Full Circle Jujitsu

How to Not Practice Technique Badly

How to Not Practice Technique Badly - Full Circle Warrior Arts | Full Circle Jujitsu

There is something to be said for blocking hundreds of punches, taking hundreds of falls, and evading hundreds of weapon swings every night in a class. Successful technique grows out of balance, timing, and awareness, which grows out of relaxation. If one lives in a tense state, one’s energy will constantly be tied up in tension. Balance, timing, and awareness are vastly improved when one can interact fluidly with one’s environment, unencumbered by tension.

That being said, you are not training precise self defense when you are practicing against a predetermined attack. Detractors of self defense training misunderstand this fact. In fact, many self defense styles don’t understand the method’s purpose either. What you are training for is attributes; attributes that are not feasible or too dangerous to practice against a live classmate. You are conditioning your body to be able to react in the moment when presented with a similar position. Should your body be conditioned to block an oncoming punch, it will react accordingly when presented with one. This assumes “good” training on the practitioner’s part. Phoning in attacks and defenses leads to ineffective technique just the same. Predetermined defenses have to have commitment from both attacker and defender to develop these attributes.

Committed attacks are necessary for developing correct technique. However committed doesn’t mean “all out” or out of control. Rather it means sincere and focused. Many times I’ll have beginners or visiting students punch at me, they will most times either be out of proper distance or they will punch where my head isn’t. To make a point I won’t move. The committed attack is aimed directly towards its target. It should require the receiver of the technique a strong need to react.  

Drilling martial arts, whether it be stance, footwork, or technique, and not understanding context, is the same as trying build a house with just hammers alone; just the tools but no foundation or nails and mortar to keep it together.  

Are You Hypocritical?

Professor Alessandro Ashanti Teaching in 1993

One thing that always haunts me is that the longer your train, the more your view might become hypocritical to an earlier version of yourself. This is much like comparing your current ideology to your own as a teenager or young adult. However, you will be the product of your commitment just the same. You might have thought you had it all figured out only to look back on yourself shaking your head.  This is all natural as humans learn best from hindsight.  It’s not hypocritical because you have merely experienced growth and understanding.  So in the end the best solution is always to train often. 

You have to be satisfied with the results from the level of commitment you’ve put forth with your training. Delusion can exist on either side of this fence. Delusion sets in easy for the civilian martial artist due to the fact that, unlike the warrior, there is no constant feedback for your tactics, strategies, and abilities in actual war.  Ego also hits all of us in the martial arts sooner or later. Sometimes it drives us early on; sometimes intermittently, sometimes consistently. It takes concerted desire to push past its threshold, whether it be high or low.

The most dangerous place to exist in the martial arts is to have one foot in and one out. Train or don’t train. Anything in the middle can have disastrous consequences. You have to figuratively and metaphysically digest your style, lest your practice falls into little more than exercises of pantomime repeated for years worth of time.  Your goals in the martial arts will not line up with everyone else’s goals. You will find others with similar ideologies, but not everyone trains for the same reasons. There is room for all of us in civilian life, from the athlete to the holistic-minded, the fighter, to the self defense practitioner. Some people just appreciate their teacher, and that’s why they keep coming back. Sometimes it’s a combination of many things. Sometimes the reasons change. What drives us to train is a very diverse field of inspiration.



“That Won’t Work in the Street” A Primer on Joint Locking

Kote Gaishi or Wrist Turn | Full Circle Jujitsu | Full Circle Warrior Arts

How many marital art instructors does it take to screw in a light bulb?  One to screw it in and 99 to say it wouldn’t work on the street/ring/cage etc. There’s not a student in the world that shouldn’t heed this advice: Just because you don’t get it, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

I’ve heard it a lot over my years as a student and an instructor: “That doesn’t work.” Whether it’s in regards to a general style or a particular technique, it doesn’t “work.” Most martial artists tend not to believe in technique that their art doesn’t train in. The “that won’t work” factor is a reflex for most.

What if a particular technique doesn’t “work”? My first sensei, Master Zulu always said, “Nothing is guaranteed.” All techniques and training have a point at which they can fail. However, just because one technique has failed, it doesn’t mean your whole arsenal should fall by the wayside. Utilize the practice of flow, and move on. A failed exchange opens up opportunities for new ones. Should I try to apply a basic kote-gashi (wrist turn) and my opponent pulls his hand free, their retreating energy has now given me entrance for a Capoeira Angola vingativa (a sweep that takes a person over your thigh with the aid of an arm or head butt).  

