Returning to the Dojo

One missed class can easily become three. Three classes becomes a month. Then six. Then a year. And then there’s a day when you open your cupboard and there is your gi, hanging up and gathering dust. Waiting. (And silently judging you.)

Karate and Chores Go Together

Karate tries to teach discipline, respect for self and others, humility and compassion – chores overlap beautifully with this. And so I decided to see if the kind of parents who sign up their kids for karate are also the kind that make them do chores. I think you will find the results fascinating.

How NOT to join a dojo

At least this is a quick way to find out if they will even be decent students: if they cannot exercise basic courtesy on whatsapp, then they absolutely won’t do it in the dojo. I have a message that automatically pops up saying something along the lines of “I am enjoying family time, I will get back to you during business hours” and yet there is the audacity again to send me voice note after voice note, or worse, the passive-aggressive “???”when I don’t answer.

What Black Belt Means To Me

So what makes a good black belt? Talent? Time? Effort? The ability to fight off multiple attackers while wearing sunglasses? There should absolutely be a level of technical ability, and especially maturity. The black belt is cheapened when it is given to seven year olds in American dojos.

Maybe You Shouldn’t Be a Sensei

You can only hope that the best of what you said made it through, and they take it with them. You hope that they remember how much you believed in them, and wanted the best for them, and that some of the lessons stick with them. If you do your job right, they might not stay with you in the dojo, but maybe a little part of you stays with them.