Intermediate Test

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure to watch three of our intermediate students test into their new belts. This was a very good moment for our school because these three students showed us that the standards we set for these students could be met and even surpassed! If you ask any three of them, I am sure none of them will tell you that they got where they are now with only minimal work or purely by themselves. Each of these students worked very hard to get where they are at now and it showed. We (as instructors) are very careful not to call it a test because no single day effort can determine whether or not someone earns a belt. Every day you must continue to earn the belt you wear across your waist.
Each student had strengths and weaknesses in certain areas that the others did not but together they all pulled through and had one amazing show. More importantly they did everything we asked of them, without hesitation or questioning. This amount of trust from these students, and more importantly from their families, was the single most important contributing factor for their positive growth. If their families and themselves did not believe that they could get where we wanted them to be, none of this would be possible.
I’ve been told I seldom give out complements, but for that day, I was smiling even before the test had begun for I had already known that these three students already had earned their new belt. We are proud of all our students but we are very proud of these three young ladies for believing in us, their fellow students and themselves.
Mr. Doug

Living Hero: Pam Dorr

I would like to introduce you to one of my living hero’s, Pam Dorr. I have attached a video that is a brief description of the work she does in Alabama after a completely different career. This year I was not able to attend the UBBT event that is held one time per year in Alabama, but after reveiwing how I felt about missing this event, I have promised myself not to let that happen again.
The opportunity to work with such visionaries is so inspiring that it is not something I can afford to miss from a personal level. If anyone would like to join me next April in a trip to Alabama please let me know.
The video you are about to see was filmed and created by one of our UBBT members.

Compassionate Actions

“If you want others to be happy…practice compassion.  If you want to be happy…practice compassion.”  Dalai Lama
There are some very positive things we can do to demonstrate our compassion, as simple as a hug or a card / note, a small gift or other larger action when we fix a broken situation.  Other actions have just the opposite effect.  When someone hits, pushes ignores, roll their eyes or just refuses to recognize the pain of another, these actions are just as hurtful even if no words are spoken.  Have you ever seen someone suffer because of another’s action?  What did you do?
While words can be very harmful, so can our actions.   And an inaction can be just as harmful as action.  As a compassionate person our words and actions have power.  It has been studied and shown that in schools where there is a process in place for ‘bystanders’ to report or who stand up to bullies, the bullying problem is reduced.  Standing by and watching someone be hurt by words or actions with out taking a stand has an effect on others.
Have you ever done something for someone else that made them feel great? Has anyone ever done something for you that made you feel great?
Positive words and actions have a big effect on others and ourselves.

Children’s Summer Schedules

We’re coming upon the summer months and the end of school. This often can mean a change in routine and the adoption of other activities and programs in your child’s daily schedule. While summer is a wonderful time of year to relax and try new things, it’s important for your child to maintain a balance of structured and unstructured time. It’s advisable to keep some consistency in your child’s activity schedule so that the transition back at the end of the summer is not jarring or difficult.
I have been asked about whether a child should or shouldn’t “take a break” from the martial arts during the summer. Continue reading “Children’s Summer Schedules”

Sticks and Stones do what?

Getting in touch with our emotions and feeling the pain or suffering of others is a very sure way of becoming more compassionate as a parent, friend and a leader.  This week at our school we will be discussing the impact of our words and actions on others.  We have all heard the adage “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  But as we grow up we learn that this is not very true.
Our words are powerful, and when we use kind and uplifting words we can make others feel great and work hard at becoming their best and if we use words that tear down they can cause anyone to turn inside and for protection and one day demonstrate very angry actions.
As some of you may know my father passed away when I was a very young teenager and had been bedridden sick for much of my life.  Unfortunately one of the only experiences that I remember with him is a time when he was trying to play with me and I did not perform the way he thought I should, he called me “stupid”.  Words are so powerful that here I am nearly 50 years later and that is my memory.
So what kind of words can you use when dealing with our kids, mates, and work companions.  What are some words that someone has said to you that has made you feel better?

Teaching Compassion

We have started our conversation with our students about compassion with a review of the word ’empathy’.  All of us need to be understanding and sensitive to people’s feeling and that really is empathy.  If we take that a step further with compassion when we don’t just recognize the feeling, but care deeply about their discomfort and take steps to reduce their suffering.
Our children are exposed to highly competitive environment and way too many acts of violence on TV and quite frankly in their own life.  They are very sensitive to the attitudes and actions of those around them and recognize violence in its simplest forms.  They like ourselves can become jaded to these acts and so that makes teaching compassion that much more important in todays world.
So this week coming up we will discuss how what we do and say can affect how others feel.  Take some time this month to point our when we see compassion in action and praise our children for showing compassion to others.