Joint locking itself is a very misunderstood and misapplied art form. No two bodies are the same, hence not all joints are made the same. Many styles attempt to incorporate joint manipulations into their styles, but without proper context or training method, students never develop these skills past a beginning level. Joint lock study should be a daily practice, not just something reserved for when the instructor wishes to add some flavor to the class.

Is your joint lock not working? Relax your shoulders and move from your center. Take the muscle tension out of your limbs. This is the key to all technique. Remove your affectations.  Listen to the feedback your partner’s body is giving you. Some are more flexible than others. If you “listen,” you will know the correct pressure to apply to each type of individual. This takes diligent practice to perfect.  Are you actually relaxed? When a beginner applies a joint lock they tend to hunch their shoulders or put so much tension in their hands that they are effectively working against themselves throughout the technique. Relax completely. This doesn’t mean go floppy; think of the relaxed motion of a horse in full gallop, and move your body unified with single purpose.

Have you eliminated joint slack? Many beginners go through the entire motion of a lock only to find their partner staring at them at the end. This is usually caused by a failure to take up the appropriate slack before entering the throwing phase. The amount (degree) of slack you want to take up is determined by the amount of damage you wish to cause your opponent. Obviously, we only take this so far when training in class.  I’ll go over the slack principle in more detail later.

Are you aware of your surroundings, and most importantly, your partner? Many students grab a hand for a basic wristlock, for instance, and their mind immediately becomes completely focused on that hand. They lose sight that there is a whole independent body connected to the hand! In the dojo this can lead to accidents. In actual defense it can lead to disaster. Maintain a 360-degree awareness at all times.

The First 20 Years of Your Training

Side Kick Professor Alessandro Ashanti 1994

There is a point in everyone’s martial arts career in which they have an epiphany that they don’t know as much as they thought they did. This is a natural process. The five-to-fifteen year student of the arts wears their training like a teenager wears adulthood. They are aware that people know more than they do, but they are pretty sure they’ve figured out a better way just the same.

The bubble burst of this line of thought can feel like one is suddenly in a possession of limited skill. However the truth is that they’ve now reached another level in their practice; there is a clearing of pretence that allows and facilitates further lessons. Those who don’t go through this find themselves repeating the first five to fifteen years of their training over and over again, never advancing to a higher plane of understanding. The cycle, like all cycles, should come full circle and eventually repeat itself, once again clearing the path for the martial artist’s future.

The amount of work to gain relevant insight into the martial arts, I would dare say, takes more effort than becoming a neurosurgeon (not that I can accurately speak to the process of becoming a neurosurgeon.  Bear with the analogy on its own terms.). The neurosurgeon, just like the martial artist, can arrive at a point of great competency, but is in reality just repeating and reiterating their schooling. To own your training takes far more work. I find the ten-to-fifteen year student thinks they’ve arrived at this point consistently. I was no different and no more or less wrong.

In the martial arts you spend most of your first fifteen to twenty years unable to see where you are in your practice. You’ve developed some skills, but you are never in a position to truly see what your next level is. This can lead a practitioner to think their skills and understanding are finely honed. If this person keeps training they will eventually find a whole new level opens up. Their previous skills will apply going forward, but their mind will forever see how much more there will always be to learn.

How to Open Up a Martial Arts School Part 1

You’ve been training long enough in a martial arts style and have always had in the back of your mind that maybe one day you would open your own school and run a successful business.  You are passionate about teaching and training and as a result you are convinced the public will see this in you and flock to your school.  After all, you’re a better instructor than Master XYZ, who has a lousy reputation.

People throw around the term “McDojo” way too easily these days.  They view this as a school that is watered down and pandering to the public.  While this can be partially correct, but not always, there are certain things to keep note of.  These are successful business owners.  McDonalds (where the term McDojo originates from) is THE most successful restaurant in the world.  They have two things going that they do correctly.  Their food is tasty (never mind void of sustenance) and they have incredible marketing/advertising campaigns.  The food doesn’t have to be 5 star quality for people to want to buy it.  They just have to enjoy the experience of eating it.  They are also the first restaurant that comes to mind (for most people) when wanting fast food.  This is not by accident.  This is a model of consistency and innovation while keeping their identity.  McDonalds has never changed what it is at its core: a burger joint.

