As a martial arts school owner, I get asked quite frequently, “what is the value of the martial arts?”
Since opening my school, I make it a habit of checking the local news paper as well as searching my Facebook feed for local news. I often scan the pictures and the names to see if I recognize anyone.
Most days the faces are unknown and the posts pretty bland, but every once in a while I come across an article about someone who did something illegal and went to jail and I recognize the name.
I then search through my notes in our dojo database to discover, if it is indeed, an ex-student or parent. I try to keep pretty good notes when someone leaves, as I make a point of writing down my last encounter with the student as well as the last conversation with the parents. I often will attempt to do a little parenting on their way out the door since they are quitting anyway.
It hopefully plants a seed that they are making a mistake that could have far reaching consequences.
Since opening our doors more than a decade ago, I get many reasons as to why people quit – they want to try another sport, their schedule is too busy, need to focus on school work, etc. One of the other main reasons is parents say karate is too expensive, and (insert sport dad used to do here) is cheaper.”
Times are tough, I get that.
We work to make ends meet at the dojo as well.
But when someone says “It’s too expensive” to a martial arts instructor, what they are really saying is, “We don’t see the value of what you are doing, and see other things in our life as more worthwhile.”
I ask myself, would this person have ended up in jail if they had they stayed with their training as a kid and achieved a Black Belt?
The answer is always, without a doubt, “No.”
It’s too bad the effects of martial arts training takes time, but it does. It’s too bad the changes they know they had seen in their child didn’t come more rapidly, but this is the nature of martial arts training.
Now if I were a sarcastic man, which I try not to be, I’d consider calling those parents now, and asking them how expensive those legal fees are, and how negatively impacting they think their child’s incarceration is going to be.
Now I’m not saying that everyone who quits is going to end up in trouble, and even good people make mistakes, but when I see those pictures, and I recognize the student, it is NEVER someone who achieved a high rank with us.
It is NEVER a Black Belt.
Give it time, let the training do what it does, keep them coming, minimize the distractions. No one ever comes back and says, “Darn you mom and dad for making sure I earned my Black Belt.”
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Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for martial arts instruction for 8 consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt is a certified instructor for C.O.B.R.A., a worldwide self-defense, and personal protection program. SKS offers Active Shooter Training, Real Estate Safety, 10 Week Self Defense Academies, Bully Workshops, and Child Safety Camps.
We also provide corporate safety training.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars
Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made
up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is be ing bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-462-9425 or email us at: [email protected]
Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.
You can check out our kids program here: SKS Kids
Learn more about our amazing adult program here: SKS Adults
We even have a preschool program for your little ones: Little Samurai