The mat is small, the world is big

June 18, 2010

There exists an incredible story of an awe inspiring human being who was forced to drop out of school due to lack of funding. His dilema could have been solved for a mere $80! Living in a family of 20 people, William Kamkwamba from the South-East African country of Malawi, farmed during the daylight hours and studied at night. William would read books on windmills from his LOCAL library. William felt that his village could benefit from the windy conditions in his town, if only he could harness it. So, he set out to learn how to construct a windmill that could then either either pump water or generate electricity for his village. He was only 14 years old. It took William 2 months.

 

What a wonderful piece. It is just a reminder of the fact that we are so blessed with formal education in our country. We are so blessed with the stability of food , shelter, and covering. We are also blessed with our own indivual talents, skills, and abilities. 

 

I asked myself recently, "What it is that I do?" Fairly simply, I thought "I teach martial arts." I went on to ask, "How do I do it?" Well, I have a school, a uniform, mats, training equipment, and I charge tuition so that I can run my operation." This is where many organizations stop. The "business" model is complete. Let's open our doors. They answer the what and the how, but not the WHY.  So, I pondered for a moment, and then asked myself the very question. Why do I do what I do? I am an able-bodied soul who could do any number of things. The hours I work are long. The pay is decent, but not the motivation. This is a very difficult question for some folks to answer. Not for me.  

 

As Martial Arts Instructors, we teach our students to focus, to be more disciplined, to channel agressive energy, to always work to self-improve oneself, and to be caring, kind, and compassionate citizens.

 

What if we taught our students even more than what resides on the mat. What if we taught our martial arts student to utilize these life skills as a tool to not only help themselves, but to help the world?

 

In my center right now, there could be a student amongst us who could change their community-even the world! Someone that may just need a little more encouragement or inspiration that will someday lead to HUGE SUCCESS. How would that make me feel? I would be proud. That is our mission at Johnson's TaeKwonDo & Leadership Academy. That is the WHY.

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