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Step on the Mat: Life Lessons of the Ninja Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- Publication date : May 28, 2019
- File size : 1869 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 224 pages
- Publisher : Lioncrest Publishing (May 28, 2019)
- ASIN : B07RJVVWBF
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1544513216
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,190,696 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I haven't finished it yet, but already I am feeling the benefits of the wealth of real life lessons here.
A Who’s Who of martial artists, Master Ninja Nguyen shares his powerful teaching philosophy to his parents and students in his first book. However, this book is not just about martial arts and how to become a better martial artist. This book is seeded in my teacher’s lessons of leadership and self-empowerment which he has come upon in a lifetime of teaching children and adults to become better versions of themselves. He is candid in his first book about his life journey as he suggests you should be in yours. Thus in this review of his philosophy you will not only find my teacher’s story but mine as well.
Three years ago my son, then a white belt, started taking karate classes at Xtreme Ninja Martial Arts Center in Medford. Master Ninja Nguyen was teaching the class about effort. He asked the students if they knew what full effort was. How did they know if they were putting full effort into living their best life? He taught that EFFORT is when I strive to make every movement, moment, action and thought count. He asked the students if they put full effort into every aspect of their lives inside and outside the dojo. Master Nguyen said he could tell by how the children behaved in the dojo whether they were putting full effort into their lives outside the dojo. I didn’t know it at the time but that was the day that I decided to make Master Nguyen my teacher. That was only the beginning of the class. The longer I listened to him teach the more I thought he sounded like a master instructor at a Harvard Leadership course. Three years later as his student I have decided that the lessons that Master Ninja, or Shihan as we call him supercede anything that I have learned in my years of taking leadership classes in the corporate world.
Off the mat, Shihan is the embodiment of ETIQUETTE. This word is significant in the dojo because it is our second core value. As a parent or a student at his dojo you step into his home. And as such you are duly and completely treated as family. His family. As soon as you enter the dojo you can look up to the left wall where it is written, “Under the heavens, under the sky, there is but one family.” I now have an extended family of martial artists and we are all committed to empowering each other to live our best life. Here we teach students that I treat others with respect and politeness. Not because they are nice but because I am nice. I have seen the children, especially my own son fully embody this principle of etiquette and deep respect. But it is not just my son that trains here. My husband and I also train here almost on a daily basis. This is our home. This is where we grow into better and stronger versions of ourselves. And when you read Ninja’s book you will understand why he keeps so MANY boxes of Kleenex all throughout the school.
This book was written from his heart not for the financial gain, but from his motivation to donate the money from the sales to help the homeless. Just as I write this now I hear him informally preparing a teenage black belt for his first job interview outside of the dojo. He is constantly teaching or freely giving of himself to someone. It is quite remarkable to watch him study dozens of people in a room and scan carefully whether they are doing a movement correctly. His aim is to teach martial arts in a way that no one gets injured. And perchance you should get injured, he will support your recovery and modify exercises for you. His forty-five years of martial arts and fitness training is invaluable here. A year ago I tore my ACL. Master Nguyen knew that I liked to push myself in class so he appropriately modified exercises and their intensity for me. Amazingly, time and again I benefit from his wisdom as to how far I should push myself. My goal since the injury has been to come back as a stronger martial artist than I was before the injury. Shihan has been my strongest ally in my goal. I am only eight months post ACL reconstruction surgery and I have already successfully competed in open hand forms in two karate tournaments. This brings me to the third core value we are taught and that our teacher embodies. CHARACTER -I choose to do the right thing even when no one is looking. I am committed to keeping my word to myself and others.
Master Nguyen often speaks of remembering where we came from. By taking this as a starting point this is how you grow. He challenges us to meditate, be mindful and to be really honest with ourselves. His first challenge in life was escaping from Vietnam as a young child on a fisherman’s boat. Despite his challenges as a refugee he never stopped his martial arts training. His first teachers did not charge him a fee but he paid his way by cleaning his master’s dojo. And in this way he still embodies those same values in his school. He invites everyone to step on the mat regardless of their resources. The teachings of martial arts are available to all.
Life is challenging. We all know that to be true. And yet we still struggle. In martial arts you learn to embrace the struggle. Breathe through it. But with a deeper sense of respect we learn to more gracefully navigate the challenges. It thus makes a great deal of sense to me that he begins his book with a discussion of the bow, that first act of reverence performed when you enter a dojo. By stepping into his dojo you choose to set your troubles aside for a bit and learn something new that will help you breathe through your life when you are ready to go back.
Are you ready to step on the mat?
Each chapter takes the reader through a piece of the martial arts world: warm-up, partnering up, sparring, getting feedback, etc. But within this frame, each chapter gives the reader kernels of wisdom that apply to life outside the dojo. The chapter entitled “feedback’ resonated with me, as Nguyen explained the importance of truly listening and absorbing and appreciating the feedback we receive. This chapter also reminds us of the importance of positivity and kindness as we give feedback as well. As a parent, these are truly important lessons for me to hang onto. Nguyen gives numerous examples, throughout the whole book, about how lessons from the dojo can help all of us grow into the best versions of ourselves.