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I’m going to explain the development of the name powerDOJO, but first, I’ve got to address something that’s been bugging me a tiny bit…

When you write the name, it must be ‘power’ in all small letters, then DOJO in all caps.


Not PowerDOJO, or PowerDojo, or <gasp> Powerdojo. If your autocorrect changes it, please go back and manually fix it up.

Yes, I’m being anal. But I’ve written the name this way for a very specific reason.

The ‘power’ is in all small letters because it’s less important than the word ‘DOJO’.

The word ‘power’ is an acronym that represents the individual and WHO YOU COMMIT TO BEING as one of the powerDOJO ‘Kyoudai’ (Japanese word for brotherhood). Yes, members are considered a part of a brotherhood. Not just students, or customers. Family.

I’ve emphasized the word DOJO because it’s the place that allows the individual to strive for their highest potential.

Where each individual joins together to learn and grow as a team. Where you come to get the support you need but where you also lend support to those who need it.

Joslin’s in Hamilton is a great example of the power of a team following a strong leader.

This type of positive environment makes everyone better for many reasons which I’m sure you’ve experienced as part of a sports team, fight team, or even in a strong personal relationship with a spouse, parent, or friend.

The DOJO and its core principles and values are more important than any one individual, including myself.

Yes, I’ve started it, but it’s not going to be a static entity – it’s going to grow and evolve as I and those who join it grow and evolve.

Especially those who get in on the ground floor – the founding Kyoudai. Your input will have a strong influence on the form that powerDOJO is in, 2, 5 and even 20 years from now.

Another thing – the traditional DOJO is becoming an extinct species. Disappearing is the emphasis on respect and values. Learning how to be a good person while at the same time learning the skills and techniques of a particular martial art. Challenging yourself physically and mentally while gaining spiritual insights about oneself in the process.

One of my core values is, “If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.”

This core value and my chosen vocation are actually something I’ve struggled with a little bit. And this is why I’m making a slight departure from where I’ve directed the majority of my time and energy over the last 6 years…

My struggle has been with the claims that I can help you get into top fight shape while never having been in top fight shape myself. Not that I don’t consider myself in great shape, but because I believe you’ll never truly know what top fight shape feels like until you’ve been in numerous fights and your in-shapedness has been fight-tested.

Sure, I got in a hockey fight one time when I was 14 – I grabbed the other guys cage and rag dolled him to the ice without throwing a punch.

I also got into a bar fight when I was 19 or 20 at a place called Philthy Mcnasty’s on Upper James in Hamilton.

NOTE: for those of you who know this story already, feel free to skip it, it’s not crucial. But it might entertain you. Just scroll down until the green box ends.

[features_box_light_green width=”75%” + border=”2px”]We were standing at a table and some guys were walking by. One of the guys bumped into my buddy Pete, and, well, it’s my buddy Pete. He’s Italian and therefore he has a short temper.

Pete said something to the guy and they were quickly going at it and went to the ground.

I was watching him, calmly amused, when the guy’s friend, completely out of nowhere, threw a full beer in my face.

This was totally unexpected – I mean – it was 1-on-1 and there was no need to get all gangsta. It was still before midnight – I wasn’t even that drunk yet and there were still a few hot girls around. It’s not like 2am when all that’s left, is, well, you know what I’m sayin’ homes.

Anyway, I was a little pissed at getting beer in my face, but I was MORE PISSED that this idiot just wasted a full beer, so instincts kicked in and I hit him with a straight right.

He crashed to the floor and some bouncers picked him up and carried him out.

The bouncer assigned to me must’ve recognized that I was in control so he just gave me the nod and I responded with a nod while shouting over the music, “I’ve gotta grab my jacket from coat check.”

As I stepped outside, I saw my buddy Pete going at it with the same guy. Still 1-on-1 so it was all good. I also saw my other friends walking towards the car we’d all come in so I made my way there.

But on the way, the douche bag that I knocked down was outside too; he saw me then started walking towards me.

I got into my fighting stance, right leg back, right hand up by my face.

He was yelling and swearing at me but I didn’t move. Once he got into range, POW – I rear leg front kicked him in the jaw with the heel of my dress shoe.

He went down, and I jogged to the car to wait for Pete to finish.[/features_box_light_green]

That was my last fight.

But I think I’ve never been in a legit fight. One where I both take it and give it more than I would prefer. To be quite honest, the idea of it kinda scares me. I don’t want to end up like Nogueira vs. Mir, or Wand vs. CroCop.

Anyway, this fact does battle with my, “You’ve gotta walk the walk,” core value, which has kept me from really aggressively promoting myself in the fight game. If you think I’m doing a good job, there are things I know I’ve held myself back from because of this. It’s also why I still plan on doing some ammy boxing matches, once my stupid injuries heal.

Part of it, too comes from my upbringing. I’m not going to generalize about all Chinese, but I have classically been a very reserved and even shy kinda guy. Tell me what to do and I’ll nod, bow and go and do it.

[Not to mention the fact that I don’t check my blind spot, get lost when given precise directions, sometimes can’t pronounce “R” and have an average sized penis for my height, at best]

The reason why I’ve shared all this with you is because with powerDOJO, I’m 100% comfortable that I’m walkin’ the walk, which is why I have no qualms about talkin’ the talk.

