I remember the days of doing a potluck dinner after each belt testing and that was pretty cool. After a while we did bowling and movies but they were really hard to organize. About 5 years ago we decided to try something a bit different and try a nerf themed game night. We ran secret missions and had target practice and it was awesome! We since expanded those ideas to other types of monthly events and every now and then friends can attend. Many karate schools use these type of events to network for new students. We instead use it as an event to build a stronger rapport with our students and parents. I look at it as our students are family and not a source of limitless connections to other potential students. It may not make sense in the world of business but it does make sense when I know that what I am doing is more than an activity and is something special. We have two more camps before the end of the year! You should try one they are so much fun!
Our students are pretty special to us. In fact they are like family and we treat them as such. When a student comes into our class and signs up their first assignment is a task sheet that teaches them responsibility around their home. Parents love this idea and we love it because it teaches gratitude and responsibility right off the bat. Those are values everyone should share and appreciate and it makes sense to start there when teaching martial arts. I hope that making them aware that this activity is very special and involves much more than just kicking and punching from the start has an impact. When we teach class the goal is to bring out the best in the student and making them aware that they can do whatever they want in life through hard work, integrity and dedication. This is requires a lot of fun and a positive attitude throughout this goal setting process. I often smile to myself as I watch our students grow and gain more confidence in who they are and their abilities. To me that is great part about marital arts and the best part of being a teacher.
This is one of the toughest question a parent has to answer. The majority of parents that I have had to talk to or call about bullying my daughter were shocked. The parents listened to what happened to my daughter during the conversation 90% of the time they apologize, have their child apologize and it never happens again. Now please understand that when I call a parent that means we have worked on this issue as a family for a bit. We have let our daughter handle it and we have given her advice and when it gets to this point of calling it means that we need to have this stop immediately. Like I mentioned above that usually take cares of the situation and we each go along with our lives. My daughter is not engage or tease (she wouldn't) the child that was being inappropriate but instead they are given a fresh start. To some folks we may look like we are being naive but it's quite the opposite. We are doing what's right when other people may be wrong. After all we all make mistakes and sometimes they warrant a second chance......sometimes. Very rarely do we have a child come to our school that is a bully. When a bully does enter our school we lay down the rules about martial arts the first class like we do for all students. At that point if they really love being in class it is their responsibility to show me that they deserve to be there and that the past is just that, the past. When a child won't change they work themselves out of the program pretty quickly because personal growth and responsibility can not be hidden from me for long. Our success for changing peoples lives has little to do with me and more to do with the person that wanted to change. Since I believe that love and kindness are the cure for almost everything a child may struggle with I lead with the option of better choices for a better life. So if your child is a bully the most important thing you can do is to be honest with yourself and not make excuses for inappropriate behavior so you can help fix it and not add to the problem. Until next time Master T
For the month of October we have put out 3 different sources of material each week on bully prevention. We are also working in class on non violent methods of handling bullying Many of those posts have been shared and passed along to those in need. We even did an interview with a Spokane Valley teacher to give a different perspective on how they are handling bullying in school. The reason for not knowing what to do or how to handle bullying effectively are being answered by many people across the country everyday. Join us to make our community stronger and end senseless acts of physical, emotional and verbal abuse in school and in life. We stand strong and we are ready to help anyway we can. I'm curious to hear your stories on what your doing to help. Make others aware and end the silent suffering by commenting below. Take care, Master T
The whole month of October is dedicated to Bully Prevention across our country. As a school we focus on this topic quite a bit, but set a side October and March to really focus on the issue. Over the next month we will be posting free information to help parents find resources for their child. We have been advocates for children's rights and safety for over 30 years. Please join us in sharing this information so no child must suffer in silence. Thank you Master T