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playing poker and teaching science: The secret of success
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The secret of success

I study aikido, a Japanese martial art. Aikido is widely regarded as one of the most difficult martial arts to learn as it integrates a series of locks and throws which require very precise body mechanics to execute correctly. The style of aikido I study, Yoshinkan, is often referred to as the most difficult of the aikido styles to learn.

I often take the road less traveled. There’s nothing new to learn there.

While attending a black belt promotion recently I heard a tidbit of information that struck me as universally good advice. The words of wisdom came from a conversation one of the black belt candidates had with a man who is generally thought of as an aikido master. He said that there were only two things you had to do to advance in knowledge:

Don’t quit, and don’t die.

That’s the secret to getting better at whatever you choose to do.

Don’t quit, and don’t die.

I’ve been studying the art for 10 years next month, acquired my black belt four years ago, and I know how far away from mastering the art I am, but I thought this was an interesting way to look at the road to proficiency in just about anything.

Don’t quit, and don’t die.

I think it also applies to poker. If you keep playing you will eventually learn how to win. You may go broke a time or two…..or three……or four, but if you continue to play and are dedicated to learning the game, you’ll get better, that is as long as you’re not a complete idiot, and there are some people like that out there. My dad used to say that just because you are old doesn’t mean you are wise. There are old idiots out there. But in general….

Don’t quit, and don’t die.

Naturally however it stands to reason that if you do happen to do one or the other it will be easier to come back from quitting than the alternative.


Blogger Daddy said...

At what age did you start martial arts study?
Had you any hand-to-hand experience prior to?
Thanks in advance,

10:20 AM  
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