Never Let Your Dream Die

A long time ago, Sir Winston Churchill, then Prime Minister of England, was asked to speak to the graduating class of a major British university. The students, enthusiastically patient, all dressed in cap and gown, were excited at the prospect of hearing, in person, one of the greatest orators of their time - a man who, along with a few other great men, brought about the downfall of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.

The time had come. Introductions were made, and a hush fell over the auditorium's capacity crowd. Sir Winston Churchill, the man whose gravelly voice both soothed and aroused the spirit of a nation, crossed the curtains to the podium. The breathless silence was staggering. Clearing his throat, he gazed out over the countless faces, and spoke. He said, “Never, never, never give up.” He left.

That was it. That's all he's going to say? Indeed it was. But how profound.

Never, never, never give up. Five words. One sentence. Unbelievable!

Sir Winston Churchill obviously understood what lay before each student that day. He knew that they were entering a world outside the supporting structure of academia to a place where a man's support must come from inside himself, and success in life depended entirely on one's willingness to never give up trying to apply it, to never let their dreams die. To never, never, never give up.

So you want to become a black belt. You want to become a great fighter. You want to open your own school. Each an admirable goal, but are you really prepared to do what it takes to get it? Regardless of your strategies, your martial skills, and your business acumen, you have to be prepared to never, never, never give up. Because once you do, you've let your dream die.

Allow me two personal examples.

In the early 1970s, Mike Anderson began to publish Professional Karate Magazine. Dedicated to the sport of what was then called Full Contact Karate (kickboxing), it featured the beginning full-contact fight careers of many of today's legends such as Bill ‘Superfoot' Wallace, Jeff Smith, Howard Jackson (Chuck Norris' personal friend and trainer) and Joe Lewis. The organization it supported was the newly formed Professional Karate Association, often sporting a full-page sized P.K.A. logo on the back cover. This is where one of my dreams began.

I was fifteen years old then, and I tore the back cover sporting the P.K.A. logo from one of the issues of the magazine and pinned it to my bedroom wall right next to where my heavy-bag hung. I dreamed daily of someday being a part of the P.K.A. I continued to train and got involved with kickboxing, first as a fighter, then as an assistant promoter, eventually becoming one of the P.K.A.'s Canadian representatives, a P.K.A. sanctioned promoter, fight judge and referee. My dream came true in many ways I never imagined it would. I knew what I wanted. I could almost taste it. And I never, never, never gave up.

Today I work as a professional television and movie stuntman, and I'm often asked if it's hard to get into the business. Only half joking, my answer is always the same. I tell them, “It's easier to meet God.” However, like anything in life, you can do it if you're willing to never, never, never give up. Because, as I said before, once you do, you will have let your dream die.

Never, never, never, give up.

Until next time, stay sharp…

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