When I was in high school, I was big into competitive speech & debate. Other than martial arts, it’s what I was most passionate about. The only problem is that I didn’t work nearly as hard at it as I could have, and that showed in my results.
In my third year of competition, I had a really frustrating tournament. I kept waiting to be successful and it just hadn’t happened. On the drive home that night, I was almost in tears as I talked about it with my mom. She was sympathetic, but said something that made a strong impression. “So what are you going to do? Do you want to quit? Or do you want to push through?” And that made something click. “Well, of course, I’m not going to quit.” And with that, I was Determined to improve the next time – and I did!
Years later, when I’d started full time at Amherst Karate Studio and was leading classes, I debriefed with my instructor one night and told him how frustrated I was with a certain challenge. “Okay,” he said, acknowledging my problem, “So what are you going to do about it?” What that did was it shifted me out of a victim mentality and into a problem solving mentality.
As I look back on these two moments in my life, I was challenged by my mom & by my instructor. But through that challenge, they empowered me to find a solution. Instead of trying to fix my problem for me or ignore my frustration, they reminded me that I have what it takes to find the solution to the problems I face.
And because of this, we are passionate about encouraging & inspiring, but also challenging our students to Be Strong & Confident.