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Lessons from the Arcade and Martial Arts

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pac man

Burn a Few Quarters:

When I was a kid we had to get a ride from our mom to the arcade if we wanted to play video games.  Home video games didn’t really exist.  Eventually Atari invented “Pong”, but for real video games we had to go to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters.  Every few months a new game would come to the arcade and we would all stand around it and try to figure it out.  Someone would ask, “How do you play this game?” The answer was always the same… “You’ll have to burn a few quarters to figure it out.” Which means, you need to just try it out and learn by trial and error. So don’t expect to win the first few times, just have fun and figure it out.







This reminds me of how you learn to compete in karate tournaments.  You just need to have fun and figure it out.  Don’t stress about whether you win or not.  Just do it.  And the lower belt you are the better, because if you participate in a karate tournament as a beginner or intermediate belt, no one else knows what they are doing either.  But if you wait until you’re an advanced belt to figure it out, it’s a lot harder because now the other competitors have probably done a few tournaments and they have a head start.

Tournament Judges

Just Do It and Have Fun!

So no matter what belt you are, don’t stress about winning at the karate tournament, just do it and have fun. You’ll eventually figure it out and you’ll be glad you did it. And unlike my wasted time at the arcade, your time will be well spent at the tournament.  You will become a better martial artist, a better self-defense practitioner, and more comfortable performing in front of people. Go ahead, burn a few quarters!

Life Lesson from the Martial Arts

Always continue to challenge yourself and don’t be afraid of trying new things.

Life Lesson from the Arcade

It’s OK to burn a few quarters now and then to figure life out.


As a father I do believe that video games are an absolute waste of time and that our kid’s time would be much better spent working out at the karate school or practicing a musical instrument.  You know –  living a real life instead of a virtual life.  But that is just my humble opinion.  I could be wrong. 🙂  Also: To my good friends Mr. & Mrs. Siegrist who design video games – I am sorry.
Author: Master Cristian Nelson