It all comes down to the acronym ‘power’. Let me spell it out for you:

exercise &

I was actually going to write it as powέrDOJO, so the ‘έ’ was kinda like an ‘E’ but also kinda like the ‘&’ symbol, but that would be just too much. Come on now!

This acronym describes exactly how I strive to live my life.

Let me explain…


The word ‘practitioner’ – I see this as more than just being a student. It includes being a student and constantly increasing your knowledge, for sure, but it also includes application – something lacking with most students and the education system that breeds trains them.

Paul Chek

One of my mentors, Paul Chek, always says, “Knowledge is not power. APPLIED knowledge is power.”

I whole-heartedly agree.

For example, I’ve recently hired a videographer – a local college student studying videography.

He talked a big game. Understood exactly what I wanted. But when it came to delivering results, his talk didn’t match up to his actions. He was not a true practitioner – he was still just a student. He knew the theory, he just had no idea how to really deliver because he’d never done it before.

A practitioner is someone who is more focused on actually getting results than knowing all the ins and outs of why what he does gives him the results he achieves. Understanding the ‘why’ helps, but when it comes down to it, the ‘how’ is the only thing that matters.


Am I really going to spend a section explaining the word ‘of’?

Hahahaha stop messin’ around.


Wholistic is my take on the more common spelling ‘holistic’. I think wholistic is wholly better because when you put the ‘w’ in front, you clearly see the word ‘whole’ as the root as opposed to a ‘hole’ or something missing.

Results, in any aspect of life, is always affected by more than just one component of your life.

To get in great shape, you must train, yes, And nowadays, it’s common knowledge that you must also eat well. And more and more, we’re recognizing the value of things like quality sleep, managing mental stress, dealing with more abstract themes like fulfilment, joy, and more.

You and I are not just a sum of our component parts; we are a synergy and symbiosis of our component parts, with each aspect of our lives touching and affecting the others.

Inside powerDOJO, we’re going to be talking exercise and nutrition. We’ll also be talking mindset. Lifestyle habits. Core values. Philosophy. Relationships – whatever comes up that has an effect on our goals.

I’ve always been a wholistic thinker, again, taking cues from my training under Paul Chek. I’ve believed and experienced the concept first hand and whenever I work with athletes, they’re always surprised that it’s not just about exercise and eating.

Here’s one of the rough notes when I was doing all the brainstorming and thinking about my ‘mission’ this year:

Click to make big.

And we’ll do it without taking ourselves too seriously, like many of the self-help gurus who seem more like robotic positive thinking machines reeling off rote sayings and quotes instead of just being real and human and in the moment.

Yes, it’s OK to have a bad fucking day. It happens. There’s no need nor is it beneficial to get upset about it happening.

Accept it, experience it, then let it go.

That’s how we do inside powerDOJO.


Obviously, the training. The structured programs to take you from belt to belt. The physical exertion. The sweat.

These are what you’d expect and what you’ll get from being a powerDOJO Kyoudai.

But I see exercise as something so much bigger than just contracting and relaxing muscles.

I see exercise as the definition of the word applied to EVERY area of your life: physical, mental, spiritual, relational, joyful, etc…

Exercise [ek-ser-sahyz] – bodily or mental exertion, especially for the sake of training or improvement.

It’s not just about muscles or cardio or power or abs.

It’s about the process of putting energy out to grow and improve yourself in all areas of your life.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s physical, mental or spiritual – any time you put energy out with the intention of growing or improving yourself, you will get back that energy and more.


Finally, we have respect.

This is a general respect for everything inside and outside of yourself, which, to the enlightened mind, are one and the same.

I’m not going to define respect – I think in general, most people have a common understanding of the meaning as well as some personal interpretations, which are totally fine.

Now you have the story behind the name “powerDOJO”.

If you think it’s stupid or I’m full of myself, or I’m batshit crazy, that’s cool. I actually really do understand why you might think any or all of those things.

powerDOJO is simply me. Not everyone’s going to vibe with me. Not everyone is going to care about what I care about, or see things from a similar point of view.

But there will be a few of you. Some, who after reading everything I’ve written about powerDOJO, while might never having verbalized it the same way as I have, “feel” what I’m sayin’ – my thoughts resonate with you.

For those of you – I’m honoured that you’ve come along on this journey with me. Truly honoured and I thank you for giving me that trust and that respect.

And this is what I plan on doing with that trust and respect:

I will do the best that I can do and give you my best effort.

That’s my one and only guarantee.

No “6-pack Abs in 6 Weeks”, no “Inch to your Arms in 15 days”.

I’ll provide the blueprints (there is not just one way, I’ll be sharing many) ; it’s up to you to take them and maximize it.

And I’ll be right there, gunning for your success, doing what I can to help.

If you ever needed a coach and/or a #1 fan, I’m the man for the job.

Now, if you’re interested, because of the importance of getting started off on the right foot, I only open powerDOJO a few times a year.

If you’re interested in what I’ve shared with you, place your details in the boxes below, then make sure you confirm your email address and I’ll let you know when I open the doors next.

Thanks for listening and I hope to see you inside very soon.