Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So this is Christmas, and What have you done?

“So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun. Let’s hope it’s a good one with out any fear”…John Lennon

All year round we are pushing our selves to do more, get more and be more.  Which is not always bad, but if that is our soul purpose and drive then that leads to burnout.  Whether it is at work, school or in training you need time to reflect, refocus and set new goals for the coming future.  During that time of reflection focus on these three areas;
Lighten the load – whenever you can help someone especially family and friends. Do this with the attitude of gratitude, then feel what this does for your energy levels. When you help others you are always helping yourself.

Count your blessings – we have all won the “lotto of life” living here in Canada. We have our health, families and TKD brothers and sisters. Take time this in this festive season to really meditate and be grateful for everything in your life. Remember that the happiest people don’t have everything they are just grateful for every thing.

It’s impossible – to feel grateful and depressed at the same time as our minds can only dwell on one thought at a time. The one lesson that you will hear in TKD over and over is that you have the power to choose your thought, why not make it a good one?

When we educate our selves to feel gratitude, it means we take nothing for granted. We will always look for and value the kind of people who stand behind their words and actions. Nothing that is done for you is by accident. Everything originated in a will for good which is directed to you. One of the most important lessons not only in Tae Kwon-Do, but in your life is to train your self to always use your thoughts, words and actions for the expression of gratitude.

From our families to yours thank you for your involvement in Tae Kwon-Do, your support of our academies and making the world a more peaceful place.

First we make out Habits then our Habits Make Us

A few good habits will carry you a long way, said the master to his top student. They’ll get you through some tough times and set you up for consistent success. They'll make you a pacesetter."

The student asked what a pacesetter is.

"Well sometimes you're in a position to lead and sometimes you're not. But you're always in a position to be a pacesetter."

When you are handed the reins of leadership, you want to take them and do well. But I'll tell it to you straight. You need to make good things happen around you whether or not you're the leader. Do that consistently and any position of responsibility you want will be offered sooner than you can imagine. Don't seek any type of advancement by looking for promotions. Seek the opportunity to make good things happen around you now, and the rewards will follow."

Every student trains hard and does good work said the master, his student was perplexed. After a moment, the master spoke again. "You need to be different in a way that doesn't detract from the others efforts, but allows you to make an even greater contribution.

Are you helping students that are junior to you, or do you volunteer to do privates for the leadership team? You must seek ways to contribute. Like Mr. Zigler says “when you help others get what they need and want, you will always get what you need, want and deserve.

The next habit I want you to internalize is First in and last out which means you put in more effort and work harder than anyone else -- and not just busy work, but a meaningful, higher level of contribution. Get to work, school-- or meetings, presentations, leadership team meeting sessions -- early, and don't be the first to leave. Those times, early and late, are often when some of the most meaningful contributions are made. When we practice Tae Kwon-Do it means being the first one to show up for practice and the last to go home. It means doing more to prepare and develop than your competition. It means putting in more meaningful effort to produce a better end result.

Say to yourself before going to bed each night the first thing out of my mouth will be something positive when I wake up. It really doesn’t matter if you are alone or not, just say aloud something positive to yourself or to who ever you see first thing in the morning.


Master Dan Zaleski

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Master’s Circle

 The master’s circle is studying, practicing and teaching. Then repeating this concept in a constant and continuous improved way.  As always it is your choice to enter the master’s circle. 

Mastery is not a peak to be reached, but a plateau to be walked.

    The true master’s do not sit on their laurels waiting for others to pay homage but continue to study, practice and teach.

    So then excellent instructors should practice the master’s circle and be the example to the students. As well, the state of “jun bi” (which means ready!) is their trademark. Sharp pressed uniforms are just the outward standard they are sharp on the inside. Patience, trust and loyalty to their seniors and students and the attitude of constant and never ending improvement reveal these individuals.

    This brings us to excellent students, who must know and enter the master’s circle. You might say if you are a new student, sure I can study and practice but teach? Well unless it’s your very first day at the dojang there will be a newer student then you that will arrive. It is all students job to make the newer student feel welcome and part of the TKD family. The excellent student is ready, mindful, (of themselves and others) and loyal to the master and their academy.

    Where does personal power come from? It comes the very moment that we make a decision with our God given free will. Life is to important to leave to chance Decide now to be the best that you can be. Right this very moment you can switch (if you haven’t already) from passivity to enter the master’s circle.
    We have to see ourselves as masters, instructors and students in our own fields of career, school, reltionships.  Study - Practice - Teach, we are not in competition with eachother we are in creation with eachother to create the community we want to live in.
Master Dan Zaleski

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jump Start your Inspiration

We all have something in you lives that we want to change.  People will often say "I am not motivated".  The reality is they are motivated, just motivated to not take action.  They need to become inspired to make the changes that they want.  Here are som tips;

Be Honest with Yourself

                Have you ever felt unhappy with your life?  You know you must make a change, but what.  Are you the type of person who can take an honest look at yourself and realize you are not reaching your full potential?  Can you honestly look at the options you have to change your life and change it?  If you can, then you know you are going to go and start making lasting changes today.

