Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How Do Martial Arts Benefit Us?

I am always gratified to hear from adult students how much they benefit from Seichou Karate® training.

The reasons people come to us vary. Some people come to learn self-defense; others come to learn about Japan, for physical fitness or to relieve stress. Whatever a student’s initial motivation, the benefits are often more expansive than he or she considered before walking through our door.

Here’s why. In Seichou Karate® class, we practice exercises and karate techniques that build strong, flexible muscles. So, right off the bat, our training will give you the power and endurance to study, work or play hard for long periods of time.

Next, Seichou Karate® is rigorous. So, during class when your muscles will tire or you’re out of breath, you’ll want to take a rest. At those moments, your brain should override the natural tendency to quit. Your brain becomes stronger each time it overrules your body. This exercise of self-discipline reminds us how powerful we are and motivates us to push harder for the things in our lives that are important: family, friends, career, or whatever.

Finally, the path to developing great physical strength and powerful fighting skills at Seichou Karate requires us to receive mentoring from caring senior students and instructors. During this process, we cannot help but discover that although they are stronger than we are, they are gentle and totally committed to our personal growth. This example inspires us to be good companions, mentors and fiduciaries in all areas of our lives.

This is the most important way in which Seichou Karate® and other martial arts benefit us. OSU!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to be a Great Teacher

From 1980 to 1985 I taught at my instructor’s dojo in Manhattan. One morning, my teacher poked his head into class as I was teaching. After watching for a few minutes he told me to see him after I finished class.

I'd been pushing the students hard when he'd walked in, so I was pleased with what he'd observed. After finishing class, I knocked on his door and entered his office. "What was that," he pointedly asked. Surprised, I answered sheepishly that I'd been teaching free-fighting technique. "No, you weren't teaching. You were training. The two are not the same," he barked.

He was right. I'd been leading the students through a regimen that was helpful to me, but it did not address the needs of the students in attendance. That was a good lesson because it taught me the importance of focusing on the needs of each student in class. In fact, today I know that a great instructor seamlessly addresses even divergent needs of students in the same class.

At Seichou Karate® we make certain that every student in class gets what she or he needs to make meaningful progress toward the achievement of personal goals. That’s what sets us apart from our competitors and, so, we’re very proud to make that promise.