Gradings are great for self improvement. As Northstar develops lifestyles and not fighters, use your grading preparation to hone all aspects of your life.

Between now and grading as well as getting physically fit, lets also overlay some of the mental and emotional qualities we practice at Northstar Ju Jitsu.

1. When some one pushes, move a side and let them pass. This takes strength of mind as your previous action would be to resist, make a point, or have a compulsive need to give your opinion. Just try to be still and quiet every now and then and see what happens.

2. Become aware of the space between you and others. An awareness of that space means that you can control it. Once you know about this space, you instantly become aware of how you move in others space. For the next couple of weeks, when the overpowering need to get your stuff done arises, just take time to think about how you may be intruding on others space.

3. Smile in conflict.
Quite often when we are training, pushing, shoving, sparring and practicing self defence, there is a real buzz in the dojo. There is talking, laughing and people are really connecting. Strange isn’t it really! Connect with the same lightness when you are going about your daily routines. Give life a lighter, simpler touch and try not to take yourself too seriously.

4. Practice Determination
The ability to go beyond your perceived barriers. The belief that you can succeed regardless of your current situation. Use the small wins in life to prepare you for the big challenges. Sometimes from the depths of despair and depression a tiny flicker of hope is enough to help you put one foot in front of the other. Challenge yourself constantly by facing your fears.

5. Acknowledge the support and caring of others by offering gratitude. Generosity of spirit strengthens your ability to forgive and opens your heart to receive. “What’s in it for me”, has no place here.

6. Keep your own counsel.
Own your thoughts, actions, plans and dreams. Only you know what they mean to you. If you are constantly swayed by the crowd, surprise yourself and others by starting to believe that your own uniqueness is special and worthy. This is how leadership is developed.

7. Accept change.
In fighting you have to adapt and move very quickly. The instant you get set in your ways you get hit. This is a great metaphor for living. If you are too set into believing your reality will never change, when it does change, there is incredible suffering.

8. Be fluid and supple and friendly with life. Make a decision from this day moment on, you will never be less than friendly towards yourself

* No more treating yourself like a slave.
* No more putting yourself down – ever.
* No more negative assumptions
* No more torment over past events that you cannot change.
* No more putting up with other peoples abuse or unkindness
* No more postponing doing what you love doing most.

Practice these simple life skills and see what happens.



  1. Richard Holdstock on March 9, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    MAGIC!! ~ a Blueprint for harmony

    Goju Ryu Bushido Karate Academy

    Blacktown City

  2. Richard Holdstock on March 9, 2010 at 11:04 pm




  3. andy on March 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you Sensei, great to have your comment.

    With Respect


  4. Andrew Blanch on March 10, 2010 at 12:13 am

    All eight immediately resonate for me.

    I will practice smiling in determination to see what positive changes I can control.

    I will give update you (As gratitude for your offering of wisdom. And to externalize my intentions to you for healthy pressure to keep me accountable)

    Much appreciated


  5. Mathieu D on March 12, 2010 at 2:36 am

    All reasons that make martial arts start from curiosity and become a Way of Life.

    It’s crazy just how many skills and habits developed in martial arts training translate into everyday life.

    One of my best examples: Knowing how to Breathe. Times I have applied this are countless.

    Excellent post!


    • andy on March 12, 2010 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks Mat, so well put; a curiosity becoming a way of life….nice.


  6. Ed on March 12, 2010 at 3:36 am

    I love number 6 “Keep your own counsel”. Too much well intentioned advice from those around us can cause a cocktail of confusion.


    • andy on March 12, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Ed, yes I agree, there is a resilience to backing your own call.


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