                Anthony Robbins say you have to change your “should” to a “Must” Not you should make that change, but you MUST make this change for the betterment of your health, family, business.  You need to identify what inspires you to make the changes.  For some it is fear of what will happen if they don’t.  That may prompted the change but it may not last, because once you conquer that fear, the motivation is often gone.  However if you focus on the positive side of the same equation, and look at what you will gain if you make the changes in your life that is often a longer lasting inspiration.  It can always be adjusted and improved and therefore will continue to inspire you.

What are you willing to sacrifice?

                Often times if you are making a major change there is always something that you will have to give-up.  If you focus on giving something up (Negative thoughts) instead of focusing on replacing it with something else, you chances of being successful are decreased.  I have to give up watching TV, there is a pain involved with giving anything up.  Even if we know it is not good for us.  Smoking, drinking, and drugs a few examples of just that.  However if I focus on I GET to go for a walk, spend time with friends, build myself stronger and stronger everyday then the sacrifice is non-existent.   When you focus on the positive side of life, you will be amazed an inspired to continue to take action and move towards where you want to be.

  Start with Visualization

                We often use the term “I will believe when I see it.”  However, what if we turned that around and we said “I believe it so I will see it.”  We see the end result in our mind.  We see ourselves crossing the finish line, we see ourselves being successful in business, or we see ourselves receiving our Black belt.  When you are focused on the end result you are looking for, and you hold the vision in your mind of that fitter, healthier, more energized you it is amazing what you can do.  It gets you through the Land Between, which is always filled with hard work, tough choices, and sometimes disappointment.  However when you use visualization on a daily basis, and you see it, and you believe that it will happen, you can make it through those tough times.  Your larger goals will be splintered into smaller more manageable goals, and everyday inch by inch, you will get closer and closer to realizing your vision.  When you see progress, and we surpass milestones, your inspiration will continue to grow.

 Stay Connected

                Have you ever tried to doing thing with no help from others?  It is not impossible, but it is much more fun and enjoyable to share it with others.  As well, if you are surrounded with positive friends, people who want you to succeed, they will encourage and inspire you to heights you never thought possible. 

                There was a martial arts instructor in a small town.  He noticed that one of his students had been missing for the past few weeks.  The instructor called the man and the agreed to get together for tea.  Being that it was cold out, the man had a fire burning in his fire place while him and the Instructor sat and talked.  Finally the Instructor asked him “Where have you been? We are missing you in class.”  The man said “I don’t need to go, I am practicing at home and I don’t people around me to inspire me.  I can do it on my own.”  The Instructor used a set of tongs and pulled a burning hot ember out of the fire and laid it on the hearth.  The two men continued their conversation, but the man got distracted and noticed that the ember changed from burning red, to a dull grey. 

                We too need to share our energy and inspiration with others.  Like the burning ember, it only held the energy to burn when it was with other embers.

                 It should never be one sided always taking or always giving.  It is a continuous circle of sharing, when one person gets down their friends will be there to pump them back up.  If things are very good, both parties get that opportunity.  As a martial arts instructor myself, I take great pleasure in being of service to my students and their families whenever I can.  However it is a double sided sword.  There are days when I need them also.

                As a Black belt you understand that many hands make light work.  And many people create a lot of energy, to stay inspired to reach your ultimate potential.

 Reward your efforts.

                When you are writing your goals, you need to always pencil in a celebration, there needs to be a reward for you.  If you are training hard to burn body fat and you reach a goal, celebrate with friends.  If you got the contract you having been working weeks or months for, celebrate with friends.  With the Black Belt attitude there is no mountain too high for you to climb as long as you take it one step at a time and realize you do not climb the high mountain alone.

Respectfully,  Chris Rowe,
Chief Instructor Quest Martial Arts


Monday, August 22, 2011

Lets be Mind FULL

      In his book “Psycho-cybernetics” Maxwell Malttz M.D. describes in detail the importance of focussing your conscious thoughts on a healthy perception of your self image. Self image is such a precious treasure of the mind. He goes on to say that “your self image is the pacemaker to self-fulfillment”. This image of you is precious beyond measure.

      You must become a mind watcher. That means be aware of negative thoughts that enter your mind, change your thoughts to positive ones the second you become conscious and awake about negative thoughts.

      Do read, listen and watch positive things like DVD’s and motivators (teachers, preachers and Tae Kwon-do teachers) who help you remind yourself of your full-potential. Always look at the glass as half full…the only difference between being half empty is our own conscious perception.

