When a person is unhappy or sad, decisions should not be made because these feelings can destroy motivation and prevent [one] from working toward [his/her] goals.


Written By
Madeline Bejanian

On October 15, 2016 the students in the leadership program learned how to get organized and stay motivated by Master Varouj Bejanian. Master Varouj’s main point in the seminar was that organization and motivation are essential to becoming successful at school, at home, and in life. The Master talked about seven necessary steps which must be taken, by the students, for them to achieve their desired goals.

            The first step is setting short and long-term goals. Master Varouj mentioned that “When a person is coming up with a goal, it is important to understand that the sky is the limit, but at the same time, that the goal must be realistic.”  Once a realistic goal is thought of, it then could be written down to give it a physical presence. After the short or long-term goal is written on paper, the purpose of the goal is being established: a dream becomes tangible. When this is done, a dream turns into a goal. Short-term goals can be accomplished in near future. In other words, they can be achieved today, this week, this month, or even this year. Long-term goals otherwise require more time and effort to accomplish. Individual long-term goals can become easier to accomplish when they are broken down into smaller parts or into short-term goals.

            The second step to achieving goals is knowing one’s priorities in life. Master Varouj defined prioritizing as deciding what is important to the students right now. He advised that work should be done on the goals that are most important first. The prioritization of goals can allow the students to stay organized and focused on the objectives with the most significance instead of other irrelevant tasks. By making the right choice of working on what is the largest priority, at the moment, an individual is heading closer on the path leading to success.

            The third part to achieving goals is making the best use of time. During the seminar, it was mentioned by Master Varouj that “time is like gold. Once it’s gone, it can never come back.” By this statement, the Master did his best to convey that time is valuable, and it should therefore be used wisely throughout our daily activities. When making use of time, Master Varouj states that an individual should not, “let time pass by without gaining something of importance.” By this statement, it is suggested that each second can be put to achieving one’s priorities and important tasks. Another outstanding way to maintain time is by learning as much possible. He explains to the leadership members at the seminar that when learning, “At your age, you are like a sponge absorbing information faster and easier.” It can be said that time and learning come hand-in-hand as an effective way of being productive and keeping one’s focus on his/her goals.

            Understanding how to motivate oneself is the fourth component needed to accomplish certain goals, Master Varouj said that once things are started, then the motivation will eventually come along the way. Also, motivation can be influenced by the way we think and the way we speak. Master showed the students that thoughts and words can take each person where they go everyday. Therefore, each person must think positively and speak positively everyday. In order to ensure positive words and thoughts, an individual must think twice before speaking. Lastly, content that is heard affects one’s motivation either positively or negatively. About this subject, Master Varouj said that “What we hear has a big impact on our level of motivation. Motivation comes by hearing positive words, music, or sounds.”  This indicates  that the likeliness of reaching goals becomes greater when our level of motivation increases as we align positive thinking, speaking, and hearing.

            The fifth step which must be taken when achieving goals is to resist distractions. Master Varouj ensured that this was a major conversation and discussion session in the seminar and that it will continue to be in the classroom. He stated that “The enemy of success is distraction. Focus and determination are key!” It is true that a large amount of individuals in the generation are caught up with distractions. Common distractions can include smart phones, television, computers, friends, feelings, and etc. Although there are many, typical distractions all around, individuals must avoid them. An example is that students must put their smart phones away when doing homework. This should be done to abstain from its distraction. Individuals who focus and dedicate their effort and time to goals enjoy worthwhile outcomes.

            The sixth, beneficial step that allows a person to approach closer to his/her goal is when he/she knows the importance of learning and feels positive about learning. When a person understands the significance of learning, the individual can then believe that learning throughout life allows him/her to generally feel healthier, happier, weather, longer-living, and other positive feelings. Master Varouj Bejanian additionally said that positivity about learning allows a person to gain more knowledge and add value to oneself. Master followed up with this topic when he mentioned that “Becoming a valuable person should be the most important goal in your life. When you become valuable, not only do you bring happiness into your life, but you also make others happy.”  This statement is powerful because Master Varouj demonstrates that the process of learning partly contributes to a person’s ability to not only make his/her own life better, but it also promotes the well-being of others.

