• 11-15-2019 •
The door opened and one by one the students entered, bowed and shouted: “Please Teach Me“. They quietly removed their shoes and sat in two rows on the floor talking and joking around with each other. Every now and then one would lie down, or get up and start walking around the room. I quietly said: “What are you doing? Sit down and be quiet”.
Once everyone was seated quietly we started class.
At my request, prior to this class, a poster was hung up on the wall at the front of the room. I read the first part of each line aloud and the students read the underlined words:
Replace ignorance with knowledge.
Replace doubt with faith.
Replace fear with courage.
Replace anxiety with confidence.
Replace weakness with strength.
Replace meanness with kindness.
We are Dojo brothers and sisters.
We are KaraTe family.
We are proud, fearless and humble.
I wanted to drill these words into the students minds hoping that over time their individual character would absorb these lessons.
Following the reading of our Martial Arts Mantra, as I like to call it, we do a breathing meditation, synchronizing our breath with hand movements, We do this at the beginning and end of each class.
We then ran through basic fitness exercises and worked on punching and circle-step walking. Also this was the first lesson in blocking which I was pleasantly surprised that they picked it up easily. I also began teaching them Basic Kata # 1. So far the best student in the class is the Assistant teacher assigned to me. He really enjoys the lessons and is picking things up quickly.