Kaizen

I looked up the other day and it was almost April. What happened? It was just New Year’s. Time is just flying by. How’s 2015 going for you? Are you getting where you want to go?

Things have sure been hopping on this end. For one thing, we’ve been making a bunch of changes to our martial arts program. Things like a new website and a new Facebook page to better communicate with the students. We also launched an exciting new Adult/Teen class this week, and we’re getting ready to launch Combat Weapons sparring after a Regional Tournament, here in a couple weeks.

But perhaps the most important thing is our new ATA Bully Prevention program. This is a great new program that teaches kids how to avoid being bullied. It also gives them strategies for diffusing things if they’re ever in a bullying situation, whether as a target, or as a friend or bystander.

We’re going to start by presenting it to our Karate Kids in 5 minute blocks during our regular classes. After that, we’ll do the one hour seminar for others in the community.

Kathy told me once that life with me was always interesting. I guess that was a compliment. I think she meant that I’m always trying to find a better way of doing things.

I first heard this concept from Chief Master William Clark, one of our highest ranking seniors in the American Taekwondo Association. He’s been instrumental in the success of many of the top martial artists and school owners in the country.

One year, he introduced “Kaizen” at our annual High Rank Camp for senior Black Belts from around the country. A Japanese business term, Kaizen literally means “change for better.” Put another way, you’re constantly looking for ways you can make incremental improvements.

It’s hard to make big changes in your performance, especially overnight. But most of us can make a small change here, and then another one there. Pretty soon, though, those small changes will add up.

You might want to lose 100 pounds, but it’s not going to happen overnight. But if you can keep trying to get a little better, sooner or later you’ll end up getting what you want.

I don’t mind shaking things up a little bit, too. If there’s a better way, let’s try it. Sometimes we’ve done things one way, changed it up, and then gone back to the old way.

You keep trying. If it works out, great, keep it that way. But if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world. As another mentor, Chief Master Minton always says, “That’s just the price you pay for an education.” At least now you know what you need to do.

So I ask you again, how are you doing? What area of your life are you working on. Are you making progress? Try making Kaizen a part of your personal improvement plan. If you do, I know you’ll see results!

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