Alabama, UBBT, Mr. Joe

This morning I am about 24 hours away from leaving for Alabama to spend 5 days with like minded martial artist in a setting that many would ask, “What does that have to do with martial arts?”
It is a learning experience for me.  It is an opportunity for me to take the lessons I have learned on the mat like perseverance and put them into application in the real world.  In this setting I can see the lessons my instructor is teaching in action.  Taking all of the organizational, motivational and deep thinking skills and putting them into practice.
It is a time to demonstrate acts of kindness and peace and to honor those before us who have done the same.  Martial arts may be about self defense, but in fact it is kindness, empathy, tolerance and celebration of differences that create peace.  If the ideal meaning of health is energy –  the ideal meaning of peace is happiness.
This trip is also a lesson in teaching leadership.  Leadership is demonstrated by doing not just by sitting in a classroom and learning techniques of making people listen to you.  The lessons I would like for all of our students to learn is about leadership.  Thinking for oneself and doing something about what we see needs to be done.
See my journey in the UBBT at MY JOURNEY

Training in Alabama for Mr. Joe

This is an update on my trip to Alabama later this month. We have now been told what we will be doing this time in Alabama.
Alabama organization helping their community.
Project 1. The big project this year is the renovation of the Rosenwald school. I have linked to a site where there is more information about the historical significance of the school.
Project 2. The team will be building a home or an addition for a man who is blind.
Project 3. We will be working on creating a garden project for some in the community.
Project 4. There are 5 youth that 5 members fo the UBBT will establish a mentoring relationship with. They will work along side of the UBBT members, but will also take part in other activities to help build a relationship that can be maintained after we leave the town.
The community is hosting several dinners for the team and one of them is at the City Park where all of the town has been invited to come see a demonstration performed by the UBBT members. In addition during the week some members will be visiting local schools and making presentations.
In addition to this all of us will be doing some training in Diabetes education with Andy Mandell. More on him later, and we will also be training more in Anger Management Education.
When we have time for all of this. The last time I was there we were up and started our day at 5 AM and did not stop till very late in the evening, around 11 or so. This is a zero waste event for us also. All of us are required to bring mess kits, towels and water bottles, as there will be no plastic bottles, paper plates or towels or anything that needs to be thrown away – as much as possible. (toilet paper allowed)
When I return I will be happy to tell you about the event and the things learned there. This is a training program for those who are or who aspire to be, master teachers. What I learn there, I must bring back to our own community, to make the same kind of difference here that the 100 martial arts masters have made in Greensboro, Alabama.
If you would like to support the work in that town with a small donation, it would be happily accepted. My instructor has made it clear to us that only small donations by many individuals should be accepted. I hope that all of us together here at Balanced Life Skills and our AA County community will benefit from the experience I have at the end of this month.

The Greensboro Alabama project

Please check out this video about a project I am involved with and one of my personal living heroes, Pam Dorr.  The members of the Ultimate Black Belt Test (UBBT) will be making their 5th annual visit to Greensboro, Alabama, March 25-29, 2009, this year to restore a historic educational and architectural landmark.

To learn more about the 2009 Project and why a group of martial artist would do this please go to My Journey page and you can see how I am involved and how you can help.  If you want to know what Pam did in her previous life, ask me.  It is so different from what she is doing now!!