Self Empowerment Stories Shared Culturally

My Dojo Kun Character BooksBooks contain self empowerment stories. They are based on the traditional karate Dojo Kun. These five tenets can encourage both kids and adults, both karate students and not, to claim their power and improve their lives. But long before I came along to share my stories, there were some memorable and to-the-point stories about claiming one’s power.

I have heard one with a martial arts twist. In it, the master says, “There are two tigers fighting inside of me. One of them is good and the other is evil.”

The student asks, “Which one will win?”

The master replies, “The one that I feed the most.”

Self Empowerment Stories from Native Americans

There is a similar quote attributed to the Lakota Sioux medicine man and chief Sitting Bull (1831-1890). It goes, “Inside of me there are two dogs. One is mean and evil and the other is good and they fight each other all the time. When asked which one wins, I answer, ‘the one I feed the most.’”

This other link has a beautiful photo of Sitting Bull. It also goes on to say that his quote, above, is very similar to a Cherokee legend. That legend is in the prior link and it has more details about the attributes of the animals within him. It’s more similar to the martial arts version as it quotes a conversation. It has a grandfather speaking to his grandson, instead of a master speaking to his student. And the grandfather tells of two wolves in a terrible fight inside of him. That is my favorite version of these self empowerment stories.

The point of all of these stories is that we all have good and bad inside of us. We are all capable of good and evil. And that includes not only actions, but thoughts and attitudes. What we focus on and grow, what we cultivate, will win out and become dominant.

It is a matter of personal choice. And each one of us is accountable for the traits which we feed the most. We would do well to remember this every day.

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

Jenifer Tull-Gauger Renshi

Children's picture book author/illustrator. Traditional karate teacher and practitioner. Loves drawing and all kinds of art. Also in to animals, plants and Mother Nature.

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