The Color of Trust

Recently I had a conversation with a person that I have a lot of respect for and it came out that this person was very much a racist. Now I have been around long enough to see all types of people and belief systems but this shocked me that this person believed that he was superior in some way based on the color of his skin. I feel I have been a martial artist for long enough to only see the color of the belt the students are wearing and have long ago tried to overcome any feelings of disparity based on race, nationality or religion. I survived three tours in Viet Nam and can assure you that while there were disputes between the races, when the bullets started flying, we only saw the green of the American uniform and red – the color of the blood from our fellow wounded American’s. A person must know that in times of need, that their friend has their back. Let me share a couple of examples that I remember over the years. As a young student in Abilene, Texas, I remember Ken McDowell stating in one of those hard workouts that the American Karate Black Belt Association was known for back in the Blood and Guts era, that in a street fight he would rather be surrounded by some of us and our classmates than some of the best black belt around the world because he knew that we would be there, win or lose till the very end. Now this was a motivation speech no doubt designed to make us feel good about the brutal training we had just endured, but to this very day those words from almost 40 years ago I can hear clearly and have made a profound impact on my life over the years. In a South East Asia Jungle a few years later, I remember getting hit in the neck by hot casings from my buddies M-16 as he sprayed the enemy with ground fire. I did not have time to look at what he was shooting at; I had my own opposition in front of me. It never once occurred to me to wonder about his color, his religion, what ever. Only that he was a good shot and with team work we could survive one more day. A good coach or mentor can save you lots of time by pointing you in the right direction, but only if you trust him and believe he has your best interest in mind. Today I see more and more teachers that are teaching techniques that would not work on the street for a variety of reasons. I think each of us has a responsibility to be honest with ourselves and others in order for their to be true success. This week, Diana and I had the opportunity to have a great dinner and conversation at a 5 star restaurant here in Cozumel and during the conversation we discussed our goals and the power team we have surround ourselves with that is going to help insure our success in reaching our goals. This outsourcing to experts that have a genuine concern on your success is huge when it comes to the overall success of anything you choose to attempt, whether on the battlefield, the business board room or in your personal life. I can guarantee that I am alive today because of the people that I have surround myself with, that had my back when times got tough. Today more than ever, people really need to know who really has their back and who really doesnt. The higher rank you earn, the more success you have in business in general, as you walk down the path of life, you will find yourself surrounded by people that seem to have your best interest in mind, but in reality there just may have a hidden agenda and bail on you the first sign of trouble. It is important to surround yourself with a mastermind that will tell you the truth and not just say yes to you. Only through seeing reality through the eyes of the mastermind team you surround yourself with, will you be guaranteed the success of black belt excellence. Respectfully, Terry Bryan, PresidentAmerican Black Belt Academy

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Terry Bryan