Teaching as added teen responsibility

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Now that he is officially a teen, Michael is more involved with helping out tiny preschoolers with their grappling skills.  They adore him.  And I can tell Michael has picked up positive reinforcement techniques from his instructors and tries to emulate their kindness and clarity when explaining things to the little ones.

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And just for fun, they made a “side control” Michael pancake stack.

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Another important decision made about college

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My child is planning for college again (now that he has tupperware, salt, and utensils on his shopping list).  He declared yesterday that the first food item he’s going to buy is a bag of potatoes because potatoes taste awesome and they are the best thing. Having a bag of potatoes also means he will never go hungry again.

Oh, and he is predicting his college roommate’s name is either going to be Jeremy, Bob, or Michelle.

A Fun and Meaningful Birthday Party

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Michael made it a goal to entertain his friends, especially the ones who don’t do combat sports. I was very proud of his hosting skills and of his desire to help everyone get to know each other. Fun is never far from him. And we had 32 wonderful children ages 5-15 in our midst playing martial arts games. Their smiles are priceless! And his “2nd Mommy” A.K.A. martial arts instructor Ms Drew handled this spirited group with her usual commanding presence and also with a lot of fun.

A game Michael wanted to play was Anatomy where kids in pairs compete to see who can put together 2 body parts that the game leader calls out. It was beyond hilarious when they had to put their nose to someone else’s foot, or their hand in someone’s armpit.

Guy Mezger Gave Autographed Gift — “What Is A Warrior?”

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One of the presents that Master Guy Mezger gave Michael at his 13th birthday party was a copy of “What is A Warrior?” by Aubrey Marcus, The Warrior Poet. We had Guy sign it after it was framed.

Guy Mezger gave such an honoring and moving speech about Michael, saying that Michael doesn’t just DO martial arts, Michael IS martial arts because he never turns it off and that’s what makes him so phenomenal in so many areas.

See on YouTube –
The Attitude, Qualities, and Meaning of a Warrior (motivational speech) by Michael Dowdy and Guy Mezger:

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Part of Guy Mezger’s speech came from

What is a Warrior?
By Aubrey Marcus

What is a warrior? A warrior is a way of life, a way of thinking, a way of being. Carlos Castaneda says we choose only once, to be warriors or ordinary. We choose only once. Because choosing to be a warrior alters your fundamental approach to life. While others will view everything as a blessing or a curse, you see only challenges. And a warrior lives to overcome challenges.

Every warrior has a code, an ethos. It is an invisible thread that connects him to all of his warrior brothers and sisters since the beginning of time. Steven Pressfield asks “How do we find our true calling, our soul companions, our destiny? He answers, “In this task, our mightiest ally is the warrior ethos.”

A warrior never hopes, but he must have faith. Hope is powerless, useless… The longer we sit and hope the more time we waste, because the universe gives only what is sought, what is believed! But yet a warrior must have faith. Because at times not every path is clear, and not every enemy a fiery dragon. When the forest is dark the warrior holds his ground with faith that if he remembers the warrior code, the light to illuminate the darkness will come.

For the warrior, the body is as important as the mind, because the two are inseparable. Danielle Bolleli writes “ A person who knows there is a wild wolf living under the skin has less reason to be intimidated by reality. Even when the power of the mind is in doubt, the body can provide tangible proof.”

A warrior is not an ascetic. He does not deny himself the pleasures of conquest simply for the sake of denying them. He realizes that in denying oneself it is easy to think he is doing great things, when really he is just focused on himself. But neither is the warrior attached to these pleasures. He can walk away from them at any time, and sometimes he does, just to prove it to himself.

The warrior is a natural leader, and he leads under one principle– Follow me. When Alexander the great was threatened with mutiny after years of a brutal campaign in India, he stripped down naked, so all the men could see his scars. “Bring forth a man who has bled more than me, and we will go home.” No one came forth, because it was Alexander, riding his horse Bucephalus with a double plumed helmet who led every charge. Instead, his men erupted in cheers and pounded their shields.

The Warrior is a Believer. As Paulo Coelho says, “Because he believes in miracles, miracles begin to happen. Because he is sure that his thoughts can change his life, his life begins to change. Because he is certain that he will find love, love appears.”

A warrior is highly tuned to sense danger, but he does not fear. He does not fear because pain is temporary and death is an illusion. What is eternal cannot die, and the warrior knows that he will laugh, he will love, and he will fight for all eternity, in this world or some other.

If he errs, if he wanders, if he indulges in self pity, if he complains… He does not despair. He knows that he is human, and he remembers the choice he made. He picks his sword back up from the ground, and resumes the path of the warrior.

A warrior fights for one reason alone: love. Love of life, love of what is good, love of family, love of tribe, and love of our infinite soul on the quest for impeccability. He lets love swell in his heart, flushing through every cell in his being until he cannot help but proclaim, like Cyrano De Bergerac, “I am going to be a storm — a flame — I need to fight whole armies alone. I have ten hearts! I have a hundred arms! I feel too strong to war with mortals. Bring me GIANTS!”