Every once in a while we will run into a special story that really touches our hearts and make us grateful to be Martial Arts Professionals. This is the story of Georgia (real name this time), a student of ours who has been training at our Mission Viejo studio for a little while. Though she is a white belt still, we see the principles of her training really sinking in and we are happy to share the results.
Some time ago, little Georgia, by far our smiliest student in class, was unable to complete her personal lesson, which is rare for her, as she has not missed any so far. Our one-on-one lessons are a way for us to follow the progress of each student while allowing us the time to work with them specifically on what they want to learn. Samantha, her mom, called us to apologize and mentioned that Georgia was having some control issues. This to us is code for “not being able to get a hold of your emotions”; and knowing this, we were prepared to have a sit down with her next time she came.
Sensei Lori had a talked with Georgia during class in which they learned a lot about Self Control, one of our 5 principles of training. They talked about what it is, and how to show it when it matters. Though Martial Arts is primarily seen as a way of Self Defense, it is also much more than that. For example, as a Martial Artist, we learn to stay focused on all tasks, to work our hardest to complete them, to remain respectful to others, whether or not they are respectful to us, etc. All of these principles make up what it means to be a true Black Belt. We share these principles of life with all of our students so they can have standard to aim for.
Teaching this to young Georgia was an important step to take at this time. Just the other day, Samantha and I were having a follow up check up on her. We like to catch up with the parents as they tell us how our students are doing outside of Karate. She apparently had another episode just recently, though this time the lesson seemed to have made a difference. In this instance, instead of letting her anger lash out, Georgia decided to take a deep breath until she calmed down, and asked her mom “mommy, was that self control?”. “Yes!” said Samantha as she could not hold her happiness after seeing her child demonstrate to her that she was internalizing these lessons.
We know that Georgia will do well as a Martial Artists, and we can only hope that we will be so fortunate as to be able to teach her for many years, however, we are truly happy with the fact that these small improvements have already made an impact on this family. As parents we try our hardest to share our sense of etiquette with our children, but we know they will make mistakes many times over before making a permanent change; nonetheless, we try and try again. I have learned plenty of things through the Martial Arts, but what is most rewarding is teaching its principles to others, as they apply to everything we do in life.
We would like to thank Georgia and her whole family for allowing us to share this story with all of you.