an outline for members
Ok, I confess –The 100 is an idealistic organization. My dictionary listed the synonyms for idealistic as high-minded, lofty, rarified, and noble-minded. Yes, that is The 100. In being an idealistic endeavor, we will strive for the highest ideals. The dictionary defines ideal like this:
1. Ideal – The idea of something that is perfect; something one hopes to attain.
2. Ideal – Model of excellence of perfection of a kind; one having no equal.
Therefore, with the idea of being the ideal idealistic martial arts association, I am setting some rather lofty goals for members. We are, after all, coming together to do extraordinary, career-defining work; and with the idea of "beginning with the end in mind," we will be seeking to become an association with no equal.
What I’m Asking from Members
Be a Role Model of Fitness
I’m asking members of The 100 to get --and stay --in great shape. How great? As great as any Master of the martial arts should be; as great as any role model for the benefits of studying the martial arts should be. Near-perfect shape I would think.
Treat Each Other with More than Respect
I’m asking members of The 100 to treat each other as extended family. I mean that any fellow member of The 100 would be a VIP if visiting another member’s
school and, if at all possible, in their home as well. Now maybe that sounds like an odd request, but not in the ideal idealistic sense. Why not treat each other with an extraordinary level of respect, courtesy, and hospitality? What culture from times past has not had a tradition of welcoming travelers and strangers into their homes --and offering them food, shelter, and friendship? Likewise, if a member of The 100 calls or e-mails another member, I would expect that his or her request would be treated as something important.
Play Team with a Capital "T"
I’m asking members to play TEAM at an amazing level. How amazing? Amazing enough that ANY professional team builder, consultant, or coach would look at our association and be in awe; that they would use us as an example of what team means –and how a team is supposed to function. Is this not within the scope of our abilities? Is this not very little to ask of people who are striving to be "Masters" of the martial arts? No, it is not too much to ask; it is the core of the very lesson we are trying to teach our own teams --in our own schools.
The Attitude of a Master
I’m asking the members of The 100 to have the attitude one would have if he or she were a true, an ideal, martial arts Master. In my mind, this means an attitude along the lines of Martin Luther King or Gandhi or The Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh. This would be an attitude that could turn conflict into peace, disagreement into agreement, anger into understanding, and make obstacles become opportunities. This would be the kind of attitude that one would expect from a true Master –an attitude of compassion, wisdom, peace, reconciliation, and participation. If attitude is everything, then this is the ultimate test of whether someone is learning the lessons of the martial arts (and life) –or not.
In my book, the attitude of the Master is in understanding that you are not the "Master" at all –but the servant. The more you play the "traditional" role of "The Master" –the less of a Master you truly are.
The more humility you have, the better. When you are really thinking and behaving as a Master, you will not have to show or tell anybody --they’ll know.
Contribution and Participation
I’m asking team members to contribute to this association to the exact degree of benefit they hope to derive from it. The very nature of this beast, this "100," is that we have come together to realize ideals and ambitions that are outside of the status quo in our industry (and certainly in the world). Mediocrity is the enemy –activism, innovation, and teamwork are the weapons we will use to fight it.
I’m asking for 100-percent participation in our activities. I’m asking the members of The 100 to act as if they were the very backbone of the future of the martial arts –and of the world.
Is all of this idealistic? Yes, it is, and I think it is high time for some idealism among the leadership in the martial arts community; we have nearly been taken over by salesmen, by businessmen, by dance-studio tactics, by for-profit-only hucksters with heads full of up-selling, gross profits, "return on investment," pro-shop sales, and market share. The 100 is out to reshape the business of the martial arts so that we can offer more than "product" and "service." The 100 seeks to build a new model for "martial arts education" in the international martial arts community. We are not against profit, but we recognize that it is not the primary fuel that fires our engines –it is not our reason we chose to make a career out of teaching the martial arts. Profit and business are factors in our lives, but not The Reason we are here.
For the most part, I would guess that members of The 100 have already progressed through and beyond those years when gross and net profit, the size of one’s student body, and the ranking of his or her school on a "highest gross" list ruled over their behavior and goals. Practicing the skills of good business are like practicing good hygiene; everyone needs to brush their teeth to stay healthy –but we don’t LIVE to brush our teeth.
Engage in "Sustainable Business Practices"
This is, I believe, the first time in the martial arts industry that the term sustainable business practices, or for that matter, the word sustainable, has been used in anything relating to the business of the martial arts. A sustainable business practice is one that doesn’t wipe out the very resources that make the business survive.
Clear-cutting a forest that can’t be re-grown for hundreds of years is not a sustainable practice. Removing all the fish from a lake or an ocean without regard for future catches is not a sustainable practice. Encouraging large cash payments for long-term memberships --and using contracts that bind students to payment regardless of their satisfaction with the product or service --and doing either with an assumption or expectation that the student will drop out before his or her course is complete, is not a sustainable business practice.
