even tougher to make good friends. One of the big changes we have made in the past five years at our school is to understand that socially things have changed dramatically. It's not for me to judge whether it's good or bad that things have changed, but to instead adapt to my students needs. I recognized that many of my students struggled to make friends outside of class. We decided to tackle that issue head on and here is what we did. We decided that we would have more activities at our school that invited the friends of our students. We broke them up by age so that they could relate to others in their peer group more easily and just had fun. The other unique thing we do is that we did not market or try and recruit them as students. Did that get you to scratch your head a bit? I know it fly's in the face of conventional marketing wisdom, but at the the same time it makes for a different experience for both the new friends and our school. It's honest and it's a great service to help our students interact with others they may never meet. Socializing is now something that is focused on in each and every class because martial arts should go beyond just kicking and punching. Until next Master T
Fear is an excuse
We are getting ready to start our Krav Maga program tomorrow and I am over the moon! I have been teaching this style of training since 1996 and have worked with many of the pioneers in the field of Reality Based Martial Arts. The one thing I notice is that everyone who comes to train in this type of program does it out of fear. It can be as simple as the fear of not being sure how to defend themselves or their loved ones or something more sinister. You see some people love fear. They love to talk about all this drama and negative stuff so they can justify their fear and then they do the most dangerous thing of all. They do nothing about it. When things are important to you in life, family, health, finances, relationships or even improving who you are, you will find the time and a way. Don't forget that the most powerful investment you can ever make is in yourself. When your the best version of you, then the whole world benefits. So step up and lean into what's holding you back. Sorry, what was your fear excuse again........ and can somebody help me down off this soap box?
I am pretty fortunate in that I can eat breakfast for every meal. I know it sounds boring but I absolutely love breakfast. For some odd reason I would take it over any other meal of the day and I am not picky when it comes to breakfast food either. As long as it is cooked and has some sort of bacon flavored bacon in it I am good. I guess thats why I have such a stick to it attitude about things especially martial arts. Some people aren't so stuck in their ways and often they are looking for the next big thing. Many times when things get tough they get going. I mean literally. I lose a few students at each belt testing. Not because we haven't covered the material in class needed to test or that we haven't give them videos or even the opportunity to have one on one lessons for free to make their goals. Nope that's not it. It's the only test I know of that you have 3 months to study for and you already have the answers and people coaching you on what to study. Nope it's not martial arts or the classes thats the problem. The problem really is with perseverance. I once read that Harvard does everything in their power to make sure everyone that wants to put in real effort is met with same level of support so that they can graduate. That means if you want to do the work they will make sure you get the help you need. I have used that philosophy for 20 years and up until recently have noticed a change. Some parents understand that things today are different and that maybe some of things that came naturally to us when we were younger have to be relearned. I mean Adulting is a thing nowadays where your taught how to sew a button or change a car tire and it's huge on Youtube. It's not easy to understand that obstacles are meant to teach us if we let them. That failure happens for us not to us. Sometimes falling off the bike is the only way we learn balance and sometimes struggling helps to find empowerment. The thing that you think is problem or is the obstacle really isn't the issue. The real issue is cultivating the power of perseverance. I promise you when you do understand that power that life will open up to you in ways you never believed possible. All good things take time.
Brent Tibbetts (Me)