I’m standing in line to buy a coffee in a local newsagent one day a few weeks back just before my Junior Class and I notice that I’m standing behind a young man who was a student of mine. Let’s call this young man “Johnny” like the title says…
Johnny was a very attentive student in my class that always welcomed the training/challenges that I would throw at him.
I remember on one particular occasion when I was speaking with the junior class about the power that they had as a martial artists, like being helpful to others and not just how high they could kick or how hard they could punch and Johnny just so happened to be front and center of the class while I spoke to them.
I explained that this power they had ranged from being polite and courteous to others which made people feel appreciated and happy, to use please and thank you in a conversation, to opening doors for people and helping elderly people pick up items who may have dropped something and the list went on.
I always tell my junior students how they are young and strong and able and not everybody might have that gift like they do, so in a way they’re superheroes!
Next, I tell them that they should not take their power of being young and strong for granted but instead use it for good to help others.
If you give a child power and make them feel good about the fact, so they want to use their power to do good any chance they get are you not after creating a superhero…?
Empower a child and they will know no bounds.
Think about it…. what an amazing gift it is to give a child early on in life the sense of being powerful that will only stand to them as they go out into the world….
Back to our story…
Just in front of little Johnny in the line was a new Mother with newborn twins and they were screaming their little newborn heads off as babies do.
Besides the new Mum was her four-year daughter old or thereabouts who wanted some treats from the counter and wasn’t taking no for an answer.
At the same time, the Mum was fumbling with items she was about to purchase and attempt to get money out of her purse, trying to calm the screaming babies and juggling the ankle biter demanding sweets.
In the process and all the commotion she dropped her purse and some items she was about to buy.
Just as the Mother was about to have a meltdown, my student, Johnny who still didn’t know his Sensei (me) was behind him jumped to the floor without thinking twice to help the woman pick up her belongings and her items.
The woman became overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude for the help she received from little Johnny.
She was so thankful that she offered to buy him a reward from the counter and wouldn’t take no for an answer.
I then announced my presence to Johnny and gave him a well done and told him I was very proud of him as he still remembered the training he had received when he was in class.
He walked out of the shop with a look of shock and awe on his face and proudly showed his friends his reward and told them his story.
Martial arts is about becoming fit & healthy and becoming mentally and physically stronger so that you can eventually help and serve others the same way your coach served and helped you, this is the message we deliver to our juniors every single time they come to class.
This real-world story gave me an idea…
We set all of our Junior Classes a task recently.
For 6 straight days, they had to do one good deed per day for 6 days.
Then they had to record it, record the situation and how they helped out the person.
We encouraged them to make a small project out of it and to even tell a story about it.
We have spot prizes for the best story and a certificate for being an Awesome person!