My oldest daughter started Karate when she was 8 years old. Brand new to Calgary, she was a little shy
but willing to learn. I started out by being impressed with the knowledge of the instructor. He had an
understanding of how her physical body worked, how it changed as she got taller and how her reflexes
would develop as she learned. She was tumbling and kicking and shouting out her empowerment with
an ease I found astonishing within a few months. Those first weeks and months I watched her instructor
guide her, moving her from awkward beginner to confident student. Her teacher, her Sensei, was
the reason she was able to face her fears, overcome her nervousness, and reach for more.
I always knew, just from observation and from research I had done, that being in Karate had helped her in school.
Many years after she started and after she had earned her black belt,
I asked her if Karate had helped her in school. She said it made her unafraid to try new things in
Physical Education because she knew what her body could do. She was not intimidated by kids in her school,
even by those who tried to intimidate her, because she knew she could take care of herself. It made it easy to
walk away from provocation because she had absolutely nothing to prove. She knew she wasn't a "wimp"
and that she could face her fears. I'd like to think that I could have taught her all of these things,
but the reality is that I don't know that I could have. She learned them in Karate classes from a man who
had a passion for the art and his students. Thank you, forever, Sensei JT.
Over the years I have watched countless students walk in for that first class. I know that many of
them will not come back and that many of those who do come back will not stay. I know many parents
see this initial class as a tryout, to see if their child "likes" the program. I want to say to them that this is an opportunity to
invest in their child's future! Not just to learn self-defense, not just to help a child develop focus, not just for confidence or
flexibility...this is an opportunity to learn from some of the most
dedicated, educated, able, and passionate teachers in the world. This is an investment
in a life-long habit of fitness, self-awareness, and community. Martial arts offer a
place for anyone and everyone, though not everyone will find their place within the martial arts. But everyone should have that chance.
The chance to find themselves, to meet and learn from some of the best teachers in the world,
to be able to walk the hallways with calm assurance and to welcome new experiences with confidence!