You cannot clear-cut students and their families in your community by taking advantage of them, financially, at the early peak of their enthusiasm. You cannot take money for hundreds of untaught lessons and consider it "yours" without regard to the needs, expectations, and feelings of the consumer. If we do that as an industry, if we leave behind hundreds –if not thousands --of people who have paid for services in advance, but didn’t enjoy those services as they unfolded, we leave ourselves open to the same kind of operational and legal restrictions that the ballroom dance "industry" are subject to.
In the not too distant past, unscrupulous dance school operators bilked lonely senior citizens out of untold thousands of dollars by selling expensive dance-lesson contracts and asking for large cash payments; that is, until the legal system got a hold of them. There are people in our industry doing almost exactly the same thing to customers that don’t know any better. If we do not police our own business practices, history has shown that some outside entity will come in and do it for us.
The 100’s written Code of Ethics and Sustainable Business Practices is in the works. The members of The 100 will be expected to serve as role models for sustainable business practices in the martial arts industry –by rejecting ALL forms of questionable, outright dishonest, manipulative, and suspect business and/or sales practices.
Project Based Leadership
The 100 is a "project" –and The 100 is all about taking action on projects, as projects and Project Based Leadership Training (PBLT) are a significant part of the new kind of martial arts education we are developing and promoting. In many ways, we will define ourselves –and promote our schools –by what we do in our projects, both as a team and individually.
The 100.’s Projects – 2006/2007
• Project - Living as an Example
• 1000 Community Projects
• The 10,000 People Project
• The Peace Education Project (including "acts of peace" and Peace One Day)
• The Invisible Children/Global Night March Project
• The Environmental Self-Defense Project
• The Media that Matters Film Project
• The 100Foundation Project; The Living Heroes Support Project
Living as an Example of The Way
The 100 is not a "martial arts association" as much as it is a movement. It’s a movement for improvement; as we are out to improve the quality of our own lives, the quality of life for our families, for our students, our communities, and the world.
We begin with our own thinking and behaviors. Diet, exercise, meditation, education, attitude, consumption, teamwork, relationships, community participation, and the pursuit of personal mastery are not just topics of discussion for this team; we pledge to live each area of our lives as examples of The Way.
What else is there? If not us, now, then who will step up –and when?
We will step up. We will make The Way of the martial arts instructor The Way of peace and extraordinary commitment to a quality of thinking and living that raises the standards for everyone we come in contact with. Why not? What have we dedicated most of our lives to in the martial arts for, if not the pursuit of mastery?
The association doesn’t advocate any particular kind of diet. Each member of The 100 is asked to eat with a consideration for the environment, for living things, for the people who produce the food, and for how the food is produced.
As a member of The 100, teaching other people about food and diet, by example, is as much a part of the martial arts as are kicks, punches, and throws. Members are expected to consume food consciously and with awareness –and this effort is to be documented in The 100’s journal pages so that we may teach others the value and importance of diet in the pursuit of martial arts mastery.
Physical fitness is essential to participation and membership in The 100 If we are not "in shape" then how can we serve as role models for a new generation of martial arts practitioners? Each member of The 100 pledges to use his or her membership as a reason for getting in the best possible shape, now. Being grossly overweight because of poor dietary habits and insufficient exercise and attitudes about food and consumption are the norm in much of the western world today. To be in The 100 is to commit oneself to fitness and health in an extraordinary way –one that reflects what, exactly, a "martial arts Master" should look like. Our examples of fitness reside in the fitness regimes and practices of masters and athletes like Jhoon Rhee, Ernie Reyes, Sr. and Jr., the Gracie family (Helio, Rickson, Royler, Royce, Etc.), Chuck Norris, Keith Hirabayashi, Dave Kovar, Steve LaVallee, Mike Swain, Chris Natzke, Lance Farrell, Peter Johnson, Mike Valentine, Alicia Kastner, and our many other peers…
For basic lessons in how to practice meditation, members of The 100 would do well to read and listen to the books and audio programs of Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced Tick-Not-Han); however, there are many ways to practice meditation –and many different teachers.
It is the goal of this association to reunite the martial arts and meditation (as most instructors have never had formal training in meditation). A martial arts master instructor should be as familiar and comfortable with the techniques of mediation as he or she is with the techniques of his or her martial art.
The 100 is an association about education beyond the scope of simple business practices. Environmentalism, anger management, meditation, non-violent conflict resolution, voluntary simplicity, anatomy and physiology, and any number of other topics are where we will methodically put our focus. We do this, as we understand the evolution of the martial arts industry (and our own careers) is contingent upon better-educated instructors –and the blending of innovative education into our curriculums.
How we treat the environment, how we deal with conflict, anger and peace, and how and what we consume (individually and as a society) are all related to self-defense and the kind of consciousness and awareness we are promoting through The 100.
Each member of The 100 is expected to take a long and honest look at his or her consumption of goods and resources –and then act in a way that reflects a concern for the welfare of our planet and its people.
The 100's the proving ground for people who desire to create their own dynamic teams.
Project Based Leadership Training will revolutionize your school –and the industry. Community involvement and activism is the ultimate end-product of sophisticated martial arts training.
