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Making Everyone Happy

By On June 30, 2012 · 3 Comments · In Uncategorized

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Bill Cosby

When I started teaching back in 1979 I was told I wouldn’t succeed. I didn’t use ‘belts’ I didn’t have levels… I was told again in the mid 80’s that I wouldn’t survive ‘just’ teaching self-defense… Then again in the 90’s & into 2000 I was told my approach was too hardcore, that I swore too much, that I alienated other martial arts instructors, that I was elitist, I even had a [former] staff employee tell me “my standards were too high” – wtf?? So it was nice to read Seth’s blog “Do you have to pander?” 30 years after I made my move :-)

Read Seth’s blog “Do you have to pander?”

After reading that, check out my article  “Lowering the Bar”, published in 2004.



3 Responses to Making Everyone Happy

  1. RossB says:

    There is a long held belief in ‘Mastery.’ Those who hold the belief of mastery and work toward it in anything, recognize the fallacy of ‘too severe’ in training, or practice. Mark Rippetoe said; “There are no shortcuts. The fact that a shortcut is important to you proves you are a pussy.”

    The humorous tweak to that, developed for clients who would regularly walk into the gym complaining instantly of some injury, illness, or malady that wouldn’t allow them to workout to their full capacity (credit to Coach G.) was; “It’s okay to be a pussy in my gym.” The turnaround was phenomenal.

    The obvious truth is that it’s hella easy to master mediocrity. Just as the obvious fallacy is that being a mediocrity master will get you anywhere. Don’t ever BS yourself into the belief that worthy students don’t see it and ditch mediocre teachers, instructors, mentors, or coaches quick.

    Years back there was a college, I believe it was Clemson but don’t quote me, that realized enrollment among minorities was dropping all over. They put together a survey and sent it to graduating High School Seniors all over. Not surprisingly colleges all over were lowering standards in an attempt to increase enrollments. The results that did surprise them? Qualified students wanted nothing to do with schools that lowered entrance or degree requirements. The most, and best students, gravitated to the schools with the strictest standards. Just a couple years after implementing ‘too severe’ standards their enrollments, and the recognition of their graduates soared.

    Wear ‘Too Severe’ as a badge of honor. That’s the shit, sir!

  2. Alain says:

    It’s a privilege I was part of your 90’s students and proud of my Chu Fen Do Level 2 diploma! Not too many people have this precious and unique piece of paper ;) Cheers to that Tony!

  3. J. Beasley says:

    Hey Tony, saw the post. I was one of the promoters that told you to wear a gi, 20+ years ago. LOL. But then again, I use to play the Panic Attack vids you sent me in my classes at the university when a certain Black Belt editor was a student. Old times. Congrats on your success. Your Panic Attack concept was way ahead of the times. It took the martial arts community years to catch up and appreciate what you had to offer. What I would like, is to be back in Alberta at one of Dale Kliparchuck’s camps. Now that was …a good time. Go Canada. BTW, if you hadn’t heard Joe Lewis has terminal brain cancer. Very sad. Bill is in great shape. I would have you back at Karate College but I am sure I couldn’t afford you now. Take care.

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