New Year's Resolutions!

As you know, if you’ve been at East West for any length of time, we’re big on goal setting! It is a critical part of the process of not only becoming a black belt, but in improving yourself in all areas of your life. At this time of year, many people are set on making New Year’s resolutions. While this may work for some, we tend to focus more on setting goals in a systematic and productive way, rather than making resolutions that can easily be broken. Did you know that of the 40% of Americans that make New Year’s resolutions, only  8% follow through on them?! Our hope is that you take these last couple days of the year, reflect on everything fantastic that you’ve accomplished in 2014 (I promise there are many things!) and think about where you want to head to in the upcoming year.

For a little added motivation, take a look at this great article called  “How To Have A Year That Counts”. The author lays out some easy to follow principles that will help to ensure that your year ahead is as successful and productive as you want it to be. Here’s a quick reference of some of those points.

  1. Don’t give up on your dreams!
  2. Don’t be afraid to suffer!
  3. Seek the mystery inside the truth, not the truth inside the mystery!
  4. Let you happen!

If you need some help setting goals for yourself with your training, please don’t hesitate to talk to your personal trainer or any one of our staff members. We will be doing some goal setting in classes the first week back in 2015 and look forward to helping you achieve those goals throughout the year!

Here are some words from Grandmaster Lee in that may help you as you think about where you want to go in the new year…



There has been a calculated risk in every stage of American development – pioneers who were unafraid of the wilderness, scientists who were unafraid of the truth, businessmen who were unafraid of failure, dreamers who were unafraid of action and World Kung-Fu Champions that were unafraid of really trying to win. It’s black belt thinking and you must have it within you to be a Master in this system.

A great pleasure in life to me is doing what people say cannot be done. THE FIRST AND GREATEST RICHARD LEE BLACK BELT COMMANDMENT IS, NEVER LET THEM SCARE YOU. I WILL BACK YOU UP IN ANY WAY THAT I CAN AND YOU WILL FIND THAT ALL MY BLACK BELTS REALLY FEEL THE SAME WAY. The moment as a black belt you commit and quit holding back, you will see that all sorts of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance will rise up to help you. The simple black belt act of total commitment you will find is a powerful magnet for help.

People will try to tell you that all the great opportunities have been snapped up. In reality, the world changes every second blowing new opportunities in all directions, including your direction. Just keep looking and learning with me and you will find them.

To me people, to get profit without risk, tournament experience without some danger, and a black belt without work, is as truly impossible as it is to live without being born. I’ve found that sometimes the biggest things are often the easiest to do because there is so little competition. Wherever you see a really successful person or business, I assure you someone once really made a courageous decision.

IT’S A GOOD RICHARD LEE BLACK BELT IDEA NOT TO MAJOR IN MINOR THINGS. The Wright Brothers flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility. Here’s a great saying, “The black belt needs to only begin and then the mind, the chi, grows heated. Only begin and the task will be completed.” Your duty as Black Belt Masters developing our staff, students, and this system with me is to proceed as if limits to our ability do not exist. Think about it.

I think humanity is divided into three classes: those who are immovable, those who are movable, and those who move! My black belts are movers. Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they’re yours. Remember as one of my black belts that others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently. I truly think that if we did all the things we are capable of as black belts in this system we would literally astound ourselves and the whole martial arts world around the globe.

In most cases, it is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult. Think about it. You have to think anyway, so why not as black belts think big? As one of my black belts, use the word “impossible” around me with the greatest caution.You can’t leave footprints in the sand of time if you’re sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave butt prints in the sands of time? You can’t build a black belt reputation on the things you are going to do.

A year from now, you may wish you had started today. I really think that all things will somehow come to those of us with a totally pure good black belt mentality who really go after them with all that we have. Let us go, now as great black belts and wake up our luck. Great black belts don’t just stand there and bunt, in life. They hit hard and aim out of the ballpark.

The master knows there is no real security on this whole earth. There’s only opportunity. My black belts don’t go into something to test the waters. They go in to make waves. You are one of a kind; therefore, no one can really predict to what heights you might soar. Even you, my friend, will not know until you spread your wings both in the subject of Bok-Fu-Do and in your life.

My black belts know that the future is never a gift – it will always be an achievement.”