1000 Community Projects: Project Based Leadership Training and The 100.’s Project Portfolio
Each member of The 100 is responsible for 10 community-based projects per year. Collectively this represents 1000 projects a year organized and implemented by team members. Each project is to be outlined in the members "Project Portfolio."
Projects are meant to be a manifestation of each member’s teaching and business philosophy. No member of The 100 shall launch a Project Based Leadership Training program for his or her students until he or she has completed and documented the required 10 projects.
The 10,000 People Project
Mobilizing 10,000 to 50,000 people in a day for community activism
Each member of The 100 pledges to mobilize a minimum of 100 people in his or her community on a given day for a given project. Collectively this represents a mobilization of a minimum of 10,000 people. The 100 will mobilize people for at least three projects per year.
The Peace Education program for The 100 is an extensive and multi-layered program. The goal is that The 100 schools in the association will each be a "Peace Education Center" –and that we will have all the tools, resources, and knowledge to teach peace-related ideas equal to our knowledge of martial concepts.
The association will, in 2006, design and launch a website that will define and track "acts of peace" –and The 100 will provide support to the Peace One Day campaign by organizing and/or participating in activities on Sept. 21st. of 2006 (the day the United Nations has delegated as an international "Day of Peace). Our website’s address
will be www.actsofpeace.com. The web address for Peace One Day is www.peaceoneday.org.
The Global Night Commute - Invisible Children: www.invisiblechildren.com
The 100 will be participating in the Global Night Commute, please visit their website for more information.
The Environmental Self-Defense Program
It would be an honor and a privilege if The 100 became known as "The Green Party" of the martial arts industry. Every school involved with The 100 is expected to go GREEN –and instructions on how to do this will be contained in the e-book "How to Green Your Dojo" –now in development.
The Media That Matters Film Program
The 100 has a relationship, through the Ultimate Black Belt Test program, with Tapestry Films International. Tapestry’s owner, Nancy Walzog, along with filmmaker Susan Hadary, introduced the UBBT program to King Gimp, a documentary film about a man with Cerebral Palsy. Ms. Walzog and Ms. Hadary won an Academy Award for the project.
After watching King Gimp, which delivers a powerful set of lessons about perseverance, self-determination, and courage, it occurred to me that The 100 would greatly benefit from showing this –and other –films as a part of each school’s curriculum.
Since watching King Gimp, I have found two other films relevant to the philosophy and mission of The 100, Peace One Day and Invisible Children.
The essence of the Media That Matters Film Project is that each of The 100 schools will engage in a year-long experiment where we use select documentary films to help us teach components of "character education."
It is our long-term goal to establish closer links to the film industry –and specifically to filmmakers who are making films that make a difference. No doubt there are 1000's of films I don't know about, but we will start with the three films mentioned above.
Using these films is a NO-BRAINER for the martial arts Master Teacher --who needs to use any and everything within his or her power to keep student focused and growing. I think the films would also be excellent tools for the teacher to use when visiting public or private schools ---as films like King Gimp speak more about the core education we hope to provide our students, than does board breaking, punches, kicks, grappling, and weapons training.
You may purchase King Gimp through www.films.com, Peace One Day at www.peaceoneday.org, and Invisible Children at www.invisiblechildren.com.
The 100 Foundation and, for now: The Living Heroes Support Project
The 100 Foundation will be organized with the concept that each member of The 100 will be required to fund-raise $1000 per year ($84 per month) for a scholarship and grant fund. With 100 schools raising a minimum of $1000 per year, we would accumulate $100,000 in 12 months. Those funds would then be issued to students of The 100 who apply, and qualify, for grant money needed for social-entrepreneurial and/or community-based projects.
Until all the details and legalities of establishing a foundation are dealt with, this project will be "on hold." In the mean time, we will try another concept that I think could give us some remarkable opportunities:
The Living Heroes Support Project
The members of The 100 will pick one "living hero," a man or woman making a significant difference in the world, and offer financial support for his or her efforts. This "financial support" will come about by having each of The 100 soliciting $1 to $4 donations (with some mutually beneficial project) from a minimum of 100 people (or half as much from 200 people!). Association wide, this will amount to somewhere between $10,000 and $40,000. This project will take place in one specific month –date and project specifics yet to be announced. All tools for fund raising will be organized by the association.
Why send money to a living hero? And why make this idea a "project" for The 100? Sending financial support to someone doing amazing work allows us to mix with dynamic thinkers in arenas outside of the martial arts community. For just $1 a week (over a month-long period) your students can learn about and participate with some activist who is applying his or her "personal power" (Anthony Robbins calls personal power the ability to "take action’) to issues that need it.
If you were working on a project, investing your time and energy and struggling to make a difference, wouldn’t it be a wonderful gift to have some group send you $40,000 to help with your efforts? For some activists, this could change the course of their project –and his or her life. We can do this for someone worthy of help –and with very little effort on our part.
We may end up helping a child’s-rights activist working with children in need –or an environmental activist working on habitat restoration –or who knows? The 100 will engage in this experimental project just for the gift of finding out what we can learn –and whose lives we can alter with our efforts.