For the Sake of Our Children

Whenever I travel I usually find a local karate school and I stop and watch the classes. The students lined up in their straight rows – clean white uniforms adding unity to the group.

I watch the Sensei sharply executing techniques as the class follows in imitation as best they can. The small ones in the class are busy trying their very hardest and their short arms move in piston like motion to the accompaniment of the whole body.

The basic drills now over – the kata are taught, separated by rank color the individual groups perform in perfect unison, the snapping of the sleeves can be heard at each punch and the breath is as one being.

It is here that I watch normally shy children being transformed into individuals, yet able to function well within the group. These new found traits are apparent as the young and adolescent upper belts are given the individual responsibilities of leading small groups of beginners through their first rudimentary movements like real veterans of the dojo.

If karate were part of everyone’s life in their youth what wondrous achievements would we all accomplish? It seems to bring out the very best in our children and it’s seen in their attitudes and in their academic performance as well. For the sake of our children, I hope the martial arts continues to grow and that more of our youth get involved.

Whether or not they become the next Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris, is not the important issue, it makes them better citizens and more stable people, sure of themselves and that self confidence is something we can all use.

Next time you get the chance to really sit down and watch our young ones go through their routines do it and you’ll see what I see and then you’ll know that our future does have some hope yet.