In the third and final episode on overcoming hardships with hall of fame Kenpo Karate Senior Master Bob White, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen discuss the strategies involved in sustaining the rewards won in life’s victories, such as your support group, and coach-ability.
Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
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So, we are back with Senior Master Bob White, my karate master, who I am so humbled and honored to call my master. It's been a 10 year journey, almost 10 years, and it's just been so much fun. In this episode, we've been talking about-
Dr Daniel Amen: And we've been talking about his book.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: Life in Session.
Dr Daniel Amen: That you can get on Amazon or also bwkenpo.com, which you can learn more about Bob and his studio and the work he has, but it's an amazing book. My quote's on the cover, yay me! It's awesome.
Tana Amen: Did you just say that? Really?
Dr Daniel Amen: I did yes.
Tana Amen: Okay, so you sound like you're in 5th grade when you said that. Anyways-
Dr Daniel Amen: That's why you married me.
Tana Amen: So we talked about the struggles. The book is just brutally honest. In the first episode we really talked about things that surprised me, I just had no idea about some of the things, and then you talked about overcoming, we discussed that in the second episode, this one we're gonna talk about how you sustain and the cancer, what you went through, the cancer, and how you sustain your sobriety and I really wanna honor someone special that's in the studio and in your life, and just an amazing human being, and that's Mrs. White.
I'm gonna guess that she's a part of that. Is it okay for me to say that?
Bob White: Yeah, yeah, she's definitely a major part of my life, and for that, I'm truly blessed.
Tana Amen: She's scary. She's tiny, tiny, and so I kept thinking to myself, when I first met this woman, what could she possibly, like how could she possibly be very tough? And then she will just scare the socks off of you when you see her fight.
Bob White: Yeah, she's very deceptive.
Tana Amen: Yeah, it's crazy. So to talk to us about how you sustain all of this.
Bob White: Well, we talked a little bit earlier about who you spend your time with and what an influence they have on you, and there's nobody I spend more time with in my life, and her influence in my life has just been tremendous. A very strong Christian lady, they say that time exposes or promotes and I've known her now for, we're right at 20 years, and she just keeps being promoted. She really is the finest person that I've ever met.
Tana Amen: Yeah, she's amazing.
Bob White: There's nothing pretentious about her, she's just an unassuming, but never [sherks 00:03:24] from a duty and whatever it is, whether it is as a mother or she is a nurse at Hoag Hospital.
Dr Daniel Amen: I'm a huge fan of nurses.
Bob White: [inaudible 00:03:33] I believe that. I think we both married well. But she is a fantastic person. Fifth degree black belt. Does a great woman's self defense program-
Tana Amen: She does.
Bob White: Really is service, she'll be doing it next week in Ireland to help some people over there, and just we all have heroes and she's one of mine.
Tana Amen: She really is amazing, and I agree with you. She is-
Dr Daniel Amen: So step one of sustaining is your support group.
Dr Daniel Amen: It's you become like the people you hang out with.
Tana Amen: You make a great-
Dr Daniel Amen: More and more. It's about people are contagious.
Tana Amen: Yeah, and you make an amazing point in your book. You really honor her, but you also say, she would never have been with me, with the man you used to be.
Bob White: No question.
Tana Amen: And so you really respect this person, you look you to her, but you're clear. She would have never bought into your old lifestyle.
Bob White: No, I've realized, I have to earn the right to be her husband.
Bob White: And I have to, that's one of the things we talked about on conduct and doing that inventory is think about what I could have done differently and then when I am wrong, I'll promptly admit it and apologize, that way there's no lingering issue or there's resentment and all those things that could destroy friendships or relationships.
Tana Amen: So I think one really important point to, as far as the people you surround yourself with, if you are looking to, for your community, is people that you can look up to that you respect, but who keep you honest and who keep you real. She didn't care about your fame as much as, like she, if you were gonna be with her, she needed to be, like you needed to hold yourself to a high standard.
Bob White: Correct.
Tana Amen: And that's really important. So when you're talking about sustainability, having people in your community who keep you real and keep you honest.
Bob White: Well I mentioned in the book that Jack Nicholson lying about she makes you wanna be a better person and I think as a result, you know it's a cliché, and I'm not trying to sound corny, but in reality, it does, and friendships do too. John Williams says, "You want good friends, be a good friend." So you have to maintain a standard of conduct that's honorable and that you feel you look like yourself when you look in the mirror, otherwise you're not worthy of having good friends, you're not worthy of having a great relationship. So there's a manner in which you conduct yourself is who you are.