Keep your mind FULL

F- Stands for: Fantastic self image…this means you are what you think you are, be your own best friend never say anything negative about yourself. Not just good…fantastic!

U- Stands for: Unlimited potential that is your birth right!!! When you focus and direct your thoughts with the higher faculties of your mind… (willpower and imagination.)

L – Stands for: Life goals in order health…family…business (work or school) in this order we keep our life in balance and order which frees our minds for creative thinking.

L – Stands for: Love which means living our values everyday. When we live our

values it helps guide our decisions and actions at any moment with out hesitation.


Master Dan Zaleski

Monday, June 27, 2011

Turn up the Energy!!

Summer is here and a lot of people naturally seek to slow down, relax and recuperate.

As martial artists this is an important part of the training cycle. However it is important for all of us to remember to take regular breaks from working out and work so that we don’t experience general adaptation syndrome (G.A.S.) also known as burn.  In your workout routine whether in martial arts or other sports the training stages of G.A.S. are a necessary part of your training and have three distinct stages.

The first stage is fight or flight- this is when you train and your body starts to feel a little uncomfortable.

Second stage is called the resistance phase- this is when your body is driven by your mind to do more than it usually handles. For example you do 100 push ups rather than your normal 50, or you spar two more rounds than normal.

The third stage is the exhaustion stage- this is when you train to overload your muscle or cardio systems. This is where all growth happens.

Your instructor will gage this “overload” through frequency, duration and intensity of the training. Plan to relax as summer comes into full heat but keep into your minimum two - three trains a week so that you won’t experience the dreaded de-training let down.
We can rejuvenate with a combination of planned days off and choosing a positive thought of energy over the negative thought of energy .

Choose Energetic over Drained- consistently eliminate energy drainers in your life and replace them with energy gainers which are good food, positive thought and positive people… like your training partners.

Choose Strong over Weak-continue and plan to train on a frequent and regular basis to maximize recuperation you should have about 48 hours between hard training classes.

Choose Steady over Erratic- we can control our energy levels with proper nutrition rather than fool our self with junk food quick fixes.

Choose Rejuvenated over Depleted- we recharge and renew ourselves by taking time off for play and relaxation.

To fully maximize your chances of not getting general adaptation syndrome you must be conscious of your training cycle, nutritional considerations and keep your positive metal attitude of gratitude.


                                                             Master Dan Zaleski

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Choose to survive or thrive.

Choose to survive or thrive.

It has been said that “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.” Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall.

The most difficult time in your life won’t be when no one understands you. It will be when you don’t understand yourself.

You see you were born to succeed, and having a great and happy life is your choice. You are as happy as you choose to be right now! Your future is in your hands and you must take 100% responsibility for yourself, no blame, no excuses and no denying.

Your dreams can definitely come true; you are one of a kind amongst 7 billion people on this planet.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit.

Everyone should know the goal setting dance and understand its profound message and meaning. Know what you want, take action, have daily habits towards your goal, be willing to do what’s necessary, with an attitude of gratitude and enjoy the journey.

Meditate on what you truly want in life.

This is where you get a clear vision in your mind of what makes you happy. By doing this everything you do goes towards making you happier and increasing your personal power (energy). You will begin at once to attract the life you desire which becomes an upward momentum.

Choose right now!

Make a personal commitment to get better by 1% everyday in any area of your life that makes you happy. Choose positive relationships while dropping any negative ones. Prepare for success. Believe in yourself by planning your steps.

Step into the unknown, you know that scary place that is outside of your comfort zone.

Finally you must never, never, ever give up on what you truly want for it is only you who can truly choose what life will willingly pay.


Master Dan Zaleski

Monday, March 21, 2011

Types of Tae Kwon-Do students.

     If you go into just about any dojang (place of training in Korean) you will find a variety of students. Regardless of their age, students will fall into one of these categories. Not every single person will be exactly as described but will definitely be a mixture of these categories.

Please note that just because someone is a new student to the academy does not necessarily mean they do not have years of experience and discipline from another style or art.

Types and stages.

New student- usually does not have any martial arts training and therefore doesn’t even know that they don’t know. They will have short term vision and commitment, they will say things like…I’m just here to lose a few pounds or get a little more flexible, but have not grasped the fact of the much larger picture of Tae Kwon-Do. Instructors must treat these students as fragile eggs and realize how easy that the trust they put in you as an instructor can be broken with just one negative comment or non thoughtful action.
Real World you might say things like..."I am just getting by.", "Every day seems to be a struggle."  The truth is you are not aware of your own potential.

The warrior- these are serious students who are aware that they have room to grow in their technical area, train quite regularly and become aware how food and drink that they consume affect their progress. He or she knows what to do to improve, but is not yet disciplined long enough to always do what is necessary. Most don’t quite grasp the importance of meditation and regular practice of going into the silence.
Real World you might say things like..."Things need to change but what can I do." or "I feel like doing something but don't know what."

