​I KNOW

It was 1984. When Grandmaster Ji Han Jae asked me to come to San Francisco and insisted that I drive instead of fly, it didn’t deter me. Driving up the coast of California to San Francisco is an experience rooted in zen; there’s barely any traffic and the scenery is refreshingly bucolic with a...

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THE GAME

Before White Belt, I dreamed of playing in the game. Soon, I wanted to know the game. At White Belt, I decided to start the game. At Orange Belt, I could see myself playing the game. At Yellow Belt, I was introduced to the game. At Green Belt, I was invited to make a commitment to the...

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​SENSEI BENNY

I’d like to share with you an observation I’ve encountered during the past ten years or so, while I’ve been blessed to have Sensei Benny at our school. People from all over the world would stop by regularly and ask to take a picture with Sensei, due to his universal appeal. They would tell him...

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ALIGNMENT OF MOLECULES

Our stability is comprised of emotional tools which each and every one of us possess, and I believe that when utilized to their full extent, they can work as a strong force in shaping our future to a fully positive effect. Here’s a scenario which I use regularly as an analogy: Imagine two steel...

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​A SLICE OF DIGNITY

It was an early, sunny morning at my Martial Arts school; a day like any other. I unlocked the door, turned on the lights and prepared the room for the inevitable influx of students coming in for classes that day. But today was a little different. I knew that one of my students was...

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CRABS

The air on the Santa Monica pier is usually alive with the emissions of countless biological organisms, giving it that fresh, faintly fish-smelling sourness that lets you know that you're in the midsts of life, despite the fact that tons of raw sewage are dumped nearby into the Pacific every day....

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​PRINCIPLES OF BLACK BELT IN ACTION

It was 4:30pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I was in the midst of teaching my class when a parent of one of my students frantically ran into the school, yelling out my name. I turned to her, as she announced that there had been a car accident directly outside the school and two of my young students...

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​A WRONGFUL INSTINCT

Sometimes our minds work on autopilot when we’re overwhelmed with what work, issues and obstacles life brings to our attention. It happens to me all the time; I am constantly preoccupied with so many different components to concentrate on simultaneously, that my mind often wanders. One minute I...

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​CROSSING THE RIVER

I was seven or eight years old and living in Iran when I got my first glimpse of martial arts. At the time, martial arts movies were beginning to flourish due to the colossal popularity of Bruce Lee, who started to bring the craft into the mainstream. During his days off from work, my older...

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​A WELCOME SURPRISE

This tale revolves around a young and gifted sculptor who, during the early 1900s, left the cobblestoned streets of Italy in search of opportunity in America. Spending every penny to make the voyage, the sculptor arrived destitute and hungry, on the hunt for any income he could find for means of...

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