Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday……well, you get the picture. Today our blog is one year old. When I wrote the first post on the 8th of May, 2010 entitled Kids Karate Sensei Becomes White Belt Again, I had no idea what I was doing. Still don’t. But I know more about blogging than when I started. That was 52 blog posts ago. Still heaps to learn.
This blog has been a great experience for me. I have learned much about blogging, but more important, have strengthened my background in my speciality, martial arts for children, in a big way. I have become a better writer. Blogging forces you to make your point quickly, or you will lose your audience. As a bonus, I have made many friends all over the world online through my Kids Karate Sensei blog.
Blogging is demanding. Each week for the last 52 weeks I have had to come up with a topic, research it, and write about it–whether I felt like it or not. And believe me, there were days when I did not feel like it. But I made it. I had two secrets—passion and inspiration.
Passion and Inspiration are the Keys
Let’s talk about passion first. Passion is what drives us in our careers and our hobbies. Luckily for me, I chose a profession and blog niche that just happens to be my passion. I get paid for “playing martial arts” as a kids karate sensei. I could literally train in it, talk about it, and write about it all day long. That gives me an unfair advantage. I’ll take it.
Inspiration—it is everywhere. It is what motivates us to be our best. Here are some martial artists that inspire me.
Who Inspires the Kids Karate Sensei?
Muhammad Ali. Ali spoke up for what he believed in. He even went to jail for it. His views were unpopular at the time, but nevertheless, he was brave enough to stand up for them. As the son of a hard-nosed US Marine, I would have gone to battle in Viet Nam had I been a few years older. But Ali made a lot of people question this war. History ended up being on Ali’s side.
Ali talked trash, but not in a devious way. He made it more friendly, and it was obvious he was not serious, just drumming up his fights. He was a master at this. And most of all, he could back it up. When he said, “I am the greatest!”, you laughed, but at the same time believed it. You could feel his confidence.
I was able to meet him years ago. Last September, I wrote The Night I Met Muhammad Ali: Getting What You Want Out of Life.
Georges St-Pierre. His work ethic. His warrior attitude. His respect. His sheer athleticism. What is there not to admire? What I would to to train with him.
UFC President Dana White said, “He’s got a ton of charisma, he is probably the most athletic guy in MMA, every time he fights he gets better and better, and realistically, I’d have him up there at the top of the list with one or two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world”.
John Will. I have a pretty high energy level and work rate, but keeping up with this guy is like a weekend jogger trying to match it with Olympic distance runners in the New York Marathon. Check out his blog posts at Brazilian Jujitsu Australasia and you will see what I mean. He writes something (and something very meaningful) almost every day. This from a guy who constantly travels around the world imparting his vast knowledge of Brazilian Jujitsu to his far-ranging students, writing countless books, producing outstanding videos, and running his own very successful school in Geelong, Australia. John is the highest ranking BJJ expert in Australia. John, you make me tired thinking about it, but you inspire me greatly at the same time.
Bruce Lee. Every time I watch a Bruce Lee film I am inspired for days. What he could do with his body was amazing. His speed, strength, flexibility, and timing were legendary. But what really inspired me about Bruce Lee was his passion, willingness to try new things, and incredible thirst for knowledge of martial arts. He lived and breathed martial arts.
How did Bruce Lee find the time and energy to read thousands of books, write his own, act in movies, teach others, and train like he did?
Cristiane Cyborg Santos. Santos is currently the #1-ranked pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world. She is a human wrecking ball. Her biggest problem; getting people to fight her. This is a shame. After I watched her in action for the first time, I was hooked. Santos holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is also a member of the Chute Boxe Academy, which is the proving ground for one of Brazil’s largest sports, Vale Tudo.
Our Kenpo tribe. Our girls and boys, men and women, who have put themselves on the line in tournaments. Our kids patiently learning new techniques. Our great instructors, who are able to impart their knowledge in a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere. Our supportive parents, who are there for the children every week. They all inspire me.
And a non-martial artist who has inspired me.
Jessica Watson. For someone to sail around the world solo, it is an amazing feat. But Jessica was sixteen years old when she did it. The achievement speaks for itself. Read about it here on my blog post, entitled Karate Kids and the Jessica Watson Story.
Who inspires you?
Happy Birthday to Kids Karate Sensei | Who Inspires Me? is an original blog post by Sensei Matt Klein.