I’m a very flawed individual. There’s no denying that. I have character defects the size of Minotauro Nogeira’s head. Ask a handful of people what kind of guy I am and you’ll get a handful of answers. They will range from “He’s a really nice guy” to “That F’n deadbeat still owes me money!” to “What an arrogant, bombastic, narcissist!” Truth is, they’re all true. Well, the second two, anyways. But what allows me to go on is the principle of kaizen. It’s Japanese for improvement, and Musashi defines it by saying “Be better today than you were yesterday.” That to me sums up Bushido. Notice Musashi didn’t say “Be a good person.” Because who defines what a good person truly is? Some people consider me a good person, most people don’t. But who cares? The definition of good is subjective and malleable. But kaizen (improvement) is a process of evolution. It’s the only real principle I teach. Someone recently criticized me for espousing Bushido while I myself fall so short of its standards. Well, he’s right, and yet kaizen isn’t about perfection. It’s about growth. I can truly say I’m a better person today than I was yesterday. And will be even better tomorrow. And that is all, I think, you can possibly hope for. Stop comparing yourself to someone else’s standards. Stop trying to be good. “Be better today than you were yesterday.” Let those who hate you go on hating you. Who cares? Don’t demean yourself by defending your actions or words; or for apologizing for who you are. Does a scorpion apologize for stinging? You are what you are. Accept it. Grow. Be better. Always pursue higher standards, even when those standards seem lower than the norm. Kaizen! Evolve.

© William Banks and “The Jiu Jitsu Professor” 2014. All content of this blog and website, unless specifically noted otherwise, is protected under U.S. copyright. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material in whole or part without express written permission from this blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to William Banks as author and “The Jiu Jitsu Professor” as source with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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