There are a lot of things that influence us –what we read, what we say, who we hang out with, our teachers, our mentors, etc. The biggest threat to our success is not those who try to destroy our dreams through negativity, but it is the self doubt that we allow to enter our own minds that  is the real threat. I train students to be modern warriors at my dojo, Borowitz Black Belt Academy. We learn and acknowledge that our toughest opponent is the one in the mirror—ourselves.

The Japanese word Shisei translates as “shape/forces.” In other words, the forces that shape our lives. At the very foundation it is about the attitude one maintains, because that attitude shapes what we see and hear. A true modern warrior knows that victory is guaranteed through perseverance, and, of course, it is not just staying busy but doing the right things. In classical karate, it is performing the correct method and techniques as passed down for generations based on success principles. The Japanese have a saying “Fall seven times – get up eight,” and this is the foundation to Tamashi or “indomitable spirit.”

As students develop confidence and leadership skills through classical martial arts, they begin to demonstrate this winning attitude in all areas of their lives, because what works on the battlefield works in business and in personal relationships as well. This is the path to becoming a modern warrior.

In today’s world, the average person always has several things happening at once. These situations make it easy to start thinking negatively, and that challenges our positive attitude. Modern warriors surround themselves with other success oriented people in order to help stay focused. It’s hard to argue against what you teach, isn’t it?

I learned a long time ago that teaching is very powerful, because as the student, you get to see and hear success principles for the first time when you learn them. Later, as the teacher, you hear repeated them again when you share them with others. The cycle continues as you hear the same success principles from your senior students, which reminds you once again of the power of influence our words and thoughts have on us, our attitudes and our success.

This is why I love teaching adults the classical martial arts. The adult students are looking for something deeper, self-fulfilling and self-satisfying that allows them to be happier and healthier. There is no better workout that combines all 3 pillars of good health: cardiovascular exercise, muscle training and flexibility. What better example to show your children about focus, discipline and confidence than to be in the same martial arts school as they.

Saying you are too old to train is just nonsense. We have all seen adults in their 80s running marathons and who are more active than 20- or 30-year-olds. Age is only a state of mind.

By David W. Borowitz