Martial arts schools that promote a clear message and deliver on their mission statement (every successful business has one of these) consistently will attract a parents that want their kids involved and adults that enjoy the experience.  Regardless of quality, all students are better having trained than not trained.  These students will never go to the school of blood, sweat, and tears.  The commercial school fills this niche.  Anyone can develop warrior skills but not everyone has what it takes to be a warrior.

There are many ways to open a school.  What type of school you want should be in correlation to the amount of risk you are willing to assume financially.  Everyone single martial arts instructor in the world has their “dream school” that they fantasize about.  Many might have had them for a time only to wind up in bankruptcy not too long afterwards.

The Park

This is the easiest place to get started with any martial arts class.  They are free to use and for the most part easy to find.

Pros:  Free!  Open space.  Built in marketing from onlookers and passer-bys.

Cons: Adherent to weather conditions. You are displaying your technique outside.  Limited growth potential in a United States market (typically you top out at 15 students).

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Rec programs are a great place to start a class when you have zero students.  All parks and rec departments have a listing of courses that they send out to all residents of the city they are located in (huge cities, not as much but still there is adverting).  A class that fills a niche can fill up quickly with students.  Kids programs are most successful in this type of venue.  Pay is modest but you have no worries on overhead or advertising.

Pros: No rent or advertising!  The city handles all you promotion and you start off with several to many students.  They city will also provide you with the proper equipment that is reasonable to the practice.

Cons: The city can cancel your class at anytime they choose.  You can’t start right away but rather have to wait until they next cycle of classes are available.  You are limited by what space is offered to you and the times you are given.


I’ll continue this post in a “Part 2” going over the other types of schools you can open with pros and cons.  Coming soon.

A Man Named Zulu

Soke Chaka Zulu and Professor Alessandro Ashanti with as student.

My very first lesson in the martial arts came in the form of summer camp at the age of 10. The camp offered electives everyone could take, and there was a martial arts elective I signed up for which lasted 3 weeks. I have little recollection of how many days a week we met but I do remember being in the main large open field. The camp counselor was a Tae Kwon Do practitioner and purple belt (intermediate level). We had no uniforms and showed up in our regular clothes. He led us through a variety of kicks; even spinning and turning at times. From there the seed of fascination was planted.

I would pick up techniques over the next few years from friends I would meet along the way. I now call this “pick up martial arts.” Sometimes I would even find a class or two to take, but it took me several years to find a real teacher in the martial arts. My further desire to train was fueled by the Shaw Brother’s Kung Fu films with The Five Deadly Venoms being the first and most influential I ever saw. Interesting to that part of my story, it turns out that one of Master Zulu’s senior students (Now Soke (Head of Style) Bob Martin) was working at the local station that played the kung fu films. He was the person who got the films on the air.  This was my first experience in actually finding my way back to where I began, or in coming Full Circle. By the time I was in high school I was very hungry for marital arts training.

This was long before having the internet in your home. Back then all you could do was look through the Yellow Pages—younger folks can Google that term—and browse the ads. Schools that could afford to advertise were very expensive when you had zero income to spend, as I did. I would ask friends who trained about the schools they went to, but sure enough, it was always one of the overpriced schools I found in the yellow pages. One instructor in particular managed to teach half the martial artists in my high school. I lucked upon a junior high school friend named Jamal, who had an instructor that taught at a boys club just off of Chinatown. My brother and I walked down there one night to watch the class. The instructor was an imposing and impressive figure. He was a muscle-bound dark complexioned man in a tight fitting t-shirt who had the cadence and timber of a Marine sergeant. We sat down to watch class only to be told by the instructor that he wasn’t allowing spectators that night. We had no idea why but we were disillusioned. We never went back.

