Martial Artists Have To Reach For The Diamonds In The Dung


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I was speaking to someone the other day who was getting fed up with her martial arts instruction.

Claiming to be misunderstood, persecuted, and unpopular, she felt the whole commitment was too much to take, and she insisted she wanted time off from the dojo.

No problem, that happens, and sometimes it’s what everybody needs to regain proper perspective, to see that the grass isn’t greener, and most of our discomforts are self-inflicted.

But I gave her an illustration, one that I’ve read many times in martial arts books.

You have to “steal” your training, this wisdom says, which means you have to aggressively take from your training what you need. It’s not going to be handed to you on a platter.

I see it this way. There is a diamond, a big, beautiful multifaceted treasure that is waiting for us in martial arts.

But it is encrusted in dung.

If you want the diamond, you have to reach for it where it is, smack in the middle of that smelly stuff.

Your treasure is in the hands of your instructors, whose job it is to make you confront yourself, your inadequacies, fears, and submerged secrets.

You can blame them all you want for your woes, but that won’t help you at all.

Like any movie hero, such as Indiana Jones, you have to go through some scary, slithery, serpanty stuff before you emerge with the jewels or the Holy Grail, or whatever you’re seeking.

Once you commit to doing whatever it takes, the task becomes easier, but never really easy.

After all, we don’t respect treasures that are simply handed to us, do we?

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of , is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, “The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable, ” published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph. D. from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He holds the rank of Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at:


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