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Monday, June 28, 2010


It’s not what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.” — Francis Bacon

     We all know people who have been in situations where their integrity was challenged. Some of those people successfully made decisions based on an unwavering moral character and strong personal beliefs, while others did what they felt everyone wanted them to do, but what they knew to be wrong. What happened to those people and how was their integrity compromised in a moment of weakness?  Regardless, their integrity came under question and opinions about their abilities were questioned. Unfortunately, you can’t turn on the news without hearing about the latest scandal or Washington cover-up. How can we, as martial artists, show integrity in everything we do?

Without integrity, we can never know what it is like to trust and rely on others.  Integrity forms the foundation of our daily relationships through trust and honesty. Once you are mistrusted, it’s difficult to earn back trust.

Integrity is used to describe great people through history and has been valued by the martial arts for centuries. It is a result of uncompromising values and is gained through repeated acts of doing what was promised, when it was promised.

This month, think about the ways in which you have earned integrity and other ways in which you may have lost integrity with people.  Then, answer these following questions:

    What can I do better to demonstrate integrity at home, school or work?
In what ways have I shown integrity at the martial arts studio?
In what ways do I benefit from making choices that are consistent with
my highest values?

Keep in mind, with every commitment that’s made and every action we do, we are consistently affecting our personal integrity.  As a result, make sure you are setting the example worthy of your values and the values set as a martial artist.
9:53 am edt 

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Karate Kid (2010) Movie Review
webassets/KarateKid2010.jpg               The “ Karate Kid” (2010) was a great version of the classic theme. I was happy to see that they did not just try to remake the original, but wrote a new epic around the classic frame work.  The people of my generation hold a handful of  movies to the high standard of “classic”.  Like “The Breakfast Club”, “Weird Science”, “Top Gun”, and “The Goonies” the tale of Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-san borders on untouchable.  I was on guard  from  the beginning concerned for the characters I love and respect, even evil Sensei John Keese and his pack of bullies the Cobra-Kai. 

Pleasingly he new “Karate Kid” tells a brand new story filling in the framework.  Jaden Smith as Dre, the young boy forced to move because of mom’s job, and Jackie Chan as Mr. Han, the maintenance man who steps in to stop a pack of bullies and finds a student,  where surprisingly  complex.  The movie deals with the up-front issue of bullying, but also the struggle we all have with change, reconciling the past, the clash of tradition with the new, and a few underlying environmental concerns.  

              The producers did a wonderful job showcasing China as a backdrop for this film, the scenery was beautifully breath taking.  They seem to be themed around Yin and Yang, the idea the opposite forces move in harmony and provide energy (chi).  The cinema photography highlights the ancient and the new and changing face of China, venues from the Beijing Olympics as well as mountain temples where gorgeous.

              The martial arts we devoted to the essence of Kung-Fu and Wu Shu, for me as a Tae Kwon Do it is not to my taste, but as a move-goer the soft-styles of Jun-Fan and the like are a crowd pleaser.  The move does acknowledges the 1984 classic in places and is doted with humor,  puppy love, respect, and friendship.  Please forgive them for the Kung-Fu theatre wire fight and stunts.

              The “Karate Kid” (2010) is must see not only for martial artists but for everyone.  Be sure to see it this summer.
7:43 am edt 

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