In my first year of high school, there was a kid in the school who was obsessed with anything ninja. He would even come to school dressed in ninja tabi shoes. Luck would have it that we would be put in a science class together. I asked him about his teacher and he invited me to a class in the park later that week. Thinking I was going to meet a ninja master, I was surprised to meet a man named Chaka Zulu. He was a man who I thought to be at least 6 feet tall by his presence, but he later turned out to be 5’6”. He was coffee complexioned like my mother and I later found out was just a year older than her. He introduced himself, “Hello, I’m Zulu.” My only word in response was, “Wow.” He invited me to train with them as they were having an informal workout. I was a bit intimidated but I eventually got up and began practicing some roundhouse kicks. Zulu was sparring one of the students and his motion transfixed me. He was a master of what I later learned was “flow”. I have seen many people speak of the concept but he is one of the few who truly embodied it, and to this day none have more so than him. I trained with Zulu and his system of Zujitsu for the next fifteen years of my life, after which we parted ways. Sensei taught me a conceptual framework that I use even now to absorb information and plug it into my personal matrix. Without him opening my mind to the limitless possibilities of development at such a young age, I never would have been able to be the martial artist I am today. I would simply have scattered knowledge of several systems that never found a place to integrate. He is no longer my master, but he will always be Sensei.


The preceding is a excerpt from Full Circle: Lessons Learned on the Martial Path written by Alessandro Ashanti.  Available on Amazon.com



For more information on Soke Chaka Zulu and Zujitsu please visit http://zujitsu.com

Are we True Warriors?

Are We Warriors?

In the nineties I taught under the banner of Warrior Arts. It was a great name that wasn’t in use at the time, at least not to my knowledge. I dropped the name after a conversation with my aikido teacher, who told me: We are not warriors. A warrior is a military person. Someone specially trained in warfare. These days the only ones that qualify for this bill are military personnel with actual battlefield experience, the elite of these being Special Forces.

This isn’t to say that our practice has no merit, but perhaps “civilian arts” would be a more appropriate title for what we do. We use our arts for expression, physique, sport, and self defense. As civilians, we don’t use our arts on any battlefield.  Despite dropping the name “Warrior Arts,” I’ve since reinstated the name as homage to our practice but not to be taken literally.  We are not warriors—save for those who have been in military combat—although we train in their ways. In doing so, we take on many of their attributes in order to be successful. When I train, I am fully prepared to die on the training floor. This is not an abandonment of safety; rather, it’s a commitment to the process that was laid down before us by the warriors of old. In fact, not being a battlefield warrior, the perfect death for me would be taking the best fall I’ve ever taken while in the dojo.

Warrior focus is a quality that can be learned through studying the warrior ways. It is not necessarily inherent to all students who train. Maintaining a mindset throughout your learning develops warrior focus. Focus and stay in the moment. Don’t let your outside life defeat you with your current training goals, and more specifically, the exercise at hand. Whether you are giving or receiving technique, your level of presence and intensity needs to remain consistent. They are two parts of the same whole. This is the beginning of how to find and practice warrior focus.  


The preceding is a excerpt from Full Circle: Lessons Learned on the Martial Path written by Alessandro Ashanti.  Available on Amazon.com




The Full Circle Connection Between Jujitsu and FMA

Prof. Vee and Powell The FMA and Jujtisu Connection

Filipino Martial Arts or “FMA” for short, are the cornerstone of weapons study in Full Circle Warrior Arts.  My main study of FMA stems from the Serrada Eskrima style Founded by Grand Master Angel Cabales (October 4, 1917 – March 3, 1991).  I studied under Master Khalid Khan who was master #13 directly under GM Cabales.  I trained with him for 9 years before leaving Los Angeles to move to Phoenix, Arizona.  In Phoenix I met Master Michael J. Butz whom I studied another 3 years with.  Under Master Mike I was given further understating of my Serrada training as a bladed system, not solely stick.  This opened new worlds of opportunity to unlock the potential of the art.

In a very “full circle” sense my study of FMA has led to greater understanding of my roots in the martial arts. You can trace my jujitsu lineage directly to Dr. Florendo “Vee” Visitacion , the founder of Vee-jitsu-ryu jujitsu system. Dr. Vee was grew up in the Philipinines and learned Arnis as a child. In his later years he would return to his cultural roots and pursue further study of FMA eventually founding Vee-Arnis-Jitsu. His earliest student was the legendary Dr. Moses Powell (June7, 1910 – January 4, 1999) who taught my first sensei Soke Chaka Zulu as well as Hanshi Anton Muhammad. The jujitsu that Dr. Vee taught was laced with his early martial art experiences. At first glance of “pure” FMA one might not see the connection. The further you delve into FMA theory the more you start to see the correlation.

