One of the fun parts of karate is the opportunity for well supervised destruction. Who doesn’t love the crack of pine boards recently cut by a confused home improvement supply specialist? I love confounding them. “You need these cut how long? Are you making tiny shelves?”
One of the many joys of teaching is seeing a student breaking one of these boogers for the first time ever. The doubt and determination takes turns across the student’s face just before the final line up, then…KIAI! The lumber shatters…ideally. As great a victory as that is, the challenge of the second, third and fourth attempts open the door for character building (not all boards are created equal). Surprise, surprise, they don’t always break the first time. Sometimes, we need to tweak the technique or focus a bit better, but in the end, we never leave the test without breaking the board.
There is no quitting. Another life lesson presents itself right on queue. It’s alright to change strategies (change from side kick to front kick), it’s alright to ask for help (is my focus off? am I not following through?), but there is no quitting. In the end, hands are sore and ankles are cut up, but not a single student has ever said, “I wish I had stayed at that lower rank than to have to ice my hands.”
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