Transcript - Welcome

Welcome to JMAC! When you first start, you're probably going to feel a little uncomfortable, because you don't know what the warm-up routine is, you're not sure what all the words are, and not sure what the expectations are. The truth is, in traditional Japanese martial arts, there are a lot of expectations. The good news is, when you first start, we don't expect you to know any of them — and little by little, systematically and comfortably, we're going to help you get used to them.

You can help yourself by keeping your eyes and your ears open. Pay attention to how the senior students act, listen to the instructions, don't judge yourself, give yourself a few weeks just to get used to the routine.  Little by little, you'll find that you're more and more comfortable, and you're picking up more and more of the nuances. The nuances are where it's at, that's what distinguishes what we might call a "McDojo" from a really legitimate, well grounded traditional dojo. Attend the extra events, help out after class, if there's a senior student who's willing to do an extra workout with you, take advantage of that. Ask questions when you're not on the mat, do a little reading — all these things will help you, and by gaining more knowledge, you'll find yourself getting better and better at picking up the things that aren't immediately apparent when you first step on the mat.

Over the long term, that's what's going to make the difference between you as a white belt, you as a green belt, you as a brown belt — which is a pretty advanced rank here at JMAC — and then as a black belt, which is really where it's at over the long term. And when you've made first level black belt at JMAC, you will really know you've accomplished something. So before I leave you today, I just want to remind you — would you please keep opening your emails? We're gonna send you a few more videos like this to help fill you in on the background, just give you some logistics, some basic counting info, things to expect, what kind of mindset to have, and if you really soak those things up, it's going to accelerate your progress going forward and make the process of becoming a full fledged student JMAC that much easier.