A New Journey: An Open Letter to My Students

fork in the road

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams, Jr.

To My Students,

As you are well aware by now, my life has changed course and I will no longer be teaching classes in the same school.  This was an especially tough decision for me to make.  Our school is where I started my martial arts journey nearly 16 years ago and everyone there is part of my family.  Some of you have accompanied me on the journey for years now while others for only a few months.  I hope you find the same rewards and fulfillment I have as you travel on.

Some may ask why I am moving on.  The answer is simple; continued growth.  While I could continue to grow and refine my skills where I am now, the school I am transferring to offers me new styles and approaches in which to broaden my horizon.  For the first time in years, I get to be a true student again; to be clumsy and awkward as I scramble to learn completely new concepts.  Many of you might think it’s silly to actually WANT to do something uncomfortable and foreign.  I find it invigorating.  You might not understand it now, but you will as you mature and grow more senior in rank.

As our paths split, I want to give you a few pieces of advice to help you along your way:

  1. Embrace discomfort & adversity – The strongest steel is forged in the hottest fires.
  2. Anything you want can be achieved if you apply 100%, focused effort.
  3. Rank doesn’t matter – If I take off my black belt, do I cease to be a black belt?
  4. Take baby steps – As you grow more senior, the learning curve tapers off and it is easy to get lost in the day to day minutia.  Simply take away one thing from class, no matter how small it is, and you will be amazed how much you will grow in a year’s time.
  5. Be bold – Be deaf to those who say it can’t be done.  Challenge the status quo.

It has been a privilege instructing you,



2 thoughts on “A New Journey: An Open Letter to My Students

  1. Just wanted to say enjoyed and was Inspired by your message. Especially good timing as preparing to move to a new country, new job, while looking forward to the lessons along with growth experiences sure to come.

    Wishing you Best of Success on Your Journey Jacob !!

    • Thank you Bill. Best wishes on your new journey as well. I may be going through a transition but MACE is here to stay. Be sure to visit back often for new articles and to let us know how everything’s going.

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