Saturday, June 23, 2012


We had a grading at karate today.  It is always a fun time to see student get their new belts after so many classes and then the hard effort required in a grading.  It was during this time calling out techniques and seeing them preformed that I began to think about what separates those students that it is plain to see that they will go far and those where the picture is a bit muddier.

Purpose is the difference.  The students that are going far you can see both in class and during a grading are moving their bodies in a way that will get them the result that they want.  And what really started to connect this all for me was a 5K run I did this morning.

I went out running knowing that during the grading I was going to be running the warm ups.  For me when I do that I take part in the warm ups and don’t just call out things to do.  How could I know if I am pushing students not hard enough or too hard if I am not doing the warm up myself.  So I went out running just sort of la-de-da not really minding what the time was that I got and such.  Well I completed the 5K with a bit more effort on the second half and finished in a time of 22:50.  My longest time for a 5K since January!  It is a time that is 30-40 seconds longer than my average time for a 5K on my usual route.

Why was it so slow? especially when I know that I can do a 5K run in under 20 minutes!  Because there was no purpose behind it.  I wasn’t going out to set a new record time, I wasn’t even heading out to run that hard since I knew I would be leading the warm up at the grading and therefor my time suffered greatly.

When I have purpose in each step I can go really fast.  When I have purpose at my work I can be engaged and entertaining and educational with the kids, when I have purpose at karate I can kick over the bag.  Without it I accomplish nothing.  The same can be said of these students, if they have purpose behind these new belts they can and will go far, if they don’t they will hold in place.  I have great expectations for quite a few of them!

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