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President Abraham Lincoln sitting in chair in a suit.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” These wise words from Abraham Lincoln serve as a powerful reminder of the value of excellence in all endeavors including Martial Arts. Based on what we’ve learned about Lincoln, he would have made an excellent Martial Artist! 

Lincoln was determined to be the best at whatever he did. Before his political career, he was a country lawyer.  As always, he aimed to excel in his field.

Versatility: Lincoln handled a wide variety of cases, from criminal defense to property disputes and debt collections. His ability to understand and argue different types of cases made him a well-rounded lawyer.

Self-Education: Lincoln was largely self-taught in the field of law. He had a voracious appetite for reading and learning, and he studied law books diligently to gain the knowledge needed to practice law.

Skillful Orator: Known for his eloquence, Lincoln’s speeches and arguments in court were persuasive and clear. He had a unique ability to connect with juries and judges alike, using his storytelling skills and logical reasoning.

Honesty and Integrity: Lincoln earned the nickname “Honest Abe” due to his reputation for fairness and integrity. He was known to turn down cases he believed to be unjust.

Empathy and Fairness: He often showed empathy for the common man and was known to work on behalf of those who couldn’t afford legal representation. This commitment to justice and equality endeared him to many.

Learning from Failure: Lincoln experienced setbacks and losses, both in his legal career and personal life. However, he viewed these experiences as opportunities to learn and improve, a quality that defined his resilience and determination.

During his political campaigns, he strived to outshine his competition. Even though he experienced many losses in life, he never gave up. He learned from each setback, grew stronger, and ultimately became President of the United States.

This mindset of relentless self-improvement and resilience is at the heart of martial arts. Mediocrity is not an option for a successful martial artist. Every day brings new opportunities for learning new techniques, growth, and gaining fresh perspectives. Anything less than daily personal development falls short of the high standards they set for themselves.

Imagine your child embracing this philosophy. Through martial arts, they will aspire to be the best—not better than others, but a better version of themselves each day. They will learn to leave everything and everyone better than they found them. This commitment to excellence will not only help them excel in martial arts but also instill valuable life skills that will make mediocrity unacceptable and fuel a mindset similar to Lincoln’s.