I am writing on this topic to inspire you. Everyone has some type of natural talent. Some people are well aware of their natural talents and do all they can to cultivate them. Some aren’t and even go so far as saying that they have nothing to offer the world. I have taught martial arts instructor for close to 30 years and I can tell you this is not so. I advise my students to take a survey of their lives, from the time they were children to the present. Pay close attention to what you liked to do and what you were good at. It may take a while, but a good inventory and some contemplation will lead you in the right direction.
I grew up in the Dominican Republic. When I was just 9 years old, I witnessed a 22-year-old jerk insulting this lady. He was tall, fit and obnoxious. I instinctively went after him in defense of this woman. I trapped his head on a wire fence and started choking him. A couple of adults intervened and pulled me off him.
I remember a fight against this guy named Alvarado. He insulted my cousin, Jose, who couldn’t fight and was afraid to stand up to him. I came to Jose’s defense against this guy who was twice my size. No one interfered because I kicked this guy so hard that he could do nothing.
As a child, I taught my 5-year-old brother to fight. He especially had to learn how to counter attack. We spent some time on some counters and at the next fight he got into he hit the kid so hard that he couldn’t get up for 3 minutes.
Please understand that my brothers, cousins and I were well-behaved kids. We didn’t go around looking for fights, but where I came from, if you were insulted or attacked, you had no choice but to defend yourself and your reputation against bullies. There was absolutely no way around it.
There was however a positive aspect to growing up in that particular neighborhood and having those experiences. When I surveyed my life as a young man, I was able to see that I had a natural talent for fighting and teaching.
I could have done what so many young men from the Dominican Republic do and pursue a career in baseball. I was an employee at Banco Popular and played on their baseball team. I was very good at what I did and even came out of my martial arts training for a brief time to help them win the championship.
But baseball was not where my natural talents could be best utilized. I received great satisfaction from the martial arts. The only place where I could pursue my dream was in the United States, so I came here and never looked back. The joy of teaching my brother and others how to defend themselves led to teaching and I am proud to say that I have established one of the most successful martial arts schools in the world.
Pay attention to your past. I took my fighting spirit and turned it into something positive. What is your natural talent? By looking at the past, you may just create a whole new future.
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