Practice what you learn
on APR. / 19 / 2011 | 1 comments
by Jeremy M. Talbott
The other day I had one of our senior instructor stop by the school to visit. On his way in there were a couple of the students waiting for their class to start outside messing around with their bo (staff weapon) in an inappropriate way. When he witnessed the kids goofing around he explained to them that the weapons were not meant to be used like that and they should respect them. Both of the kids gave him a look as if to say, “pssst...What do you know?” Now he could have revealed who he was and scolded their actions, but instead he came in and mentioned the incident to me. He told me that they probably do not know who he is which is why they copped a little bit of an attitude when he talked to them.
Instead of scolding them as well, I figured that this would be a great opportunity to teach a good lesson to all the kids about respect. At the end of the class, I asked the two boys to point out all the black belts present in the school. They naturally pointed to three others, two who were in uniforms and one who was not but was at the school all the time, and me. Neither of them picked out the senior, which is what expected. I then asked a couple more of the students to do the same thing, which landed the same result. I then asked all the black belts to come up to the head of the class. All of them stepped up including our senior, which no one but the other black belts knew. I introduced him and let them know that he was one of the higher-ranking black belts in our system. I then spoke to the students about the incident that took place, without mentioning any names, and how I was disappointed that any student would not give someone who is older than them the type of respect that they would show a known black belt in our club. I reminded them that they are to practice what they learn in the school at all times, not just class time.
I gave them an example of an incident I experienced at work where a man, who I did not know at the time, came up to me and asked for some help on a project he was working on. I knew he was not in my department and I could have easily just blown him off with the “It’s not my job” type attitude. Instead, I chose to do what I could to help. Once it was over, and he left my desk, my boss came by and asked what the President of our company wanted from me. Needless to say I was shocked at not knowing who I was dealing with, but I felt very much relieved that I chose to execute the mindset that I learned in martial arts to handle the situation.
Integrity, respect, perseverance, courtesy and indomitable spirit do not stop once you bow out of the class. These traits should be honed inside the dojang and then practiced daily in our everyday life to help us become good role models and successful members of our society.