Do You Have a Beginner’s Mindset?
The Importance of Keeping a Beginner’s Mindset
Have you ever noticed that anytime you start a new activity like karate, it’s exciting and engaging? One of the biggest reasons for this is something called “Beginners Mindset”. What that means is that you have a completely open mind and are intrigued and curious about every facet of what you are learning. Everything feels new and fresh! But then something starts happening…the newness starts to fade away. The shine starts to wear off. Why is this? In karate, like any activity, there are a finite number of skills or things to learn and eventually you stop learning as many “new” things. What replaces all those new techniques or drills are repetition of those same things you’ve already learned and worked on before. The ability to find the learning opportunities in things you’ve already been taught is a skill that sets those who achieve greatness and ultimately achieve their Black Belt apart from those who only achieve mediocre results or worse yet, quit. The Beginner Mindset tells us that no matter how many times we’ve worked on developing something, there is always room for improvement and thus growth. When you change your perspective from “oh, I have to do this again…” to “yes, I get to work this again” a whole new realm of learning opportunities show up. Take a front two knuckle punch for example: On the surface, it seems that it would only be used to punch someone in the face or solar plexus, but the uses when you expand your thought process are almost endless. It could instead be – a distraction to set up a kick, a checking of a shoulder to prevent a strike from being thrown, a knuckle driving into a pressure point, or a block of an attack just to name a few!
The same feelings are there whenever you get into a new relationship. You get butterflies and can’t wait to see them. You do all kinds of things to try and impress them, but as time goes on you start to get comfortable and you forget to look at them with the same fresh eyes that you had in the beginning. Relationships, just like karate, are hard work! To sustain and keep the relationship fresh you need to keep that Beginners Mindset and find new ways of making the “old” and “comfortable” things new and exciting. The same goes with your skills and techniques in the martial arts. Instead of asking why you have to do something again, try asking how can I make this different this time so that I can get something “new” out of it?
I’ve been married for over 23 years and we dated for 5 years prior to that and I have learned a lot about my wife in that time! They say that relationships are like a rollercoaster and I would absolutely agree (but, I love rollercoasters!). My wife and I have certainly had our ups and downs, our agreements and disagreements and everything in between, but we made a promise to each other from the very beginning that no matter what, “we work it out”. How does my marriage relate to martial arts? I made a commitment as many students do to achieve Black Belt and beyond and I can say that in my 25+ years of unbroken training, there have been some very low points in my training as well as some really exciting and high points. The key to my success (and this is not to toot my own horn) was my determined mindset. No matter the obstacles that got in my way, I was going to find a way to “work it out”. I am not oblivious to the fact that I am fortunate in a lot of my natural strengths that have suited me well in the martial arts, but it was not at all the easiest road to get my Black Belt. My training partner from the very beginning was slightly ahead of me in rank and well ahead of me in skill and he remained there all the way to his Black Belt as well. I am grateful to Tim Ross to this day for the years of training together and the many beatings he graciously gave me to help me learn and grow. So how have I kept my training fresh for so long? I’ve kept a beginners mindset and continually looked for new learning opportunities.
Applying a Beginner’s Mindset to Work or School
In a demanding world with deadlines, assignments, and responsibilities, the essence of a Beginner’s Mindset finds its place not only in the dojo or within relationships but also in the realm of work and education. Just as in karate, where the allure of mastering a technique can morph into routine practice, our professional and academic pursuits often suffer from the same fate. The once-thrilling challenges become commonplace, and innovation can give way to monotony. However, the essence of the Beginner’s Mindset casts a guiding light in this arena as well. By approaching each task with the same eager curiosity we display when embarking on a new adventure or challenge, we can infuse our work and studies with a renewed enthusiasm. This mindset, akin to exploring a new kata, reveals fresh angles of approach, imaginative solutions, and uncharted opportunities for growth.
May you Find Joy as you Reinvigorate Your Learning by Applying a Beginner’s Mindset
As we stand at this crossroads of revelation, it becomes apparent that the Beginner’s Mindset transcends boundaries. Whether we’re stepping onto the mat, nurturing relationships, or engaging in the pursuit of professional and academic excellence, its transformative power remains unwavering. The vastness of its lessons, echoing through the cadence of exploration, adaptation, and renewal, invites us to embrace each moment with renewed intent.
throughout every aspect of our lives, the Beginner’s Mindset is the golden thread that weaves together our diverse experiences, anchoring us to the art of continuous growth. Just as we find the thrill of the new in karate, kindling the spark of passion, or nurturing timeless bonds in relationships, so too can we ignite the brilliance of innovation in our endeavors at work and in school. It is a reminder that expertise is not an endpoint but a starting point for an new and exciting journey. So, as we move forward, may we carry this profound wisdom in our hearts, ever eager to unravel the mysteries of each new chapter, and perpetually embracing the magic of the Beginner’s Mindset.
About Laguna Beach Dojo
Laguna Beach Dojo was founded in 2002 by Jeffrey Kash, a 6th-degree Black Belt and Master Instructor. The dojo offers lessons for preschool children ages 4-6 as well as elementary and beyond age kids ages 7 and up. The classes are designed to develop life skills that will help create excellence in school and high levels of success later in life.
The Laguna Beach Dojo teaches adult martial arts as well in both designated adult classes as well as family-based classes. The classes are a great workout and offer a complete fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay in shape), or learn self-defense in a supportive and safe environment.
For questions, please contact one of our instructors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 949-499-5768 (mobile). You can also visit our website at LagunaBeachKarate.com or email Master Kash at MasterKash@LagunaBeachKarate.com.
About Master Jeff Kash
Master Kash is a sixth-degree black belt and master instructor. He has an engineering degree from Oregon State University and has been teaching martial arts for over 25 years. He has owned six martial arts schools in Southern California, but his greatest passion is getting to have a positive impact in the growth and development of each of his students. He especially enjoys the bond that is created when a child starts training in elementary school and sticks with it through middle and high school on their path to Black Belt or even 2nd Degree Black Belt before heading off to college.
See what some of our students have to say!
From a parent:
My son has an IEP at school for a processing disorder and ADHD and this school has been such a game changer for him! Master Kash knows how to work with my son’s needs, keep him motivated, and gives him the space to learn at his pace. Everyone is always so kind, patient, and gracious with him. Since starting here my son has learned how to manage his focus and attention to improve his reading and math. I can’t recommend Laguna Beach Dojo more!
-Samantha Andrus, teacher, student and mother of students Finn and Kali
From an adult student:
It’s hard for me to put into words how beneficial Laguna Beach Dojo has been for me. I have a professional life and I work quite a bit. Laguna Beach Dojo has helped to keep me present, focused, and motivated. The things I have learned at the Dojo translate almost every single day in many of my real life scenarios. I haven’t just been taught how to defend myself, I’ve been able to grow more than I ever thought was possible, more than I even realized that I needed. I know its cliche, but if I could give more than 5 stars, I would. Keep up the positive and productive work within our community.
-Shawn Bullington, Business Executive