Many things in life seem out of your control and sometimes can become overwhelming. It happens to everyone, and no matter how rough you think you have it or how busy you think you are it all still boils down to you and what you do with it all. The one thing I have found that makes the difference is sincerity.

It was mentioned Friday about trying to walk that fine line between reaching out for teammates and harassing the missing individuals. I firmly believe the difference between the two is sincerity. If you truly believe in the system and the importance of having a whole and healthy team, reaching out to missing team members should be a natural and logical act. If you believe in the difference one individual can make then when you reach out to them you should be able to find the vocabulary needed and the passion that can inspire.

This concept works across the board. You need to be sincere in your reasons for joining the IHC, for trying to advance your skill and for striving for the rank of black. If you are concerned with the belt or the recognition or the glory then you're on the wrong path, and as harsh as this sounds, you are not cut out for the rank. If you are striving to prove to those around you that you are better then you're missing the point and you will always be limited in body and mind. If you understand that the rank represents more than the time spent training or the level of physical skill you've acquired, you'll understand why so few people make the rank. And you'll understand that the standards set for the rank are more than hoops or a yard stick. The character of the individual is more important than the physical skill or the time put in. If you sincerely want to better yourself and the world around you then you have what it takes. And yes, that is what is expected. And that is what mastery is about.

The I Ho Chuan is just a program designed to spell things out for you. The requirements are not new, not unreasonable. Its all just been put down on paper to make the process easier for up and coming people. Yes, easier. It embodies what it takes to achieve the rank of black. What it has always taken. And it is simple- if you are sincere about bettering yourself as an individual then doing thousands of pushups and blogging regularly and attending classes just makes sense.

Khona Rybak

Compassionate Leadership

As an instructor, it is my experience that the most common antagonist to confront a student is themself. Their insecurity, their ego, and their limiting beliefs - all conspire to take away a student’s control and limit their potential.

Control is essential for success. It is impossible to remain committed to a strategy or to stay the course over the long term if outside influences have too much control over the outcome. Accepting complete responsibility for the influences that affect you is the only way to retain control of your situation. You may not have control of what others say or do but you have absolute control over how you choose to react to what they say or do. The best way to get a student out of the way of themself is to empower them by helping them adjust their perspective.

The easiest attitudinal adjustment a person can make is through changing their perspective from that of an impotent bystander to one of a compassionate leader. There are problems and stressors in this world that can overwhelm one’s resolve. It is not difficult to let your mind slip into a negative cycle and apply blame and fail to take proper initiative to change a situation for the better. It is a lot more empowering to go beyond just recognizing another’s shortcomings and compassionately inspire them to amend their ways.

It may be far simpler to impose will through threats and consequential punishment but we will only reap what we sow. Imagine a world run by people who inspire kindness and tolerance through their compassionate leadership. That vision can only be realized through the efforts of each of us.

Jeff Brinker