Jujitsu and FMA both stem from the understanding of blade work. Jujitsu has never been simply a grappling method, although that aspect is wildly popular these days as it was in the 20th century in the form of its off-shoot, Judo. Rather it is designed as a last line of defense against an opponent armed swordsman. The traditional motions take blade awareness into account. However in the modern training this is still evident and found if one knows where to look. Modern FMA styles tend to be “stick” oriented, preferring the cylindrical theory of rattan over the original blade theory of old. As Master Mike always said, stick comes from blade, blade doesn’t come from stick. The blade is there waiting to be unlocked by the right instructor. Two disparate blade oriented cultures, in my experience, came to many of the same conclusions. The differences in methods tend to be cultural and practical (e.g. armor vs no armor, katana vs bolo). There is a gap there that is easily bridged should you have serious study of both methods.


Reiki as the calm during the storm

Reiki as the Calm During the Storm

Today, while going through some personal adversity, I turned to Reiki to calm myself. My heart was racing and my thoughts focused on the worst aspects of my situation. I went and grabbed what I call my “Reiki cheat sheet”, this contains notes I have on healing and the Reiki symbols. I find constant review of the symbols aids in my “digesting” of them, much in the way I still practice my martial arts basics on a regular basis. The keys to all are in the basics! I cleared my head and accessed the universal Reiki energy. In doing this I envision and experience an opening in my crown chakra that brings energy down through the heavens. It’s akin to a cloudy sky suddenly opening up to reveal a bright sun behind. I’ve never spoken to other practitioners about this so I’m not sure it’s the same for them. My actual experiences with energy work precede Reiki, however my attunement made the access and process much more refined and powerful. From there I decided to draw the Reiki power symbol (cho ru kei) on my heart chakra. My heart was hurting and I felt it could use the draw of power. On top of this I drew the harmony symbol (sei hei kei). Sei Hei Ki helps with emotional and mental harmony. In this case I needed purification and protection. Finally, to bind this all, I drew the distance symbol (hon sha ze sho nen) in the air. “Distance” in this case doesn’t mean physical location, rather it refers to time. My hope is to heal not only the future but the past as well.

When I first started the healing I was rather cold and had just put on a sweater. Within 60 seconds of completing my final symbol I was burning hot and had to strip down to my teeshirt. I could feel a flood of healing an calm descend upon me. Did my troubles suddenly disappear? No, not completely. However, what did transpire was the actualization that everything can and will be ok. My worry turned into acceptance. My pain subsided to an unaffected level. I was able to carry on normally and centered.

Just a short Reiki story that was very powerful to me.

How to Choose The Right Martial Art and the Right Teacher

Students Training -How to find the right martial art and he right teacher

When it comes to selecting a martial arts instructor or a martial art, it’s not always an easy task.  In this day and age there are dozens of martial arts and an abundance of schools to choose from. While you are never married to staying with any class you decide to visit,  your first experience with any martial art or instructor should be a positive one.  Ideally it should result in you wanting to stick with your choice.  There are few important things to consider before visiting a class for the first time or meeting with an instructor.

First and foremost, think about why you want to learn a martial art. Ask yourself the question, “What do I desire from my study?”  I fully believe that there is no wrong answer for this but it’s good to know what you are looking for just the same.  Even if you just are looking for a fun social activity that will get you in shape, knowing your goals will allow you to select a school or instructor that will help you meet them.

Here are some common reasons for wanting to start martial arts:


  • Self defense
  • Physical fitness or “getting into shape”
  • Social activity
  • Engaging in competition
  • Building self discipline
  • Wanting to train with a particular instructor you met
  • Studying a cultural activity
  • Any combination or all the above


Whatever motives you have for beginning martial arts, make sure that the school or instructor you select will be able to support them and help you progress. Many martial art schools will tell you that they offer everything,  that they are complete, and that they can meet any need. While this can be true, more than likely they will have a particular emphasis. Some schools specialize in competition, whereas others focus more on fitness and self defense.

Some arts have a particular “purpose” attached to them — Brazilian Jiu Jitsu often draws people who want to compete and who are looking for a social way to get in shape and discipline themselves. Karate often appeals to people who enjoy bettering themselves through hard work and self discipline, whereas some arts, like the Filipino Martial Arts, offer a more casual approach that appeals to people seeking immersion in a particular culture and social gatherings.

Once you’ve figured out your reasons for wanting to train, it’s time to figure out where and who to train with. Options range from large commercial schools to one-on-one training in backyards and living rooms, and everything in between. There are great, good, not so good and bad instructors, and there are martial arts that will be suitable for your needs, and some that you just wouldn’t enjoy.

