Dojo Ted

Sensei Rick

Are you a strong zebra?

There is an old saying that states, when two tigers fight, one will certainly be maimed, and the other will certainly be dead. It
illustrates the point that if you DO get into a fight, you will somehow lose. Loosing a fight may put you in the hospital�. And if YOU
WIN! There may be trouble with the law if you are an adult. At the very least, you will feel some sense of remorse if you hurt the
person badly. The story above talks about the tigers, but it never mentions the zebra!
Zebras are unique to say the least. If you see one in the dark, you�d think it was a small horse. In the day light however there
black and white stripes are designed to provide them some protection against other animals.� They roam around the Serengeti
looking for places to drink water and eat tall grass that grows in Africa. And even though they are quite agile, they some times fall
victim to predatory animals they find there black and white stripes quite tasty. The lions share their neighborhood, and they use
them for food too.
Have you ever wondered how the lion chooses which zebra he wants to eat? HOW does he know.Let me be frank, a lion
can eat any zebra. They are just no match for the fierce claws and sharp teeth of the lion. The lion takes his time. He slowly
creeps through the brush. Staying low and out of site easing his way to the watering hole where the zebra gather for an
afternoon drink. How they manage to stay so low and still inch their body forward is amazing and sometimes even funny to
watch as the little butts squirm along the way. They hide in the tall grass for the exact moment, and then they spring to life!! Zap!
POW ZING!!!! And they’re soon snacking at Mc Zebra?.
What is the lion doing? What is going thru his mind, why not just jump out at the closest zebra? Why not the oldest? Why not get
the one that looks the tastiest (oh yeah, they all look alike, so they probably taste alike. They probably taste like chicken.) Why is
he taking his time,when he can eat and beat anyone of them, just go ahead and eat one already, get it over with!
I think I know, and the information can help you with your training if you take it to heart. He�s looking for the weak zebra. How
does he know? Is it the one that doesn�t go to the zebra gym?� Is it the one with the least muscles? Not quite. He looks for
the one without confidence. The weak one, the nervous one, the one that doesn�t seem to know how to deal with the threat.
A strong zebra sees the lion long before the attack, in fact they all do. They turn their ears and move around, and signal and all
the zebras know that the attack is coming soon. They know not to run though. It�s like playing fetch with your dog. They
don�t want the stick until you throw it. Most dogs will jump around you or even sit quite still until you throw the stick and then,
they take off like a rocket and chase the stick while it sails through the air. Running will do the same thing to the lion. He will
chase you. He will catch you. He will eat you. Running is bad. The weak zebra doesn�t run, but he does show himself. He
stands out. He is fidgeting. He is quaking in his hooves. He is looking around, wondering what to do, not confident. He is
looking for others to see what they are doing, but shaking and bouncing and fussing about.� The lion sees his weakness and
smells his fear. He knows exactly which one to eat.
The other zebras are the Strong zebras. They know the lion is there in the grass waiting for his dinner. They see him too, but they
know he can only eat one. They keep an eye on the zebra, but they don�t panic. They know he�s there, they keep there
distance, BUT THEY DON�T RUN. They are calm in the face of this danger. After all, it�s not really danger until the lions
mouth is at their rear and their claws are out for scraping. They are calm in the storm, careful not to draw attention… Careful not
to be dinner today.
How does this relate to Karate? The lion is the bully in your school. The zebra is you. It�s your choice whether to be a strong
one or a weak one. Bully�s do the same thing. They go fishing for a victim. They may hit the hat off your head or call you a
name or they may even block you from passing in the hall. All of these things are designed to get you to respond in a way that
will show you as weak and expose that weakness. That�s when the bully starts to chase the stick. They may pick on you for
the rest of the year if you don�t regain your strength in their eyes. Once you are labeled weak, you are done for.
How do you become the strong zebra? How do you avoid being weak. Do like the zebras, be calm, don�t fidget, but be
confident. When you walk thru the hall at school, don�t run from the bully, but walk confident. It sounds simple but very few
people are strong zebras. They ACT like they fear nothing. If they do have fear you never see it. They are strong in manner and
stance. They aren�t jittery or too anxious either. They are centered and they look you in the eye, but don�t challenge you.
They see the bully but they don�t act afraid, they remain calm unless they are attacked. If you are truly confident though the
bully will find another easier target, and move on. Be a strong zebra students. Shoulders held back and head high like you are
capeable of anything at all, including defending yourself if you have to. Be strong zebra students and never give up.