By Manny Cabrera III, Chief Instructor

In his two million copies sold bestselling book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins beings the first sentence by saying “good is the enemy of great.”  As a martial arts instructor, I can’t help but agree with him.  Too many people today are satisfied with being just good and never aspire to be great.  In his book, which is aimed at business professionals wanting to know how to create an enduring great company, he outlines the path to breakthrough success in three categories: disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action. The key concept expressed through the entire book is that disciplined people will exercise disciplined thought, and in turn, take disciplined action.

Discipline is often a misunderstood concept usually used as a synonym for punishment.  However, as we learn in class, discipline is the ability to do what we’re supposed to when others tell us to.  The most basic example of this is the parent telling the child what to do (like cleaning a room) and how to behave.  As we grow, we develop a certain amount of self-discipline—or the ability to do what we’re supposed to do without others telling us to.  We get up early enough so we aren’t late for work, pay our bills on time, make sure that our homes are clean, and the myriad other things you do in your day all without the supervision of another person.

Where I’ve talked and written extensively on respect, attitude, and goal setting being the key components of success, self-discipline is the glue that holds everything together.  Having respect is worthless if you don’t have the self-discipline to exercise it.  A positive attitude is useless if you don’t have the self-discipline to maintain it and your goals will never be reached if you don’t have the self-discipline to stay the course until you reach them.

At SIDEKICKS, we are taking a look at discipline in ourselves as well as cultivating it in our students. This is an effort that SIDEKICKS is working on from the top down.  As I am now eligible to test for my fifth degree I’m taking the steps needed to be disciplined and get ready.  Our staff is working on becoming the disciplined organization it needs to be in order to become the martial arts school we envision and take our place as a pillar of the community.  Our students will be challenged to identify things in their life that they are disciplined at and how they can use those skills to become disciplined at other things.  I believe that we will all become better, more successful people from white belt to black belt.

About the author: Manny Cabrera III is an expert in self-protection, fitness, personal development, and is a life-long martial artist.  He serves as chief instructor at Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers and has written for multiple publications.  Mr. Cabrera resides in Brandon, FL with his wife Jessica, their twin sons, and an energetic Austrailian Cattle Dog.  Follow Mr. Cabrera on Twitter.

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