Monthly Archives: September 2015

Being a successful student.

This is a kind of part two of my post “Are you teaching or running a business?”.

As I mentioned before, a good instructor is always a student first, so does that mean that every student can just become a teacher and start teaching? Well, no. Not every student has what it takes to become a teacher, and most of all, not every student wants to be a teacher.

People start their training and learning for different reasons, personal development, learning and gaining new skills, increase their physical capabilities or simply to test their limits and push them further.

But not everyone who starts out on their journey of learning, successfully finish it and by finish i mean transition from learning to also teaching while learning, learning is a never ending journey, always keep that in mind. Only a handful out of many do continue on the path they set out on since the first day they made the decision.

So, let’s start with, What makes someone a successful student? Let’s explore the different aspects of an individual’s character that would make them a successful student, shall we?

1- The main thing needed in anyone who wants to learn new things is their Willingness to learn, without them actually igniting the idea of wanting to know and learn something new, they‘ll never take the first step towards a new source of knowledge that‘s waiting to be explored.

2- This comes after the idea has been ignited and the individual proceeds to take their first step in learning. The next thing is to Have a goal in mind and the surety of that goal. What does the student want to learn? Why does he/she want to learn that? What do they aim to achieve? How much hard work are they willing to put in? These are the kinds of questions that would give a student the direction they want to move forward in.

3- Lack of ego. The enemy of education is ego. The more you think you know about things, the lesser you actually do. Remember, there’s always someone better out there, always someone who knows more about things than you do. Learning from them, especially when they’re offering to teach, will just add to your existing acquired knowledge and experience. That’s how you become better at doing things. If you think you know everything, you’ll never learn anything, especially nothing new.

4- Respect for not only your teacher but your peers and the teachings that you receive. This statement shouldn’t even need an explanation. The most essential thing in learning is respecting your teacher, if you don’t have any respect for your teacher, you won’t respect their teachings either, you will always criticize their teachings without having any depth of knowledge yourself, resulting in  not learning anything at all. Remember, we can learn from just about anything and anyone, even the “bad/wrong” things, they teach us what not to do. Finally, respecting your peers is equally important, as they have traveled a different path than us, but they have reached a similar destination as us, and they got here by putting in hard work which deserves respect, not to mention that there might be something they learned along the way that you couldn’t or didn’t, which they could share with you, and something you learned that they didn’t which you could share with them, it would be mutually beneficial to both, increasing yours and their knowledge base in the process.

5- Open-mindedness.  Continuation from having no ego, Open-mindedness is essential in learning new things.  Too many non-essential thoughts cloud our thinking and judgments, so just think about the saying “Empty your cup”, along with “Take what‘s useful, discard what‘s not and add what‘s uniquely your own”  ~ Bruce Lee. It’s only after you’ve discarded the non-essential thoughts and data, you can take what is useful and effective for you, over time with enough good quality data acquired by you, you can then start to add from your own experiences, what’s uniquely your own. For all that, you need to open your mind to new things, to everything, being a skeptic isn’t always helpful, being cautious is. You should be cautious of the knowledge you aren‘t sure is for you, but still be open to it, for you might find something useful in it. As I said in my previous point, you can learn from just about anything and anyone.

6- Dedication and persistence. Nothing worth having comes easy. It takes hard work and perseverance to achieve success in life. You have to wake up with the same amount of enthusiasm that you had on your first day of learning. Only then will you be able to walk the talk and continue your journey towards gaining more and new kinds knowledge and experiences everyday of your life. Which would then be counted as your overall life experience that would help and guide you in your life’s journey towards your goals.

7- Finally, You need Patience. Not many have this particular ability. Everyone is in too much of a hurry to get everything really fast. Here’s the thing though, Rome wasn’t built in a day and you’re not gonna become a Rhode scholar in a day either. As mentioned in the previous point, it takes dedication and persistence to gain knowledge. It’s a life-long journey and a difficult path. But worth it for all the things you find out and all kinds of people you get to know along the way. Accumulating all sorts of knowledge along the way. Over the years, the only thing that should decrease, is the fog of illiteracy in you, everything else, (as mentioned in my previous point) should be as fresh and as plenty as it was on day one.

These are the things that make a difference between a successful student who could also become a teacher and a leader(which a teacher is in many ways, but that’s for another post)if they wish to, who is as enthusiastic about learning as a five year old going to an amusement park with two lollipops in their hand, and an average student who just does it because the society or someone or something else forces them to learn and then gives up at the first opportunity and/or at the first sign of difficulty, going nowhere.

Decide which one you are.

That’s it. Hope you liked my post. Comments are always welcome. Thank you for reading.

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Are you teaching? Or Running a business?

When we first start our Martial Arts training or when we attend our first self-defense session, those who are dedicated to the training, start with a particular goal in mind, whether it’s self-improvement or to learn more about the art or the subject they’re training in, or to achieve a certain set of physical and psychological skills, not many start out with the idea of wanting to become a teacher or an instructor in what they train in, but overtime as their dedication to their training grows stronger and the deeper they understand what they’re taught, some develop a desire to share what they learned over the course of their training.

So begins the journey of a student, as a teacher. The instructor now start to guide those who are new and are looking for someone to help them achieve their goals. When a student chooses to train under someone, they put their trust in the instructor to help them train in the most effective way to accomplish what they aim to.

A new instructor starts out with a desire to share what they learned over the years, to spread the knowledge and make a positive difference in the lives of people they teach. They offer the best quality of knowledge and they make sure that the student grasps what they’ve been taught not just in width, but in depth. In short, they care about getting results they promise.

