You have an unbelievable strength inside.  You can handle anything life throws at you.  The difficulty is finding the strength inside you.

Proper correct training pushes you in all sorts of ways.  Forcing you beyond pain and ego and pride.  Teaching you your limits both mentally and physically and then teaching you to push beyond your limits.  Building strength, confidence, self esteem, determination, self discipline and self control.

These are the qualities that allowing you to deal with problems in your life off the mats.  That give you a strength of character to deal with any hardship

Stand up for what is right.  We know inside what is right and wrong.  And it is easier to stand up to your enemies then it is to your friends.  But a black belt must have the integrity and courage to stand up for what is right, no matter what the cost to themselves.   And in doing so may be an example for those around you.

Stand up to bullying.  This does not mean, you must confront the bully directly.  But ask for help or if you see a friend being bullied go get help..  Or use the skills you learn in our anti bullying program.

Standing up to friends is hard.  But is your friends ask you to do things you know are wrong.  You must say no.  Throwing stones, bulling, stealing, swimming in lakes or canals etc are all examples of things you should say no to.

Karate is for self defense and should only be used to protect you or others, never for attack.  But attacks may not just be physical they may be mental or verbal.  The words we use can cause more long term damage then kicks or punches.  A broken bone can take 6 weeks or more to mend, however cruel words or bullying can last years.

In this day everybody is looking for the quick fix, the immediate satisfaction.  People are not willing to invest time in learn, if you can’t do it immediately it’s not worth doing.  But important things take time, learning a musical instrument,  learning a language, learning a martial art all take time and do not happen over night.

Dedication is required.  This is the passion the desire to follow through on your plans, to see them come to fruition.  Without dedication, you will lose the motivation to continue.

Will power is where you motivation and dedication are born.  Having the strength of mind to practice, good days and bad,

Nobody achieves a black belt without sacrifice.  Sacrifice time that could have been spent with family and friends, money spent on training that could have be spent on debts, missing out on social occasions like parties and gigs, sacrificing your body, learning to live with pain and discomfort.

Whatever your dream, give it time, dedication, will power and sacrifice and it will be worth it in the end.

The 1st discipline it to turn up for training.  Be on time, be ready to train and be ready to give 100%.

“Children don’t quit Karate, Parents do.”  If you want your child to benefit or even receive their black belt and more, than you as a parent need to have a black belt commitment too.

Why do you want your child to learn Karate”

Parent – “I want them to gain discipline and confidence”

Sensei to Parent : “Then here are the things you, as the parent need to know and follow no matter what:

1. You must be consistent bringing your child to class. Schedule your Karate days and move things around them so your child doesn’t miss classes or attend sporadically. Why? Because discipline and confidence come from doing structured things, not random things.
2. When training gets tough and your child doesn’t want to go to class because it’s not “fun” you will tell them “get your Gi and let’s go” no matter what. Why? Because you can’t build discipline on your schedule, only doing what you want when you want. You also can’t build confidence by avoiding things that are hard to do or tough. Only by failing and then overcoming that failure can you grow confident. It is not easy but it is worth it.
3. When your child loses interest (which comes and goes by the way) you will say “Get your Gi and let’s go”. Allowing your child to just give up something because they have lost interest leads to teaching them how to be a failure in life. Teaching your child the value of commitment and seeing things through is part of the discipline process. The loss of interest in kids happens but then they wish they wouldn’t have “quit”. Teach your child not to be a quitter.
4. You aren’t committing to attend Karate. You are committing to get good at Karate and earn your black belt. When your child wants to quit you will say “Are you a black belt yet?” and then say “Get your Gi and let’s go”. Children who see their training through to black belt will learn what it means to truly earn something which builds confidence and discipline. This will be invaluable in their lives as they grow into adulthood (going off to college and more).
5. Karate will build confidence, discipline, focus and more BUT you have to be committed to it no matter what. You can’t just show up when you want and expect your child to gain from it. It takes work so teach your child the value of working hard. When you, the parent, are involved in their training they grow strong in their confidence and discipline. Don’t be “that parent” that just lets their kid start and quit things. Get them to the dojo and watch them develop strong, focused, driven and confident so that they can have a great life!

Learn to respond not react

Reactions are spontaneous automatic knee jerk answers to things.  Responses are considered more thoughtful.  Reactions tend to be immediate and focus solely on the immediate situation in front of us, responses however focus on the bigger picture taking in all the facts and consequences of our actions.

Your hand touches a hot stove and you pull it away immediately, someone calls you a name and you lash out angrily both of these are examples of reactions.  You don’t think, you don’t stop to consider your options.  A response on the other hand considers all the facts and weighs up the consequences of our actions.

When sparring you should learn to respond rather than react.  Your opponent feints an attack and you react, or you learn to watch your opponent’s movements and respond only to their legitimate attacks.  Reading their eyes, focusing on their shoulders and their body movements, keeping relaxed and calm.  This is practiced when facing a partner in training.  Slowing their movements down with sustained focus and awareness (Zanshin)

Mistake upon mistake. Or life as one continuous mistake. Progress in the martial arts as in life, is based on making mistakes, recognize them, fix them and make new mistakes.

Nobody is perfect, life is not perfect, but as karate ka we aim for perfection. But this attitude should be maintained with a gentle touch. Don’t be too hard on yourself, berate yourself too harshly or criticize yourself too much. Recognize your mistake or failings, correct them and make new mistakes. Recognizing mistakes is not a sign of weakness but takes a honest strength of character. On or off the mats, seek to be the best most authentic version of yourself.