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Karate...for Other Small Business Owners!

What can I say? It was about time I touch on the more technical and "boring" side or martial arts, wasn't it? When people think "karate" they think little kids running around in a tiny white uniform or young adult black belts competing for world titles. The hard truth is that the overage person don't think about martial arts as a life-style when in reality, that was the original intention behind taking up any sort of traditional martial art.

For those of you that don't know me yet, my name is Mersina and I am the owner of Lion's Heart Family Martial Arts in Ancaster Ontario. I have owned my school for just over a year now so I know what it takes to start up a business of any sort. In the last 20 years of my training I have had leadership roles, mentor rolls, student rolls and so many in between. There was a point in my life that I worked at Tim Hortons on the weekend, a summer camp in the week, was prepping for my second degree black belt, AND played soccer...all in the same summer! Talk about burn out! How does one teenager handle all of that? WORK - LIFE BALANCE! I cannot stress enough how important this is! They say you should put everything you have into a business that you want to be successful at, or even a job where you want to climb the ladder. I say HECK NO! Put in 90% - 95% of what your have into your job or business (this depends on your home life) and leave the rest of it for non-work things like kids, me-time, and all the in-between.

So how in the world is karate beneficial for other business owners? That, my friends, is a question that I have been working on for a loooong time. And I finally have the answer. As I said earlier, the original intent to take up karate or any martial art was for the life-style. Meaning, the focus, the discipline, the respect, and SO much more. As a business owner myself, in the first few months of opening, I found myself drowning in things that needed to be done and I realized how irritated I was getting at the smallest things. It wasn't until I forced myself to take a step back and evaluate that I realized the problem...I had no outlet. I had nothing to get my mind off my business. That is where karate came in (ironic right?)

The biggest cause of business burn-out (in my opinion) is the lack of "me-time" or an outlet really. Everyone needs an outlet. A safe space where they can be themselves and blow off some steam or the stress that comes with owning a small business. These outlets look different for everyone. Some people need someone to talk to, some people need a spa, others need the gym. BUUUUT, some people (like myself) need more than that or a combination of outlets. This is where karate comes in. Karate offers physical activity, light mental activity on occasion, and if you can find the right dojo, and friendly safe space to just do you.

With anything new you try, there are learning curves. This is true especially with karate. I mean, I have been learning in the same "field" for 20 years now. The average person would call me an expert but there is so much more. Why would Karate be an outlet if it's just more learning? Because it doesn't feel like learning! While your subconscious knows you are learning, in the moment it doesn't feel like it. The right dojo or school will be able to teach you while still having fun! This is why I have always loved karate as a mental outlet, it gives me something new to learn and I can learn at my own pace. all the while, it is occupying my brain from the massive TO-DO list in my head. Karate is a GREAT mental distraction.

What about physical? Well DUH! Most people start their karate journey for 1 of 2 reasons. They are a child who's parents are concerned for their well-being, or an older student who has some interest and realizes it's a great way to get in shape and have an outlet! Karate can be physically demanding, but no more demanding than going to the gym or joining a personal training session. With everything you learn in karate, your body requires you to use certain muscles that the average person does not use on a day to day basis (unless they are a crazy gym buff). Let me tell you, I have never owned a gym membership in my LIFE and I have never been in better shape than when I am training regularly at the dojo

(and lets be honest, getting to punch and kick things makes for a GREAT outlet). Aside from the self-defence and the basic movements you learn, part of martial arts is your ability to push yourself to be the best you! Which leads me to point #3...

Your character. Like I said, it becomes a life-style. I don't mean you have to eat, sleep and breathe karate but you do have to have a tiny bit of dedication if you truly want to get anything out of it. There is this not-so-secret "thing" in martial arts that any GOOD martial artist has more of a "black belt spirit" than a physical example of a black belt. What does this mean? Well my students, for example, could be the most technically perfect, most fit person in the dojo, but if they have poor character, they are not moving forward to black belt. Just as important as your knowledge for moves, is your character. Humble, respect, perseverance, attitude, confidence, discipline...and so many other things shape who you are as a person. Karate is one of the few things in this world that can teach you that when you don't even realize it and thus, changing your view of yourself, your life, and those around you. This, in its own way, is an outlet.

And then there is YOU. How would karate help YOU? (aside from everything above). Karate provides a means to success. No matter how small that success may be. Perhaps its learning that new move. Or maybe you're getting stronger or your cardio is building. Maybe you even worked your way up to that next belt. Whatever the success, karate is a way to build them all up and up and up. Now, what happened when your life is full of little (or big) successes? You feel better about life, yourself. your self-confidence builds. When this happens, it spreads into all aspects of your life. Your home life, your work life, your boss business life! This is one thing I found to be the BEST part about karate. All these little milestones or successes build up, I feel great, and I get so much more done in regards to my business. I would have gotten these things done eventually, but with the good-vibe momentum that I picked up, I got these things done sooner AND without any burn-out, which left me for more time with my family, friends, girlfriend AND to myself. I could fit it all in and still have time in my day!

There are so many ways to have a healthy outlet. Yoga, the gym, friends, healthy eating, classes like cooking or sewing, and of course martial arts. If martial arts is the outlet you think you need or would like to try, look into the different kinds of martial arts and try and choose the best one for you. There are TONS and Lion's Heart FMA offers a mix of many! From karate to kickboxing to jujitsu, we do our best to offer something for everyone.

If you would like to get in touch with us so we can help you work on small business burn-out, reach out to us via call or text to 905-741-9320 or email us at

You can also find us on the web at or on facebook/instagram if you search @lions.heart.fma

Remember, your business burns out when you do.

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