“To show strong spirit.” It might be third on the list for the dojo kun but I think when it comes to your actual martial arts training it’s “Spirit First”. Why? Very simply put if you demonstrate a strong spirit while doing your techniques they are going to be better. Can you defend yourself if you don’t exude confidence? Of course not. Any indecision, any wavering of the spirit will show. That’s all your opponent needs – they’ll seize on the opportunity and you’re in an uphill fight.

Isn’t that the same for every other aspect of your life, too? If you think about it, a strong spirit and confidence can take you places you’d never expect to go. Now, I don’t mean you should brag and be overly confident. Not at all. By strong spirit I mean letting your soul shine through your eyes, your confidence and positive energy flowing into the universe.

Life is going to knock you down. It’s going to happen, whether we like it or not. How we handle it, that’s the difference. “Spirit first.” Don’t dwell on the negative, find solutions, be proactive and take opportunities that present themselves. What the heck, create your own opportunities. Show strong spirit. You can’t lose.

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