            The final part which makes up the embodiment of accomplishing one’s goals is preventing oneself from operating by feelings. In other words, the students were told, by Master Varouj, that they should not “let emotions dictate [their] faith. Feelings come; feelings go. One day happy, one day sad. One day hot, one day cold.” The students understood that feelings can change constantly. When a person is unhappy or sad, decisions should not be made because these feelings “can destroy motivation and prevent [one] from working toward [his/her] goals.” Feelings must otherwise be replaced by faith which Master defines as “the only road to turning dreams into reality.” He stated that faith can also be thought of as “true confidence” or a state of mind that can be utilized to overcome any obstacle.

            When the seminar came to an end, there was a positive ambiance expressed among the leadership students at Bejanian Martial Arts. Master Varouj hopes that the students benefitted and learned something valuable from the seminar.




Martial arts is not about the physical aspect like kicks, punches, and techniques. The important concept is that students are able to build an outstanding character, learn practical regimens, and gain life lessons through the development of the skill. They are able to become more confident in their abilities through the completion of each level, more disciplined through hard work, and respectful toward what life offers. Therefore, martial artists can promote their own well-being and progress in their lives as they learn more and develop beneficial attributes from the art. With a great character, and an understanding of the ethics of martial arts, martial artists are up to overcome obstacles or achieve desired outcomes in the coming of their lives.

Madeline Bejanian

Meet Mr. Manuk Lilikian, Head Instructor at Bejanian Martial Arts Glendale



Interviewer: Alec Bejanian              

Alec Bejanian: How would you describe yourself? Who are you?

Mr. Manuk Lelikian: I could say that I always do my best to be kind, nice, and respectful to others. I do my best to help other people aim toward success in their lives.  I try to be strong mentally and spiritually and I strongly believe in God. I believe I have found my purpose in life.

I have learned to choose what I want to do. I am also the Head Instructor at Bejanian Martial Arts. I follow Master Varouj Bejanian and everything I do is under his name. I am proud to be a Third Degree Black Belt and the highest ranking person after Master Varouj Bejanian. I still strive to learn more from Master so I can transfer my knowledge to other students. I consistently practice martial arts and teaching it so I can become better and better.  I am continuously, thinking about martial arts, dreaming about it, and consistently engaged in it by learning and teaching. I consider myself adept and accomplished in martial arts but there is so much in which I can improve. I don’t believe in the word “best”  because even the simplest things can be improved.


Alec Bejanian: Tell me about your background.

Mr. Manuk Lelikian: I was born in the country Georgia in 1989. Financially, my family was comfortable and we lived with my uncle and his family. In 1990, there was a war in Georgia which caused us to go through hardship. Due to the war, we left Georgia and went to Armenia.

Leninakan, Armenia is where we settled in. A huge earthquake in 1988 wrecked everything. Since everything was damaged, it caused my family to live in a garage with five other families.

Later, thankfully my uncle bought a house, where we lived with my uncle’s family. As all the kids grew older, we really needed another house. A family friend of ours wanted to help someone before he died from cancer so he gave my family the money to buy the house across the street from my uncle’s home. In 1996, my uncle came to America and that later triggered us to come to America in 2000. I was a sixth grader when I came to United States. On the November of 2000, I was walking with my dad and we saw a “Martial Arts Coming Soon” sign on Broadway Street in Glendale. We walked into the building where everything was still under construction. Master Varouj was there and he told us to come laterwhen he officially opened the school. In December, even though the school wasn’t open, Master Varouj signed me up and gave me a uniform, I was so happy, I couldn’t sleep that night from excitement. Then finally in January of 2001, the school opened. I started as a yellow belt because I had taken some karate classes in Armenia. The first question Master Varouj asked me was what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I said “I want to become a Master!” Master told me that “Anything is possible. ” Ever since then, that was my goal. As a green belt, I wanted to quit martial arts because of gaming. My mom took all my games away and made me continue attending. I really thank my parents for that. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here right now. I was helping Master Varouj and he would always tell me to go home because sometimes I was helping a lot. When I turned brown belt, Master Varouj created the Leadership Program and I was asked to join. I became an assistant instructor as a red with black stripe, became an instructor when I turned black

belt, and a Head Instructor when receiving my Second Degree Black Belt. I taught at the North Hollywood branch for about a year and was latersent to Glendale to teach there.

