Blogs, articles, videos and more about the martial arts... living with intent... and everything in between.

Do YOU Believe in Magic?
(Mrs. La France, December 2015)

My 13-year old daughter still believes in Santa Claus. In fact, she believes in ALL of it. She believes that the Elf on the Shelf moves every night. That reindeer can fly. And that by lying on her back and putting her head under the Christmas tree, she can talk directly to Santa. After all, the tree does look like a big antenna.

And every year, she comes home telling me that her friends and classmates are trying to discourage her from believing. Because at 13 years old, she should realize that magic (including Santa) doesn’t exist… right?

Wrong. 

It is important to believe in those things that you can’t necessarily see or touch… like Santa. Because life is not always full of things that you can measure and hold in your hands. It’s messy. Full of twists, turns, ups, downs and most definitely, surprises. And sometimes, in order to get up and go on you simply have to believe. 

Because without having the capacity to believe in the unseen, how are you going to be able to have faith that you made the right choices? Or adapt if your life plan goes off course? 

Believing helps us to stay positive in the face of adversity. See the possibilities in the world and those we share it with. And most importantly, believing helps us to have a strong sense of self… something we need in order to trust our own actions.

I hope that my daughter always believes in Santa… superheroes… and those things that she can’t see. Because all those things do exist. In every kind gesture, helping hand, and new idea we encounter. Believing is pure magic and it’s what truly makes the world go round. 

​"Do or do not. There is no try."  -- Yoda

Daito Ryu Seminar with Manny Sempei... Fall/Winter 2015

How to Use a Planner without Getting Totally Overwhelmed.

​if you're befuddled by the idea of having a physical book for your schedule, it could be because you're thinking about it in the wrong way. Behold -- the best of the best planner tips that are pretty much guaranteed to make you second guess the "Reminders" section on your iPhone.Read more at Huffington Post.com...

Agile Programming for your Family.

Bruce Feiler has a radical idea: To deal with the stress of modern family life, go agile. Inspired by agile software programming, Feiler introduces family practices which encourage flexibility, bottom-up idea flow, constant feedback and accountability. 

Power Poses Build Confidence

The way we position ourselves has a significant impact on not only the way others perceive us, but on how we see ourselves. See how you can increase your confidence with the science-backed  “Power Poses”. 

Always go to the Funeral
(Mrs. La France, November 2015)


Recently, the brother of a close friend and co-worker died. We went to the calling hours and stayed for the service. It was emotional. It was hard (twenty tissues hard). But it reminded me of something we at The Martial Arts Studio have always felt. 

That “always going to the funeral” isn’t just something you do out of obligation. But rather going to the funeral is a personal philosophy. It means that you do the right thing when you really "no wanna." 

I’m not talking about those big life events. But rather those things that can be avoided… brushed off… and excused away with an “I’m sorry but I have a baseball game that day.” The things that are an inconvenience (or hardship) to you, but would mean the world to someone else. You know… the under-attended birthday party. The friend’s poetry reading. The hospital visit during your only free hour on the weekend. 

In everyday life, these situations don’t come up too often. Most of the time we’re simply plugging along trying to do right and not wrong. But when those moments arise remember... it’s not a big, heroic act that makes a difference. It’s going the distance… showing up… and just being there. 

Always go the funeral. It’s the small gestures that have the biggest impact. 



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​Even though it might seem like a simple (read: less important) task, slipping your sneakers or heels off as soon as you walk through the front door is a step you shouldn't skip. Don't believe us? Here's every reason you should impose a 'no shoes allowed' rule in your house immediately. Read more at Good Housekeeping.com...

How can YOU Start a Movement?

​With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: It takes two.)

         Full-time dojo serving Chester County since 1998.
                                                 14 N. Village Ave. Exton, PA

Ask the expert...

Do you have a question about the martial arts? Something you've always wondered about? Ask the expert... Sensei La France. He'll send you an answer, maybe even blog about it.

Video of Women's Self Defense (1947)

​Great little video of Women's Self Defense -- using Judo -- from 1947. Love the outfits!

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10 Exercises for Better Eyesight.

Deliberately exercising your eyes is one of those simple things that very few people do, but which can help immeasurably to maintain great vision. Read on for ten such exercises which will take you no more than ten minutes to do. Go to Brightside.com...