Now, while there are many instructors who maintain that kind of great and effective quality of training, some lose the sight of what it means to be a teacher. They forget what they set out to do, their principles are corrupted and are clouded by greed for money and fame.

Many define their success by how many students they have and how much money they make in an hour, but the true success of a teacher isn’t measured by those things, it’s measured by their teachings, it’s measured by how positive of a difference they make in their student’s lives.

You can have one student and guide them in the proper direction and put all your heart and soul into their training and see the visible results in them or you can have thousands of clients all over the world who pay you millions for ineffective low quality material packaged in an attractive box, without any positive difference.
The more successful teacher out of the two, for me would be the former. The latter is just a more successful businessman. You can teach a handful of people in a public park and still help them achieve their goals, as long as you’re honest towards yourself, your students and in your training. That, for me, is true success.

On a side note, an important thing to remember for anyone who wants to teach. An instructor should always be a student first. Without always evolving and learning new things yourself, you won’t be able to help anyone else either.

That’s it. Thank you for reading.

Be-lie-f – The ultimate flaw within ourselves.

What I’m about to write will offend a lot of people, so if you’re one of those, please do not read any further.
I have never written a post that goes off-topic from self-protection and fitness, but today, something just sparked inside me after reading some books and researching some events and incidents. I started typing my analysis and thoughts in wordpad and this is what came out.
The things in this article are exceptionally harsh. Please, do not read further if you don’t prefer reading harsh realities of human nature.

You see, I’ve noticed that the fundamental flaw in mankind is our inability to accept the differences between others and oneself. The lack of open judgement and the problem of being egocentric. We force and demand, we indoctrinate and invade, just to practice what we believe is right. Somewhere along the lines, we’ve deformed ourselves into something much sinister: A self-worshiping species who thinks what we are doing what is right. When we force someone to change, they might submit or they might not. They’ll hate us for trying to change them and we’ll hate them for trying to change us.

That is the fundamental flaw, that is the root of all conflicts between mankind. The human ability that is called “belief” has been around for thousands of years. It allows us to practice what we believe is correct and for us to have our boundaries to what is right and what is wrong. We pursue what we desire and what we feel is right. But through it all, overtime, we’ve misused our beliefs.
We started to strive to force what we insist is correct on others by indoctrination, war, murder, and other perverse methods in the name of our beliefs. But humans will be humans as we are all obdurate creatures who want to change others, but refuse to change ourselves.

We refuse to accept that 1+1=2 is correct, and that 10-8=2 is also correct just because your mum or dad or friend or teacher said so, and that they each have adopted the very same belief they are propagating from somewhere else. We refuse to believe that anything that is out of the ordinary is wrong, and that everyone else is non-deserving except ourselves while indulging in hypocrisy. This flaw is global in mankind, it applies to all religions, all races, all cultures even and not just one in particular. This flaw may manifest as a positive intention, but in reality, we are all unaware that we are just wolves in sheep’s clothing.

We are just all self-conceited, narcissistic creatures who believe we are the most deserving, holy, proper beings without realizing the sad truth that is we are the exact opposite of that.
We all grew up being taught that to be a good person, you have to practice a certain set of things. We were taught that our belief is the one true belief that follows the one true law and order, and then we try to make another person practice our beliefs to “save” them, and they will think that their belief is the one true belief and ours is a false belief and at the same time they will try to “save” us. We will hate them when they deny our beliefs, and they will hate us when we deny theirs.

We like to find excuses to force our doctrine on others using religion, politics, moral beliefs, culture and even love. We like to segregate ourselves from others because we feel uncomfortable around them, in that our beliefs are supreme and everything and anything else is inferior and incorrect, not knowing and/or acknowledging that they feel the exact same thing when they’re around us.

You can try to “save” others from taking a step towards what is “wrong” by force, but don’t forget, that for every step you make someone take into your world of right and wrong, you are moving a step forward towards theirs. They will hate you for it, and you will hate them for it. There is no right or wrong. No proper or improper way of living. No one true law that we all must follow because we each have our own beliefs.

You can say that all we have to do is be open-minded and be accepting to fix this problem in our world, but you cannot deny the fact that what you consider as open-minded and accepting may not be shared as a common thought with another person.
Beliefs are not based in logic or facts or rational thoughts or deductive reasoning, they’re based in idealistic thinking, emotions and personal bias. The only truth that you find in one’s beliefs, is the believer’s own or what was ingrained into them from childhood.

It’s universal, there is no solution to this. I am invading your beliefs if you disagree with my opinion because you have your own beliefs of what is right and wrong. And you are invading mine when you say this is “blasphemy” and abuse, because I have my own beliefs of what is right and wrong.

The world we call home, is in conflict because we have created impasses by ourselves with ourselves. Without this “belief”, we will not be humans. And this– Is the ultimate flaw of mankind. We are the flaw within ourselves.

Mind you, this article is mainly focused on those majority who try and force their beliefs on others, despite their unwillingness to accept them and not on the few who live and let live.

Did you know that confirmation bias is a side effect of our beliefs? The stronger they are, the less we are willing to accept anything that says otherwise. We are biased to our own pre-programmed beliefs, we are slaves to them and unless and until we are willing to keep our minds open and not let our bias and our emotions get the better of us and not let a cocktail of chemicals in our brain dictate our behavior, unless we let something else in, something that’s other than our own beliefs, something that conflicts with them, something that challenges them, points out the flaws in them, unless we keep our minds open to more than just what we think is “right” and unless we learn to see things from the perspective of those who we condemn, we will never truly accept each other and therefore, are doomed to fail as a species.

That is it.
I do Thank you for reading my rant. If you didn’t, that’s fine too.