I have to say that I learn so much from my juniors about Karate when I am teaching, but it is not often that I can say that I have a lesson in spirit from a Junior that is not even a purple belt yet. Today, I had that lesson on determination from a student at one of my juniors clubs.
I have trained with people that have given me lifes lessons on toughness outside of the club before, but it is not often that I see someone so set on coming out to train and have my opinion on their Kata that they come in and train despite being ill and being nauseous all through the class.
I went in to teach for my junior today, he has a great club and it never a “task” but a pleasure to teach at his club. When I got to the club one of the mothers hurried up to me and said that her daughter was not well and in fact was throwing up at home prior to class. However, she wanted me to asses her Kata and see if she was ready to test and my opinion meant a lot to her, so much so that she came to train in my class dispite being ill.
I had actually been asked to watch their Kata by their instructor prior to coming out so I was already looking to asses them. The fact that the girl showed up even though she was sick to her stomach said something to me, it showed me that she had the heart of a warrior!
As my class started I first watched all the Kata up to hers. Her Heian Shodan was a tad weak and she has Dachi issues, but she kept it going and she pushed through it. She did Heian Nidan and showed the mistakes that everyone was making. A few words of encouragement and she tried to fix up her mistakes, along with everyone in the class…with mixed results. But again, she held out.
As I started to move to Heian Sandan she had to run out and throw up….but she came right back to class and sat down waiting to be let back to class. Not only did she do Heian Sandan, but she did it fairly well! Her form needed some polishing but she pushed hard to do the Kata to the best of her ability. And the corrections I made on her form, she fixed as quick as she could.
Through the class she had to leave three more times, but not only did she not go and sit with her parents and watch her little sister do class, she pushed harder than a few students and even went through the weird drills I set up for them and the Kumite (only leaving to throw up twice more). This young girl really made me think about how some people go half hearted into a class and don’t give their all “Saving themselves” for harder work later, and she gave it 110% all through class.
It made me wonder if we were really to ask how much heart we put into each work out and each class in Karate, could we honestly say we never phone it in, or are we always pushing hard in class and over coming the minor things that make us go half heartedly into a class! And what would you say if asked “did you bring it in class, or did you go at it half hearted”.