In the above picture seven year old Reid celebrates his recent gold belt earning. After only four weeks of training, this young man jumped from white belt to gold belt, bypassing the yellow belt. This rarely happens at my school, and amongst seven year olds it never happens with only one month of training. When it does happen it means the student has brought a tremendous amount of passion, focus, maturity, and desire to the classes. Reid has averaged four classes per week for the last five weeks. The only person who can top his attendance in that same time period is myself- and I am the Sensei, thus I am required to be there. I understand this is summer, and the young man probably will not be able continue this feverish attendance during the school year. That being said, he has six siblings, two working parents, and one of his parents have brought him to every single class during this five week time span. So, this paragraph is to state congratulations to Reid and his family. His family bring him to class. So, when he’s there they’re there as well. Basically, Reid can go as far in martial arts as his interest and passion will take him. This is an example of how a young man can positively affect us as club, and inspire me. His passion and dedication reminds me on my first month training at my Sensei’s school. I’m also inspired by his parents’ level of commitment. They have six or seven children in all, and both are working professionals. So, I am sure time is valued commodity. In final, a big salute to Reid and his family for being awesome.
Martial arts can bring out the most and the best in every child, teen, and adult. If a student will show up two or three times per week, and train with absolute focus and commitment that student will enhance his physical and mental self. Martial arts is about building a stronger body, a stronger mind, a more peaceful spirit, and a more respectful nature. But, it’s not a spray on tan. It’s not an overnight process. It is a commitment to improving your fighting and defending skills so that you may find internal confidence and peace, which brings peace to those around you. I have two tremendous programs- Goju-ryu Karate and Krav Maga. I am blessed to have an awesome group of people who train in both. I am further blessed to have very supportive families of said members. But, it is important that as a evolving, growing, and maturing program that we never get stagnate. The moment we think or say that it’s good enough, then that is the moment we begin to digress. I am constantly striving to improve myself as a person and as a teacher, both physically and mentally. I spend hours researching drills to bring to the classes. I read philosophies of martial arts from all over the world. I study nutrition and the tenants to healthy longevity. This is me trying to bring the best me to each and every class, which is impossible to do, but I will try to do every class. I want my students to maximize their focus and passion in every class. As a student never be satisfied with where you are at. Constantly, strive to be tougher, fitter, stronger of will and mind. If my students and I make this effort or promise to do our best, then the improvement and growth potential is only limited by schedule and time.
“To have peace, one must prepare for battle.” This can mean a lot of things to many different people. But, this quote perfectly describes my martial arts philosophy. I believe that it is in our DNA to want to know how to fight and protect what is ours. I believe it is natural to know how to throw a punch or a kick. I believe that it is better to be prepared and never use a set of tools than not be prepared and need a set of tools. To achieve real internal peace in a crazy, sometimes violent, and stress filled world is to have solid knowledge of self defense. My goal is to teach you how to fight and hope that you never will want to nor need to. However, should an attack be thrown upon you I want you to have a skill set that is natural, organic, effective, and will get you home safe. I am not building super heroes. Martial arts will not make you invincible. There will still be a line of people who can handle you in a fight. That line won’t be nearly as long as it was before your martial arts training. So, we find peace by preparing for battle against an unknown attacker, in an unknown area, at unknown time and place, with unknown circumstances that may or may not ever happen. If never happens your are still a better person for taking this journey with us.