For the month of October we have put out 3 different sources of material each week on bully prevention. We are also working in class on non violent methods of handling bullying Many of those posts have been shared and passed along to those in need. We even did an interview with a Spokane Valley teacher to give a different perspective on how they are handling bullying in school. The reason for not knowing what to do or how to handle bullying effectively are being answered by many people across the country everyday. Join us to make our community stronger and end senseless acts of physical, emotional and verbal abuse in school and in life. We stand strong and we are ready to help anyway we can. I'm curious to hear your stories on what your doing to help. Make others aware and end the silent suffering by commenting below. Take care, Master T
The whole month of October is dedicated to Bully Prevention across our country. As a school we focus on this topic quite a bit, but set a side October and March to really focus on the issue. Over the next month we will be posting free information to help parents find resources for their child. We have been advocates for children's rights and safety for over 30 years. Please join us in sharing this information so no child must suffer in silence. Thank you Master T
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
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.
I just filled out 15 birthday cards this morning for my students and I loved it! Each card I fill out I try and do something personal to remind them how much I appreciate and love them. Today I did a little doodle of a stick person doing karate and told them they are awesome. I traced my hand the other day to give a student a high five via the card. I wrote a students name 50 times on a card so when they got to the end I made sure I had their attention. I also make check lists, tell jokes and I always remind them how grateful I am that they allow me to be a part of their life. Yes they allow me to be a part of their life is the correct verbiage. They can always be a part of mine but I have to earn the right to stay in theirs. I take that very seriously and maintain that level of humility in all that I can and will do for them. They decide to be my students and for that I am grateful. I tell them I love them all the time and they look at me weird like the word love is exclusive to parents and grandparents. I try and make them aware that love is why I do what I do. Love is the answer to all the worlds problems and most importantly it's the reason I get to write them a birthday card. I'll keep saying it until they believe it when I am no longer able to say it anymore. The best gift I can give them on their special day is for them to know that I think they are pretty amazing and that I am so very proud to be a part of their lives.
It's not my favorite quality to spin on things but I am a work in progress. A basic lack of human kindness and a modest amount of respect is one of those things that really bothers me. This week in class the Mat Chat just happens to be......Respect. We rotate every two weeks on a topic involving developing a strong character and have some great discussions. These Mat Chats are the most important part of our program and we have 204 topics we rotate throughout the years. You see anyone can kick or punch (check out Youtube if you don't believe me) but respect is like that extra magical ingredient that separate us from most activities. My students are awesome no doubt and they are all learning character traits that are not being valued as much anymore. Why do we focus on things that have little value or that people just think are silly? I feel it's still the right thing to do. You see forgetting to say Sir or Ma'am are not a option in my class they are an absolute. I call my students Sir or Ma'am always with no exceptions. I never yell at them or be little them ever. I never humiliate or make them feel less than period. I never punish them in front of others or in private, but I do honor their choices because I respect their ability to be human sometimes make mistakes. We all make mistakes and how we react to them sends them on a path of growth or on a path self doubt. You see I am up against every electronic gadget and excuse every dreamt of. There are a million things they could be doing besides improving and challenging themselves and I understand and appreciate that. When they come to my school there have been many sacrifices made to be there at that moment on both our parts. Respect is the acknowledgement of those sacrifices and our own unique abilities and qualities. I always tell the kids when they answer me with "yep" or "yeah" or "hey you" or even worse "dude" that those are my cousins and my name is "Sir" or Mr. Tibbetts or Master Tibbetts and I only answer to those names. I follow up that gentle reminder with a sir or ma'am at the end. I value respect in all it's forms because respect and love are pretty cool counterparts. I make it a point to lead by example. I don't need to burden anyone else with my shortcomings but I can honor the person in front of me for who they are and whom they wish to be by showing them a little respect.
I am going to start saying I teach Leadership Kwon Do to theses unassuming folks (in a polite way of course)! I picture the blank look that will follow so I will undoubtedly explain as follows. You know the kind martial arts style that makes you walk through life’s ups and downs with your chin up. I teach secret techniques that inspires your family and friends daily. The style of martial arts that gives you the drive to be better than you were yesterday. It’s the self reliant kind of martial arts style that gets you out of life's difficult situations that other people would hide from. Or my personal favorite the martial arts style of leadership that gives you the courage to follow your dreams. At this point the confused person in front of me or on the phone will say “oh thats cool, my second cousin on my aunts side did (insert mispronounced something here) martial arts. The next question they always ask is how much are your classes? I politely smile on the inside because free would still be to expensive for both of us. Reread the above and tell me what you think these lessons and this style of martial arts is worth? I would say priceless but then again maybe I teach the wrong “style” of martial arts for you.
*Author note: From time to time I do get this question from serious enthusiasts or thorough parents, but for the most part it’s from tire kickers. Those are the parents looking for a Groupon type activity and not looking for the life enhancing benefits of martial arts for their child. If your reading this than you already know about Leadership Kwon Do.
I have a very male energy about me and that can be a bit intimidating at times. On the inside I am just a big soft hearted guy. I love what I do and love the people that appreciate my efforts. I struggle in non martial arts settings to connect with people and thats alright. Most people never pull back the curtain understand that it took a lifetime to do what I am able to do today. I truly do mean a lifetime and that's not just an expression. I have spent the last 40 years learning and applying my craft, I have traveled thousands of miles to learn and compete, I have slept in my car and on the floors of strangers to learn, I have spent more money than I care to remember to educate myself to become a better teacher, I have broken many bones and bled to learn from some of the greats, I have been taken advantage of financially and intellectually by others, I have taken countless notes, spent money on programs and things I never used, I have spent 15- 20 hours a day training to learn new material to pass on, I have been up all night to help grow my school and provide the best lessons possible, I have had students pass away, I have spent holidays away from my family, I have worked two and sometimes three full-time jobs to get by, I have had to start over many times to be where I am today. You see I believe in you. I don't teach an "activity" or ancient mystic art. I teach faith. All the lessons I have learned have been about faith. Faith in myself is the deepest lesson I have been given through martial arts. I have give up so much to give the lesson of faith to you. Sometimes I have gone with out just so I could give to you. Faith and time is all I have ever had and is all I can ever give. The vehicle is martial arts of course but the values and the lessons took a lifetime to learn. In life we are lucky to meet people that believe in us. When we find those people we need to learn as much as we can while we can. Things change and people change. Faith in yourself should never change. I hope ego and pride won't steal your faith. I will keep trying to teach my lessons learned. I hope you do too.
Brent Tibbetts (Me)