The disciple- my experience has been that this occurs between second and third degree black belt. Although I have seen students start this way, it is very rare. This student is totally dedicated to the instructor and art with utmost respect. They teach and spread the tenets of Tae Kwon-Do and also “walk the talk” meaning they listen, focus and are very competent in their techniques. These students understand and know the power of universal law. The second to third degree black belts are domestic instructors. Forth to sixth degree black belts are Chief international instructors and are recognized world wide as excellent instructors.
Real World At this stage you become aware of what you need to do in your life to have an impact on those people around you.  You begin to feel more confident in your own ability to affect the people around you to make a positive change.

True Masters- these are very rare individuals who have dedicated a large part of their lives to the advancement of Tae Kwon-Do. They move thru their techniques with unconscious competence. They know universal law and use it to benefit others. These true masters have experience in all areas of TKD from the basics, self defense, mental skills curriculum, sparring and the highest levels of competition will be part of their history. You will know that you are learning from a true master when you meet his or her students. If the students are polite, friendly and without ego you are on your way to master Tae Kwon-Do.
Real World , these are the people we see around the community and we want to be like, because they always seem to be so positive and nothing rattles them

To relay this to our community, city, province, country and plant you might ask...What type of student/person am I?  If every student/person in this academy(community) was just like me, what kind of academy(community) would this be?


Master Dan

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

To take the LEAD.

At all the Tae Kwon-Do International schools in Canada there are leaders willing to lead all future leaders. The goal of TKDI Canada is to have 1000 more black belt leaders in Canada by 2020 or sooner. The mission for all these leaders is to create a more peaceful world. They start being peaceful in their own homes and continue into their communities and towns, cities and finally provinces. When you become part of something larger than yourself that helps others you create a life of passion and purpose. There is always room for leaders as well as opportunities for those who are willing to be of useful service to others.

Using the acronym L.E.A.D., we will discuss the qualities leaders possess.

L – Long term vision… use your imagination to keep the end in mind.

L – Listen…truly hear the person before you speak.

L – Learn…something(s) everyday, leaders are readers.

E – Enthusiasm…brings up everyone around you including yourself.

E – Excellence…do your best with what you have, where you are.

E – Example…what you are speaks so load, I can’t hear what you say.

A – Attitude…is always one of gratitude, and determines your altitude in life.

A – Action...nothing happens until you take your first step in the direction of your dream

A – Awareness…of what you are consciously thinking. Positive thoughts on purpose.

D – Decide…Know what you want in life and go for it.

D – Desire…you must have a burning desire to achieve what you really, really want.

D – Discipline…you always do what you have to do towards what you want whether you feel like it or not.


Master Dan

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Universal Laws for Tae Kwon Do

   Discovering and using universal laws (also known as laws of nature or natural law) will bring harmony and peace of mind to you which all human kind seeks on earth.  Although there are numerous laws, I will be discussing the ones that will make you better in Tae Kwon-Do and your daily life to connect to your higher self.  You do not have to be a master, mystic or some spiritual teacher to have the benefit and to use this simple but profound knowledge once you know it and make it your own.

    These laws are not theoretical speculation but have been proven not only thru the years, they are scientifically proven. The law of gravity proven by Isaac Newton is just as relevant now as then. All laws were not able to be proven until recent modern technologies were able to measure things like vibration and light particles under super sub atomic microscopes and physics.

   These laws are unwavering and unchanging principles to guide you to grow and expand.

Law of Transmutation.

      There is a sea of energy all around you (Dr. Deepak Chopra calls it quantum soup) in martial arts we call it chi or Ki pronounced key. This energy is constantly coming from this energy field to manifest into the material world. As a martial artist who trains your higher faculties of your mind you can conceive an idea in your mind and bring it from nothing to in your hand. For example the dojang or building your training in was first in someone’s imagination, then blue prints and then made.

Law of Vibration.

Tells us that everything in the universe vibrates at a certain speed, even you. What is important for you do learn is that you can increase your vibration and thus your energy thru your proper positive metal attitude and thoughts.

Law of Attraction.

Teaches us the importance of being “aware” of what we dwell on in our minds. This law states that you will attract to you the people and circumstances into your life that harmonize with the vibration that you project from the thoughts you keep in your mind.

Law of Cause and Effect.

    You’ve most likely herd this as sowing and reaping, karma, what comes around goes around. Any action(s) produces or returns a result in proportion or greater to the cause that initiated it. An example would be a student that focuses more in class-being the “cause” and becoming better in TKD faster would be the “effect”.

    Do these things for yourself, not for others. When you feel you have to impress others your focus is not centered, your true e-motions are not at work, and your true Tae Kwon-Do abilities and higher self cannot be expressed.

                                                                        Master Dan Zaleski