Have You Done Your Karate Homework?

It never fails…

A group of students will line up at the dojo door. I ask them, “Who did their homework?”

They answer with a proud smile, “I did.”

“I mean your KARATE homework!”

They shake their heads. “There’s no homework in Karate!”

AGHH! Wrong answer! Here’s the truth–

YES, THERE IS HOMEWORK IN KARATE!

Karate Kid Will

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way!

Most students don’t think of the dojo as a school. Maybe that’s because they have so much fun!

But the fact is we have a classroom, a teacher, and lessons to be learned. And the only way to learn those lessons is through practice. Not once or twice a week… but every day!

Sensei Ando had a similar conversation with the students of Woodland Hills recently. One student, Will, was busy doing his schoolwork in the lobby when Sensei Ando challenged the students to practice their Karate outside of class.

Will didn’t hesitate. He took up the challenge and jumped into a horse stance, combining his homework from school with his homework from Karate.

Now, THAT’S what I’m talking about! Go, Will!

You see, real Karate isn’t something we just do for one or two hours a week… it’s who we are every day! Every black belt knows that to be our best, we must try our best everywhere we go.

So, if you’re a student of Karate, I challenge you to do your homework…

  • Stand in a horse stance when you brush your teeth.
  • Shuffle through the house instead of walking.
  • Play a video game while balancing on one foot.
  • Practice your Tiger Kata or a favorite move once a day– maybe right when you wake up or before you go to bed.
  • Use your good manners! Say, “Yes, ma’am” or “Yes, sir” to everyone you meet. (You won’t believe how they react!)
  • Be creative and find your own way to practice your Karate moves!

The bottom line: “A little work every day goes a loooooong way.”

That’s why I invite every Mom and Dad to join me in asking their Karate Kid–

“Have you done your Karate homework today?”

Black Belt Parents

Earning a black belt in Karate is a big deal. Especially when the student is just 10 years old!

I’m proud to announce that two weeks ago, 15 students achieved their black belt in Gozen Karate.

Think about that…

Some of these children have been practicing Karate for six or seven years… more than half of their lives!

dbkk-karate-for-kids-groupBut here’s the funny thing… even though we recognize our new black belts as dedicated, patient, and hard-working, the same can be said about their parents! Here’s why—

No student at Karate Kids signed up for classes on their own.

No student at Karate Kids fights traffic to get to class on time.

No student at Karate Kids washes their own uniform or signs up for a belt test.

No student makes it to black belt without thinking about quitting once or twice. Or more!

That’s why I say behind every black belt student is a black belt parent!

You may not get to wear the belt, but no kidding—you’ve earned one, too! 🙂

Black Belt Parents!Here’s the sad truth—kids today are busier than ever. Children jump from one activity to another, never having a chance to improve at anything. And that’s a shame!

It’s a shame because confidence grows from improvement. Self-esteem grows from achievement. Success grows from learning the value of hard work.

Allowing a child to build a habit of quitting when something gets difficult or boring will never lead to a healthy, happy life.

But black belt parents don’t let that happen! They’re too smart.

When their child was too nervous to try that first karate class, they came back and tried again.

When their child wanted to skip karate class, they put them in the car anyway.

When their child was struggling to learn a new move, they encouraged them to keep trying.

That’s how black belts are earned!

So, as a member of the community, let me say thank you to all the black belt parents out there who taught their child the value of commitment. Thank you for not letting them give up when they got bored, distracted, or discouraged.

As a school owner, let me say thank you for supporting my dream to share the lessons of karate with as many children as I can. Thank for leaving positive reviews online and telling your friends about our program. Your trust is something I will never take for granted.

Finally, if I may speak for your children who are too young to fully understand all that you do for them, let me say thank you for giving them the gift of karate. Thank you for giving them the chance to develop respect, patience, and focus in a safe, fun environment.

They’re going to need all of that!

Keep up the good work, black belt parents!

ARE YOU READY FOR LIFE?

The first move we teach in Karate is called a Ready Stance. We teach it first because, in my opinion, it’s the most difficult move to master!

It sounds so simple: stand up straight, stay still, and pay attention. Maybe that’s easy for a moment… but how about a full minute… two minutes… a whole class?

Not so easy!

In today’s world of rush, rush, many seem to have lost the ability to sit or stand still and allow the world to come to them. Too bad! Because without this skill, learning and growing is next to impossible.

Always be in your ready stance!

Ready for anything!

When you’re able to stand in a good Ready Stance, you are showing the world that your mind is in control of your body. When you can fight the urge to wiggle, talk, scratch, or fix your hair, you demonstrate power over yourself.

This basic level of self-control is the foundation of Karate. Think about it–if you can’t control yourself when there are no consequences, how can you control yourself when your life is on the line?

So, keep your Ready Stance with you wherever you go. In school, sit up straight, keep your hands on top of your desk, and look at your teacher.

At the dinner table, sit still, eat with good manners, and listen to what your family is talking about instead of slouching, playing with your food, or playing video games.

Take your Ready Stance to the movies, the beach, to the frozen yogurt shop… everywhere!

Remember, if you’re ready for anything, you’ll get more out of everything! 🙂

NEVER GIVE UP!

Every time I watch a Black Belt test, I am overcome with joy. To see so many students reach a goal that most never will is inspiring beyond words.

The fact is only 1-2% of students who start Karate classes will make it to the Black Belt test. Why is that?

Because Karate isn’t easy!

To be a Black Belt, you have to try your best to control your mind, body, and spirit. You have to demonstrate physical techniques, good manners, and show respect at home, in school, and in the dojo.

Not just for a month… for years!

NEVER GIVE UP!We have students who have literally been practicing karate for more than half of their young lives. Their patience, perseverance, and dedication is a lesson not just to other children, but to adults as well!

Of course, the only way to earn a Black Belt is to never give up. Unfortunately, many students want to stop practicing karate the minute it isn’t “fun” anymore. If a parent lets the child quit, they miss the chance to teach a valuable life lesson…

Nothing is fun forever–and it shouldn’t be! Why? Because fun is nothing compared to the feeling of self-esteem that grows from being good at something!

When you stick to a goal–especially a difficult goal–you build a strength of character that quitters will never know.

So, if you’re thinking about giving up something you know is good for you, don’t give up! The best is yet to come! Take it from every Black Belt you meet!