The Commercial School

Usually these schools are a storefront at a strip mall or a standalone building. They will have signage and will unmistakably be a martial art school. People are sometimes leery of these schools because they fear becoming simply another number (and that’s not always without reason), but there are world class instructors who have big schools. A commercial school or academy shouldn’t be ruled out just because it’s big.

See if you can observe a regular class at the level you would be training at, or ask if you can watch a couple of back to back classes so you can see different instructors. Don’t be rude or intrusive but be wary of an instructor who won’t allow you to sit and watch.  Typically, they don’t (or, at least, shouldn’t) have anything to hide but they usually are trying to funnel you into introductory lessons which are designed to culminate with you signing a long term contract.  Long term contracts to train aren’t a great thing to get into sight unseen.

Most martial art schools offer a series of trial lessons that is sometimes combined with a free uniform.  This is always a good deal but will more than likely end with you being asked to sign up for a long term commitment. If you don’t desire a long term commitment then it would be a good idea to steer clear of most storefront schools. Some schools may allow you to request a month to month contract instead, although the price per month may be higher.

Most commercial schools teach traditional or competition martial arts, like karate, Taekwondo, judo and jujitsu. This type of learning environment and the most common types of arts offered tend to appeal to people who are looking for self discipline, fitness, or competition training.

Community Training

The right teacher may be at a community center, YMCA, or completely underground.  Most martial arts instructors aren’t business people.  They are hardworking, passionate and even extremely talented people, but they often don’t have the know-how for the day to day operations of a small business. Unfortunately, sometimes the inverse can be true — there are far too martial arts business owners who don’t have the same level of talent for teaching. While this is a generalization on both sides I will state that I’ve rarely been taught at a commercial school.  Most of my teachers never had a place that they controlled completely.  Two taught in local parks (an advantage to living in Los Angeles and Phoenix).

Check your local parks and rec for lists of classes they offer.  There are always at least one class available.  Also, check out your local Y.  You will find excellent and passionate instructors who are hidden gems.  Most martial arts instructors hold down full time jobs and family.  Their passion leads them to squeeze out a few nights a week to instruct.

Get a referral from a friend who is involved in the arts.  Everyone knows at least one person who is or has been a black belt.  Sometimes that person can actually wind up being your teacher!

Be wary of name chasing.  Not all big name teachers are a fit for everyone. Buyer beware. Some of the bigger names are extremely commercial, whereas others draw people who seek power or other ways to “get ahead.” The environment around some of the more well-known instructors isn’t always conducive to learning, so always make sure to research, research, research. Know what you’re getting into.

There is some conventional wisdom to choosing an art by body type.  Long legs? Try a kicking art like Taekwondo.  Stout and short body? Try a throwing art such as judo.  I find this approach to be too limiting to a student’s potential experience, though. Feel free to explore and challenge yourself.  Also, not all areas are inundated with martial art teachers. Some areas might only have one school, and in that case, you either have to be willing to travel, or you have to be willing to work with what you’ve got.

Final Considerations

When it comes time to finally go and train for the first time, let your gut guide you. Your initial inclinations (and misgivings, for that point) will rarely be wrong. Do what feels right — your martial arts training should restore, rejuvenate and build you up, not break you down or make you feel worse. If it feels right, it probably is. Challenge yourself with your training, and always seek to meet and surpass your goals. If you aren’t seeing or achieving the results you desire from your training, it might be time to reevaluate and reassess what you’re doing and why.

Don’t do more than one style or train with more than one teacher at a time. It can be tempting to jump around from art to art, but until you form a solid training base, you won’t be able to benefit from cross training. Of course, that assumes the art and instructor you’ve chosen are a good fit for you, your needs, your goals, and your reasons for wanting to train. Never feel as though you have to stay with a toxic instructor or one who isn’t meeting your needs, but also be certain that you’re not continuously making excuses to “move on” because you’re being challenged past what you’re used to. Be loyal to your instructor but don’t be blind Don’t be afraid to move on when or if the time is right.

Above all, have fun. Training itself will not always be fun — sometimes it’s hard, grueling and occasionally painful — but you should enjoy the path you’re on and the progress you’re making. When you’ve found the right art and instructor, things will seem to “click” and you’ll feel at home. That’s when you know you’ve made the correct choice.


This article written by Alessandro Ashanti first appeared on:


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