Y'Own Damn Fault


My wife is a huge fan of Darren Hardy. And for good reason. He's awesome!

Yesterday she sent me this video and asked that I share it with our students.


It's a great video and I'd suggest you watch it but the basic message is that to succeed you must look at everything in your life as your doing. 

Back in the day, my Grand Master continually fed me this same exact message. I was in my 20's and of course as most 20 somethings do, I mostly rejected this message. It's a hard pill to swallow for anyone. Especially an arrogant 20 something (the old me).

But swallow it I did. Just in tiny bits over 25 years (and still going)


Yet an empowering pill it is.

I'll leave the discussion about the advice for the video. It does a good job and there is little reason to talk about it more.

Instead, I will examine how it was taught/accepted in physical form in the evenings training session. It may seem odd to extend a life rule to fighting, but it's not. It's normal for our lessons. And it's been going on for millennia. I was actually reminded of this just before the lesson. I was digging through a box of important stuff (junk) and stumbled upon a long lost copy of The Art of War. A book of instructions that work in life just as well as in war.

The lesson started off in the way they commonly do. I picked a technique to work on, asked the students to perform it, and quickly recognized that there was a fundamental problem even before the first motion. As it always does this led me off on a tangent of teaching principle rather than technique. I always have a plan. I never follow it.

We ended up working on the principle of taking advantage of openings. Of only attacking weakness. And how effortlessly and naturally this happens.

I put my students in stances and had them defend themselves against me. Then I picked them apart. Hitting them relentlessly. They simply could not react. Sometimes I used illusion but mostly not. I just exposed the weakness.

Each time I hit them I asked why they got hit. They replied

"M'Own Damn Fault"

What they quickly recognized is that each mistake was nothing of epic proportion. Each opening was created by not having mastered a very simple principle. And each of these principles had been taught AT FREAKIN WHITE BELT LEVEL!!!

They had been given these principles over a decade ago.

After the embarrassment we set to correcting them. We used the exercise of slow motion sparring to expose each mistake and then work on correcting it. Each time they got hit they laughed and exclaimed, "M'Own Damn Fault".

Pretty soon they had fixed many of the mistakes. I showed them how to speed up their hands and soften their footwork. They listened and learned.

Then the remarkable thing happened. They naturally started speeding up. As their skills quickly increased so did their pace. They relished being hit because it then, instead of being a hit to the ego, became an opportunity for change. An opportunity to increase their skill level. They laughed and echoed the mantra each time. Then set to improve themselves.

In that two hours they improved upon skills that had been left in a sloppy state for years. Very important skills that when brought to a high level become magic. They had hit upon that state which we call coopetition. It is an amazing, egoless skill building state. A state that Shifu Miller and I have tried to explain to them for years.


Simply by understanding and implementing the lesson in that video. We had discussed it prior to the lesson so it easily became the lesson. A hard to grasp abstract concept put into physical form. And this is one of the magical things about Shou' Shu' training. It can take these age-old life lessons and put them to practice. It happens in lesson after lesson. More often than not. And every time it amazes me. 

It is profound!

This morning I got a message from a student who had watched the video but not attended class. Since those that did attend saw the message as well, they probably got a good laugh. It's not uncommon to see the Dunning Kruger effect played out like this. The one person proclaiming a full understanding who in actuality completely missed the mark.

It's, "His Own Damn Fault!"



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