Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Enthusiasm, tests, nerves and white knuckles

This weekend we had a belt test at the karate school I attend.
It made me think of a CD I listen to of the great motivational legend Earl Nightingale.  He made the statement that enthusiasm is something that can be generated by two things:
  • Learning
  • Goals
An Apple a Day . . .  uh that's an Apple for the Teacher: never mind.

he went on to say how wanting to learn a task keeps us interested and working towards that goal.  it didn't matter if it was large or small just to learn something actively.  Secondly the accomplishment of that goal was a way of feeling that enthusiasm as well.  there is perhaps nothing better than that feel of a job well done.  its an emotion that is hard to explain but worth the pain and effort!  But this also made me think of something else.  Children are natural learners and tend to have enthusiasm, but adults seem to loose the ability to learn and cease many times from being exited or enthusiastic about things.  It is very sad, since we have more years of adult life than we do of childhood. 

Shouldn't we be the ones to lead the way for our children in learning and excitement?

I loved being a judge in the belt tests, but only after I settled down from the initial shock.  Let me explain.  The children and a few adults were being tested, so they were "on the spot" and nervous.  One girl was testing for her 1st Dan, so I could see the concern in her face.  Don't worry, she did fine and nailed all her techniques and kata. I am entering a new area of my life as well, I am a black belt, but I am also being trained to instruct as time goes on and learning Kobudo as well.  I've stepped into a realm that I was not completely familiar with and as a result, now am both conscious and sympathetic of the students while they were testing.  Many times, we think that some judges or proctors may be "unfair" or "harsh".  Maybe they are, or there just jerks.  I do not know in all situations.  However in this case I realized once again that karate and martial arts is about growth.  Not just the growth of power and technique, but about the person as a whole.
We can be sympathetic empathetic and continue to grow just as the lower ranks are striving for the coveted black belt.
By the way, I told Hannah (The girl who tested for 1st Dan) that all of us should continue to learn.  From adult down to child, we should be life long learners.

Your Brother in Christ
And  Senpai in Karate 

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