I wanted to get back to training intensely, when I was a Second Degree Black Belt, because Master Varoujexplained so much to me about the art and I felt really encouraged. Martial arts literally became my life. I couldn’t and still cannot sleep without knowing that I am involved in it.  When I learned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, from Master Varouj, I began to love Martial Arts even more. A new world opened up to me and I was learning a totally new discipline.


Alec Bejanian: What is an important thing that martial arts made you realize?

Mr. Manuk Lelikian: Through martial arts, I understood my purpose in life. Everyone’s purpose in life is different but my purpose is to help people accomplish their goals through martial arts. Basically, my purpose is to help people become successful, which in return brings me success in life. I am able to talk to kids and help them overcome challenges. That’s why my main goal in life is to become a Master in martial arts.


Alec Bejanian: Who are the people you look up to the most?

Mr. Manuk Lelikian: I first look up to God. I can’t do anything without him being in my heart. After God, I look up to my parents; they’ve done everything for me and I appreciate them very much. Master Varouj is also another person I look up to, as a dad, very dearly. I swear under his name and he is like everything to me. I also really look up to my uncle in Ukraine and my other uncle in Armenia, my sister, and my brother in law because they all inspire me. I wish I was as nice as my sister, she’s like a role model to me. Lastly, I could say that I look up to my uncle’s daughters because they are all like sisters to me.


Alec Bejanian: If you could describe yourself using only two words, what would they be?

Mr. Mauk Lelikian: The two words would be loyal and honest.


Alec Bejanian: Thank you Mr. Manuk for being in the interview. You are like a big brother to me and I have always looked up to you.

The Right Motivation

I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle what was expected of me... until I found the Right Motivation.
I’ve stuck through 11 years of Martial Arts, exceeding my own expectations. I had passed the black belt test, the most extreme mental, physical and emotional exertion I had ever experienced - Comparable to the focus, determination and tension of midterms and finals at UCLA

The Right Motivation

Getting accepted into UCLA stands as one of my single biggest accomplishments, but calling these first few months I've been attending UCLA as challenging is a great understatement.

The classes are fast paced and cover material far exceeding the amount I'm used to. Nearly all of the work falls upon the shoulders of the student, who must take on a great deal of responsibility in order to even be able to compete with the hundreds of other students in the same lecture hall with them. It is rigorous, stressful, time intensive, and sometimes overbearing.

I wasn't sure I could be able to handle what was expected of me... until I found the right motivation. I reminded myself that I've stuck through 11 years of Martial Arts, doing things I thought impossible and exceeding my own expectations. I had passed the black belt test, a process that begins 1 year in advance and took everything I had learned over all my years at Bejanian Martial Arts and concentrated it in one day. It was the most extreme mental, physical and emotional exertion I had ever experienced, comparable to the focus determination and tension of midterms and finals at UCLA. That belt meant more to me than just a rank or degree of skill. That belt shows that I endured weeks of intensive training, mastering both physical and mental conditioning, self-control and discipline in order to pass and receive the title of"black belt." The belt stands as a testimony to what I have done and what I can do, demonstrating the level of my capabilities to overcome both the trials I will experience in school and the trials I will witness in life.

Knowing I had gotten through a test with such extensive training, great circumstances and high degree of requirements, I knew I can take on and even surpass the challenges presented before me by my professors. And with each assigned homework, with each upcoming exam, and with each night spent awake studying, I'm able to look at the future's obstacles and say "Bring it on. I am a black belt."


Khachik Hmayakyan

First Degree Black Belt at Bejanian Martial Arts


World Success Magazine 1st Quarter 2017

2017 marks the launch of World Success Magazine, a quarterly publication highlighting the positive efforts of people within our school and the local community. It has been a long time dream of Master Varouj Bejanian to publish a magazine which provides a platform for students, staff, parents, and community figures who are making positive change to be recognized for their efforts. The magazine reflects the principles taught at Bejanian Martial Arts, and gives its readers positive and uplifting motivation through its inspirational stories and articles. 

World Success Magazine is available for free in print and digital versions. We welcome you to pick up a copy at Bejanian Martial Arts Glendale, Bejanian Martial Arts North Hollywood, and at local businesses throughout the Glendale & North Hollywood.