Goju-Shorei Systems

Martial Arts for the 21st Century

As you may or may not know, I’m a confessed seminar junkie. Below are some of my thoughts regarding participation in seminars. Also published in Black Belt Magazine, fightcon.com, usadojo.com and tangsoodoworld.com


Is your school, system, or style in a state of emergency? It could be if some of the following rings true. The title, IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS, is in reference to what I like to call the “glass bubble” in which some of the most competent Martial Artists live.

When was the last time you honestly endorsed, to your students or friends, participation in a seminar or tournament? I’m not talking about one in your own school or organization which benefits you directly in a financial or political way. I’m talking about the one which allows you and your students to grow by observing things from a different perspective. By breaking the glass, you’re showing your students that you care about their development and that you are secure in what you do as an instructor and what your system has to offer.

Throughout the Martial Arts industry there are promotions of this system or that style, all professing to be the best. In many cases the core and the basics are pretty much the same. That being said, why should you break the glass, take off the blinders, or open your mind? Well you might learn how to present something in better fashion. You might remember something you forgot years ago but which is actually important. Maybe you will actually see that something really doesn’t work if applied outside of the sterile classroom environment.

The most important effect will be the nature of the learning experience for you and your students. If you keep an open mind and try to learn something new, learn something old in a new way or learn something that supplements what you already do, you’ll improve and you’ll have some fun doing it. Don’t forget the fringe benefits: making friends, networking and supporting the Martial Arts community.

So do a little soul searching, be the Martial Artist you claim to be, quit being insecure, stop worrying about the next guy making $10 more than you next weekend, and break that glass.

Master Mikeal ‘Bear’ Smith
Reno, Nevada

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