Change Before, You Have To

The pursuit of one’s Black Belt provides the opportunity to experience a change not only in the dojo but in one’s life. As a necessary step, change can be challenging, however, it is also an opportunity for the growth and development of a seasoned martial artist. These changes can help students mature in several ways.

Firstly, changes can teach children resilience and adaptability. When children experience changes, such as moving to a new school or city, they must learn to adjust and cope with new situations. In karate it could be a child moving to a different class or beginning to spar, these are chances to help them develop important life skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and flexibility. As they grow older, they will be better equipped to handle future changes and challenges that come their way.

Additionally, changes can expose children to new people and experiences, broadening their perspectives and helping them develop better patience and understanding. If kids get only one perspective, it limits their ability to make informed decisions that are right for them. Just last week, I had a student that was a little nervous to try the Teen class and after one quick lesson was hooked more than ever. This was a new perspective to him that he wouldn’t have experienced had he not been open to a little change.

Finally, changes can also help children develop self-awareness and a sense of identity. When kids are faced with changes, they may need to reflect on their own values, beliefs, and priorities to navigate the newfound situation. This can help them develop a stronger sense of self and a clearer understanding of who they are and what they want in life. When students decide for themselves to give their all the result is far greater as the effort comes from within.

Sure, change can be a little scary at first but I’m sure if you look for the deeper benefit you will find it only makes you stronger in the longer term. I’m sure many of you are now experiencing the change of a new class, form, or tempo that you didn’t know existed before. This is the change that will make for greater things to come on your quest for Black Belt Excellence.

Remember, “Change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Sensei Chris