Tana Amen: I agree with that. So what else would you say, you mentioned service, do you wanna talk a little bit about what you guys do for Royal Family Kids Camp and why that helps?
Bob White: Well really what we get to do, I mean it's been such a great thing. As I mentioned earlier, we prayed for God's guidance when we first started getting involved. We threw this small tournament at the studio with the idea of raising four or five hundred dollars, and the first year we raised $12,000.
Tana Amen: Wow!
Bob White: And then it just kept going, now as we've mentioned we're over one million dollars, and that's just been a blessing. You know it's been beyond our wildest dreams, but we get an opportunity, my wife's a nurse at the camp and has been for over 10 years. When you get up there, you get an opportunity to see what an impact it has on these children, and it makes you wanna do more.
Dr Daniel Amen: So these are children often who couldn't go to camp.
Dr Daniel Amen: That the pastor who founded it, was actually my youth pastor.
Bob White: Now you mentioned, that's awesome.
Dr Daniel Amen: When I was in college.
Tana Amen: That's Phil?
Dr Daniel Amen: Wayne.
Tana Amen: Wayne.
Bob White: Wayne Tesch.
Tana Amen: Wayne Tesch. Oh yeah, yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: Wayne and Diane and so that connection was really special to me, but they have a heart for service as well and started these camps where children can go from lower income families, they can go and they can have fun and they can learn about Jesus and you know, just be a wonderful supportive environment, but someone has to help Royal Family Kids Camp pay for everything they do, and that's been on your heart.
Bob White: It is.
Dr Daniel Amen: And I know we've been able to donate the scan and-
Bob White: Oh you guys have been tremendous help.
Tana Amen: [crosstalk 00:07:45] For a couple years we've-
Dr Daniel Amen: To the events. And if you wanna learn more, you can look it up online.
Tana Amen: Or go to-
Dr Daniel Amen: Do a search for Royal Family Kids Camp.
Tana Amen: They can go to your site and-
Bob White: Yes.
Tana Amen: Get involved that way.
Bob White: Or just RFK.org.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Bob White: You can get some information on them, but they're a great group. They started in Newport Beach, close to Mesa, and now there's over 200 around the world. In fact, we opened our own camp, we financed it in Chile.
Tana Amen: Oh that's great.
Bob White: And they've got 13 or 14 camps down there.
Tana Amen: Oh that's amazing.
Bob White: So it is. It's just tremendous.
Dr Daniel Amen: [Ford 00:08:18] is in the giving that you receive. If you're really feeling bummed, go help somebody. I mean I just can't say that more and more. People who are socially isolated, they have higher risk of Alzheimer's disease. They have a higher risk of depression. Their immune systems aren't good. I remember, I know we just lost Barbara Bush this year, but she went through a period of depression when her husband was CIA director 'cause he could never talk to her and so their close relationship, they became more separate and she got depressed, she realized that if she volunteered that that would be like Prozac for her. Would be a natural antidepressant.
Bob White: That makes perfect sense.
Dr Daniel Amen: And so, getting outside of yourself can just be so healing, so important.
Tana Amen: So what part has your karate, I mean, it's been your life. So what part has it played in helping you, 'cause for a while it was part of the world that was a little bit disruptive, but you turned that around, what part has it played in helping you with the sustainability?
Bob White: Well service, when I teach a class I feel I'm in service to help people. Going the extra mile, taking a personal interest in your students, and what happens? As in any relationship, there's trust, and the trust has to be maintained and never betrayed. Once the trust is betrayed, it's hard to get it back. So you have to be consistent and be as honorable as you can, with the full realization that we're just humans, we're gonna make mistakes, but when we make the mistake, apologize and move on.
Tana Amen: So I like what you said in the book, you said, Ed Parker, who founded, who was the founder of the system that we use. Once said that generally speaking there are two types of people who take up karate, bullies who wanna become better bullies, and people who are afraid of the bullies, that was me. I didn't like being feeling weak or threatened. You say, "I was an exception in that I was neither a bully nor afraid of bullies." So you had a very different reason for going into it, and karate I think an amazing, it's just amazing. It has so many metaphors for life.
Bob White: It does.
Tana Amen: So, I suggest it to so many people, course don't get hit in the head, I know you always say that.
