Words of Welcome for our Students

"I almost got my Black Belt is a story I hear all the time." Another one of my favourites is “Mom and Dad why did you let me stop training? I should’ve been a Black Belt by now.”

After almost 30 years of martial arts teaching, I think I have heard just about every story about the glory days and how close some were to reaching their goal of becoming a Black Belt. Rather than admit defeat we as humans tend to sugar-coat things with an excuse or reason for why we fall short of our goals. Sure, in the moment this might console us, but it usually does more harm than good in the longer run. Excuses can be dangerous and if left uncheck will define us and reduce our unlimited human potential.

This past year has been a challenging one with the pandemic and lockdowns and we lost a few could students that were almost certainly guaranteed to make it to Black Belt. Unfortunately, with the loss of routine and the uncertainty it did affect their commitment and ultimately, they fell short of their goal of becoming a Black Belt. Although this might be a temporary tragedy it does not have to define those that have missed a few steps this past year.

On the other hand, we have some remarkable and inspiring stories of students that have stayed committed, stayed the course, and persevered through the most challenging times of our lives. In fact, this past October, we did our Black Belt testing, and we modified a lot of the test so that we could accommodate things for social distancing that we didn’t have to before. Those students are now Black Belts and they did remarkable on the exam day. More importantly, leading up to that day, they were committed, determined, and had a never quit attitude even during the most uncertain months of April to June.

Regret is a funny thing, and there are many things that we all regret whether it be our progress with martial arts, our school, our career, or our life. The important thing is to focus on the journey and the details as one navigates the journey of Black Belt excellence. Perhaps when you get into a situation where you hit the wall or a stumbling block it may be time to ask a different set of questions. It may be time to focus on something completely different. I know on a personal note the pandemic has been rather tough on my hip and I have scaled-back my kicking so that I can get it back to where it was before. What this means for me is different types of techniques, self defenses and combos and a different style of teaching. Why sit when I can move forward as progress no matter how small it is, is still progress. Maybe you missed classes and stopped training last spring but if you think back to when you were in class, that feeling, that confidence, that focus, it can all be yours again. All you need to do is decide, move forward and take that first step.

With spring upon us and hopefully the pandemic coming under control it is not too late to get back to where you were. Once a karate student always a karate student. FCMA always keeps the door open for both existing and former students and we are here to make your transition back as easiest as possible. Just today, I spoke with a parent who needed a little help motivating their child to resume in class training and I can only hope the positive approach will make a positive impact in this child’s life. We as instructors recognize that things are a little different now and we are here to assist and work with each student to help achieve their goal of Black Belt excellence. We do take that commitment seriously and will do everything in our power to get the best out of each student.

If you were fortunate enough to stay the course, you are in a great spot as things are probably only going to get better from here on out for you. If you took a pause and are looking to get back at it always remember we have your best interest at heart and will do everything we can to make your transition back in the class as smooth as possible.

We can’t turn back the clock, but we can always wind it up again.

Dedicated to your achievements!

Sensei Chris