Shihan Dunn’s 5 Simple Steps To Classroom Success


There are dozens of ways to approach your martial arts progress, but what we’ve found over the years is that the key is to drill down and get SIMPLE.

So with simplification at the fore, let’s delve into the 5 things you need in order to see in-the-dojo training success.

#1 – Set a Specific Goal

So…you’ve heard this in the classroom before, but there is a real power to actually taking the time to outline your goal. Setting the goal of becoming a highly-skilled, well-conditioned, well-discipline black belt Martial Artist is very motivating.

It’s one of those things that brings energy not just to the pursuit of the goal itself, but to your other activities as well. It brings out the best in everyone and, with the kaizen principle in mind, keeps us on a path of positive self-development and constant improvement.

So start with these questions: where are you in your journey of personal excellence? Where do you want to be in the next 6-12 months?

#2 – Set a Plan for Execution

Don’t forget: every important goal in life, especially that of becoming a Black Belt, needs an action plan to make it happen. The goal without a plan has no shape, no way of being realized.

You need to concretize not only the what, but the how. So your plan might include your training days, your nutrition plan and/or extra fitness and conditioning.

It could also include other habits that need attention – your daily rituals or associations, for instance. Those things matter, and you need to take them into account if you want to feel major changes in the classroom.

Now that we’ve covered the first two steps in the process,let’s take a look at what else you need to put in motion to see classroom success at its highest level.

#3 – Take Action

In other words, you have to now DO what you’ve planned. As tough as it can be to sit down and think of the goal, write it down and create a plan, setting your plan into action can be equally challenging.

Here’s the good news…

Well-directed and well-thought-out actions always lead to positive, progressive results. The more actions you take, the better the results you create.

This is true whether it’s a specific physical goal you’ve set, or a more general plan to improve your communication or your leadership.

#4 – Study & Analyze Your Results

Everyone needs progress check points and measuring rods. The better you measure your results…the better you can manage them.

Let me explain…

Sometimes you’ll see results and realize you’re headed in the right direction. Sometimes you’ll see results and realize you’re going the wrong way. But by giving yourself an occasional check-up, you can easily determine if your plan is working.

Sometimes, the plan is good, but you simply need MORE action. Other times you need to take BETTER actions. Or maybe you’ll find that there’s something else – your nutrition, mental state or stress-level – that’s impacting you.

From there you can adjust and move forward with a better strategy.

These first four steps we’ve laid out have been designed to orient you and point you in the right direction when it comes to success in the classroom.

We believe firmly that the better oriented you are in the dojo, the easier it is to manage the ups and downs of life outside the dojo. It’s one of the reasons Martial Arts training is such a powerful tool.

We’ve got one more step in the process to share…

#5 – Continue what Works and Change what Doesn’t

In other words, follow the kaizen principle. If something is working well, the challenge in the classroom is to maintain it – to keep doing the little things that allow you to feel better, stronger, smoother, more focused.

And for the things that aren’t, it’s all about little tweaks. Nothing too major, just the little course corrections that help to nudge you back in the right direction.

Simple advice, yet you would be surprised how many people need this simple and powerful reminder. If something is working for you, keep doing it over and over. If something isn’t working, simply change your approach.

Always keep your most important goals fresh in your mind and take some action everyday until they’re where you want them to be.

Do these 5 Steps make sense? Please leave comments or questions below!