We are always thrilled to hear of success stories from people close to us. A lot of these usually come from our students and their parents, or anyone who has experienced the martial arts in a positive light. This was the case of George.
George is a student that has been training in martial arts for several years. As a young child he started almost at the age of four and kept on training hard for many years on his goal of becoming a Black Belt. He has a wonderful family that supports his training and help him continue motivated as he goes into testing, seminars, and tournaments.
Like many kids experience everyday, George began having issues at school with another student from his class. George is a very well mannered child and does not like confrontation, so he tried to avoid this other person who was constantly bothering him. This child kept on pushing him and grabbing him as they saw each other in the corridors of the school. George was very upset about this but did not want to use martial arts to hurt this other boy as he was taught by Sensei.
After many days of this constantly happening George’s parents reached out to us about the issue. They had gone to see the school teacher and the principal without much success. I will comment that we try a lot to work with our students to learn the principles martial arts, and importantly the principles of self-control and character. However, it is very hard when the situation arises and other people start invading your space. It is difficult to make the right decisions at this time, thus truly a challenge for a martial artist.
We suggested to George to use his hands and his voice to make it clear that he did not want to hurt the child, which does not go against school rules. Many years ago parents and friends would encourage you to fight back right away, but in a school environment, and this would have gotten George into trouble with his teachers as well.
Relentless, the child kept on bothering him. So George came to class and asked his Sensei “what else can I do?” After thinking deeply about the situation we suggested “let’s practice this more to make it a habit”.
It was a simple drill – the Sensei will grab you and you immediately get away. Several times George tried to get away from random grabs and pushes as he kept trying to escape over and over again. Since he is comfortable with the studio training, and thinking of this like a “karate exercise” he was able to fend the attack without looking like the attacker.
And so the day came when George had to actually confront this person at school once again. It seems that all this training had paid off as the child try to grab and push George once more. This time though he was able to fend off the attack, just as he practiced. He was thrilled that all of his hard work resulted in the other child finally stopping, as he realized George would continue to fight back without actually attacking.
George’s parents shared the story with us not to long ago and we are very happy to see his progress, as well as the fact that he used the martial arts in the best way possible: as self defense, and not attack.
We encourage everyone who are currently training, those who are not, and possibly even you reading the story right now thinking about why you should get your self or your family into martial arts. There are many reasons to do this, but creating confidence in an individual is priceless, just like it did for our young friend.