Short, concise lessons and concepts helpful to students
Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight
By Terry Bryan
There is an old saying in Japanese used by many martial artists to represent
Tamashii, or indomitable spirit.
The saying is “Nana-Korobi, Ya-Oki” which translates as “Fall
Seven Times, Get Up Eight”. This goes a long way towards explaining
a couple of things.
First of all, successful people don’t always win. They face set
backs just like everyone else does. The key is that they don’t give
up, they keep on, keeping on. They see challenges as opportunities not
as problems designed to set them back.
Of course in combat there is the one encounter, one chance theory which
basically states that in a life and death scenario there is only one chance
of error and therefore do the best you can every time. However, even the
best have set backs; just make sure the losses don’t get you killed.
The true warrior tests on a smaller scale and then implements new strategies
and tactics before launching a serious campaign. It doesn’t matter
if you are talking about warfare, business or investing; the actions are
all the same.
A boxer fakes movements and throws jabs to study the reaction of his opponent
before launching a campaign to inflict maximum damage. The business owner
tests his marketing on a smaller scale before investing thousands of dollars
on a huge marketing campaign. The investor diversifies his portfolio to
minimize risk and to insure any losses are not crippling, and anticipates
acceptable losses in an overall plan.
I think what most people don’t recognize is the effort successful
people spend to develop the attitude and specialized knowledge needed
to endure set backs and to indeed get up and go forward one more time.
They surround themselves with other successful people through networking
and mastermind sessions and avoid hanging out with negative people, knowing
that their attitudes tend to rub off on those around them. They read,
listen to educational tapes and attend seminars on the specific topics
they need in order to move them to the next level, knowing that if they
study an hour a day, they will quickly move into the top 10% of their
They also learn to see the difference between trinkets and treasures,
those that are mouth warriors from those that walk the walk, and learn
to choose their teachers well. Once they have the right teachers, mentors
and mastermind members around them, they learn the power of asking the
We encourage all our students to look carefully at their endurance to
challenges and their past ability in overcoming these obstacles. Pat yourself
on the back every time you get back up and encourage those around you
to do the same. This will allow you to walk the walk and lead from example,
the way a true warrior should behave ... in my humble opinion.
About the Author:
Terry Bryan is the former General Secretary for
the USA-NKF (National Karate Federation), the official governing
body for the sport of karate with the US Olympic Committee. He
currently is the Executive Director for the American Black Belt
Academy, a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Colorado Springs.
His column, Simple Lessons, regularly appears on FightingArts.com.