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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Change your Student through Project Based Leadership Training

Today, we have a special guest post from my friend and fellow Ultimate Black Test team member, Gary Engels. Gary is a leading Martial Arts Student Leadership expert. He brings his leadership expertise to the public through his National Leadership Team website at

PBLT is a new form of training your martial arts outside of the dojo. This type of leadership training will help you bridge the gap between what you learn on the training floor (discipline, respect, follow through, commitment...etc) and the actions you take outside of the school. You see, the martial arts are not considered to be a sport (though it can be), but a way of life.

Master Tom Callos of the Ultimate Black Belt Test teaches to replace the words "Martial Artists" with "Human Being" and the words "Martial Arts" with the word "Life". This will give you a better understanding of the core of what the martial arts are all about.

Martial Arts are about perfecting character. Without altruistic training and philosophy, martial artists are just brawlers. Without compassion, martial artists are just street fighters learning to beat each other up. The National Leadership Team (and your schools PBLT program) is about taking the lessons we learn in our martial arts leadership programs and applying them to real world projects and goals. The experience is everything. This experience creates leadership.

The ultimate aim of the art of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the characters of it's participants" -Master Gichin Funakoshi

Judo, TKD, Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Kung Fu, MMA, XMA, etc... They are all useless in today's society if you are studying the arts just to learn to become a great fighter or a great technical martial artist. The last thing we need in this world is another punch thrown, kick landed, lock applied, or throw executed.

So, use the NLT to expand your awareness of your martial arts training. Begin to participate in (and LEAD) community based projects and Acts of Kindness that make a difference in someone else's life. Stand tall and demonstrate your confidence, respect, discipline, honor, and integrity through you ACTIONS, not your WORDS.

This is what a martial artist has become in todays society.

Gary Engels is the founder and team coach of the National Leadership Team; a team of martial artists across the country who are dedicated to practicing the principles of the martial arts outside of the dojo and applying them to everyday life.

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