Dr Daniel Amen: Well, there's actually a study from Brazil, a brand imaging study that showed people who engaged in martial arts, had more gray matter in their brain. So those are brain cells. They actually had more cells. Now it's really important not to get hit in the head because your brain is soft and your skull is hard, and brain trauma causes all sorts of ridiculously bad things, but the complex motor movements, and they're complex to get your yellow belt, which is as far as I got. So the complex motor movements, the cardiovascular training that's involved in it. They relationships, all of those are really great. As long as you don't get hit in the head.
Bob White: Yeah, exactly. No I remember talking to you, I think we were over your house for dinner, and we were talking about how you really felt that the training in martial arts would really help children develop their IQ.
Dr Daniel Amen: So many ADD kids. You know, they can't concentrate in school, they are undisciplined, they're disrespectful. When they go and take karate with a sane master.
Dr Daniel Amen: So the master's really-
Tana Amen: The studio makes a difference, the culture.
Dr Daniel Amen: The studio was really important.
Tana Amen: That's what my thesis was about.
Dr Daniel Amen: Is their behavior gets better. When my oldest son was in first grade, we were living in Hawaii, and he's very white, and in Hawaii, most people don't know, white people are the minority.
Dr Daniel Amen: And he was called a Howly and harassed be beaten up and so we put him in a Japanese karate studio and after about six months all of that went away and he never assaulted anybody or he didn't become aggressive.
Tana Amen: Just walks differently.
Dr Daniel Amen: But he walked differently, he had a different level of confidence. It was so good for him. For the rest of his life.
Bob White: I've seen him throughout the years so many different times. It is transformation.
Tana Amen: And one of the things you talk about as well, that I love, is you mention how daily you practice surrender, and I think that is just a really important point that you make.
Bob White: Well thank you.
Tana Amen: That it's a daily practice for you.
Bob White: And there's peace in that. It really helped me dealing with the cancer. I just realized I'm gonna do what the doctors tell me to do on a daily basis and do all I can do and I'll get through this day and then I'll go when tomorrow comes or you don't wanna deal with that at this time.
Tana Amen: Well when you got a strong personality, you're used to being physically fit and you're used to be, I know for me it's really hard. I want things to move at my pace.
Bob White: Yup.
Tana Amen: They don't always. And it's frustrating, it's hard. So trying to surrender daily, it is a practice.
Bob White: It is. And then so much reframing, we talked about Barbara earlier. One year ago, right at this time is when I started the radiation and the chemo for my second cancer and I was dreading this, but Barbara put it in perspective, well the now the healing starts.
Bob White: So instead of regretting it [crosstalk 00:13:40] it kinda helped maybe embrace the process a little bit more.
Tana Amen: The reframe.
Yeah, having good people take care of you makes a big difference.
Tana Amen: It does.
Dr Daniel Amen: For the last three weeks, I've been the nurse.
Tana Amen: It's been great. It's been great.
Dr Daniel Amen: And I'd much rather be a doctor than a nurse, but I love being Tana's nurse.
Bob White: Yeah, I understand. We love to help the people we love.
Dr Daniel Amen: So people mindset, doing what the doctor says to do. So having doctors you trust.
Tana Amen: Service.
Dr Daniel Amen: Is so important.
Bob White: [inaudible 00:14:14]. Being coachable.
Bob White: And listen, you know, you listen, hopefully people, my students listen to me 'cause I'm a professional at what I do and it would be foolish to not listen to the doctors that are professionals. They have an insight that we don't have.
Tana Amen: It's so true. I love it, and just the amount of service that you guys do together is amazing. It's beautiful to watch.
Bob White: Oh, thank you.
Dr Daniel Amen: So, we're so glad you're with us, again, life in session.
Tana Amen: Such an honor to have you.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Senior Master Bob White's story. Written with Tom Bleecker. I have the quote on the front, Life in Session is the gripping store of a martial arts master, I mean really a historic master. It is an aspiring book about character, determination, transformation, and overcoming hardships. Amazon.com, you can get that, or on Bob's website at bwkenpo.com. Stay with us with the Brain Warrior's Way.
Tana Amen: Thank you sir.
Bob White: Thank you. Thank you both.
Dr Daniel Amen: Thank you for listening to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. Go to iTunes and leave a review and you'll automatically be entered into a drawing to get a free signed copy of the Brain Warrior's way and the Brain Warrior's Way cookbook we give away every month.