Courage – Part Four

It is funny how often enough success leaves clues.

That is one of the first sayings that I learned from Fred Degerberg.  I sat across from him many years ago when I only had about 14 students.  I told him all the reasons why I didn’t have students and he re-told them to me like this… “that is all your fault”.

He was right… and thankfully during one part of the conversation he told me to “shut up and listen”.  Well he didn’t say it that nice but you get the idea 🙂

He made me sit there and get the absolute worse verbal beat down of my life.

I left crushed and humiliated.  It wasn’t just me in the room but several others including my instructor Guro Ron Balicki who set up the meeting for me.

I went home with all these ideas but I needed to see past the things to do and look for the message he was trying to deliver.  As he said… “It isn’t any one thing”.  I know, I know… just like the movie City Slickers… but it is true!!!

After all the years I love telling people about that meeting and what it did for me.  It’s taken me years to even understand all of what we discussed in just a few hours.  But you have to understand… it came from Fred.  I had a chance not too long ago to cheer him on when he won the award for Best School in the World!!!  So he knows what he’s talking about.

The largest message I learned from Fred is that the creator gave us two ears and one mouth.  So we should listen two times more than we speak.

It isn’t easy… because often enough you really hear something that sets you off or that you have an opinion about.  Doesn’t matter.  Just sit there and wait.  Wait until it is all done.  Look through their eyes.  Walk in their shoes.  See what they see and feel what they feel.  Understand where they are coming from and more importantly help them get there.  It is easy to point fingers… but it is a challenge to listen and even more to understand.

It is as world leader Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”


Guro Larry, Lauren & Tori St. Clair
The Always Improving Martial Way Academy
American Top Team Trained and Certified MMA Affiliate
Martial Arts Training and Fitness Education at its Best
http://www.martialway.net
512-821-3637

The old saying that knowledge is power is just that… execution… now that is POWER!!!

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