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We Need to Be Better!

This is a story.

The head sensei of a very large and successful dojo called all the instructors together. "Our students need to be better! I want each of you to give me your recommendations."

The first instructors said, "We need to teach more hours."

"But we already teach 7 days each week all day and all night," replied the head sensei.

The second instructor said, "We need better facilities."

"But we already have the best dojo facilities in the entire country," replied the head sensei.

The third instructor said, "We need more kata to teach."

"But we already teach 150 kata gathered from the best Karate systems," replied the head sensei.

The fourth instructor said, "We need more trophies in our frontage windows."

"But we already put on tournaments every two months and have trophies up to the ceiling," replied the head sensei.

Finally, the fifth instructor, who was also the dojo's lawyer gave his suggestion, "We need to redefine better."

"What do you mean?", ask the head sensei.

"We need to redefine what it means to be 'better.' I suggest that we promote all the students by one rank and then charge them higher tuition. We promote them to make them feel better and we charge them more because they are better."

The first four instructors started to protest but the head sensei said, "Wait, let's think about this."

No, let's not. If you want to get better you just need to train (regularly, intensely, and with attention paid to details). Training and refinement are the keys to improvement, not tricks.


Charles C. Goodin