Konnichi wa Karate Students and "Crazy" Karate Parents,
Congratulations on your new belts. This training cycle was particularly demanding but you exceeded my expectations. I am very proud of all of you. Know that your belts are well earned!
You might be wondering a little bit about the subject line of this Sensei Says - "Thank you CRAZY Karate Parents!" Here is the reason for this statement:
I was reminded recently about how special and wonderful our parents are at this dojo. When new families are looking at joining the dojo they get to do a trial class. Many parents have come out of that first experience saying "Wow, I am amazed and surprised by how much your parents get into the classes?!" The first couple of times I thought nothing of it. I guess it is because I am use to our parents being "all in" and besides, that is what we expect here. But after consistently getting this response I started to realize how special this is and not to take it for granted.
In a way Covid has given us an unexpected gift. When we went to parents training on the floor with their kids for safety, I never realized its true power and value. But I have to thank you parents because you stepped up. These new parents help us realize and remember that our parents play a HUGE role here.
Whether you want it or not, you are your child's superhero and the "leader" of your family. You have been using a critical element of leadership - "Leading from the front". An example of this principle can be applied to getting your kids to read more or work harder. You could tell or teach your child to read. You could be on your child to work harder in school, sports or karate. But nothing will ever beat you modeling it by them seeing you read or work hard at everything you do. That is leading from the front. They cannot help but follow and get caught up in your energy. Remember, energy is everything?
I believe an even more power way it works is by modeling two of the principles we teach at this dojo: "Learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable" and "Dance like no one is watching".
First, dancing like no one is watching. Particularly by the time your children get to middle school, you want them to have the courage, emotional strength and self-confidence to be themselves and not be overly concerned about what others think. Nothing is tougher for a parent to watch than a teenager being crushed by every little thing their peers say or think about them, or them trying to be someone they are not. Parents, when you go even crazier in the classes than your kids it sends a very powerful message "In our family we always dance like no one is watching". You be you . . . and proud of it!
Second, being comfortable with discomfort. If you have not realized it by now, we try to do this on every class. We want being in an "uncomfortable" state to be normal and constant in their lives because the only two things that hold all of us back in our lives are our fears and our limiting beliefs. It is kind of interesting watching some of our new parents who have not developed this yet. You can see them hold back. You can see them hesitate. Then you have a few who come our crazier, more energetic and more enthusiastic than their kids. At first their kids think "What happened to my mom?" but quickly follow along. Remember, whatever you do in life be 100% in and be the best version of yourself that you can be. This teachers emotional courage. Never let fear or doubt cause you to hesitate EVER!
Finally, I have to close with the part of this parents training with the kids I value and am grateful for the most - it is our dojo "Culture". The culture of the dojo is intentional and huge. I like to apply culture by using the phrase "This is just how we do it here!" Here at Ohana Dojo we have a very high standard and level of expectation for our parents. We expect and get parents who are highly and actively involved and leading in the development of their children. They place a priority and high value on the responsibility and work that goes into parenting. They might not be the best parents ever "yet" but they work hard toward that end. They are not going to passively stand by hoping others will raise or fix their kids. Instead, they lead from the front. Why? Because that is just how we do it here!
Yours for stronger kids,