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Christmas Party Resolutions

Aloha from Hawaii!

Last Wednesday, we had our dojo Christmas party.

This year, I began the party by asking the students and instructors to introduce their guests (parents, spouses, friends, etc.). Then, after we ate, I asked each student to stand up and describe one important thing that they learned (about Karate) this year, and one thing that they would like to work on during the coming year.

I had a couple of reasons for this. Some students rarely get to speak in public. Introducing people and making a statement gives them this opportunity.

In addition, describing what you have learned and what you would like to work on makes you stop and think. Out of all the things you learned this year, which one do you want to describe? And out of the all the things you could learn in the coming year, which one is most important to you? What do the other students say? What is the Sensei's response?

You would be surprised. The students come up with some pretty interesting things! And each has his or her own special focus. I don't think any of the students said the same thing.

I always say that if you have a plan or objective, you might accomplish it, but if you don't have a plan or objective, you will certainly float around aimlessly. If you aim for nothing, you will probably get just that! Getting better at Karate takes hard physical work and intense intellectual work too.

When you are lighting charcoal, you have to put lighter fluid (unless it is pre-soaked), light matches, and blow on the coals to get them going. If the coals are wet, it is almost impossible. But at a certain point, the coals catch fire with a "whoof" and then they are burning on their own.

It is pretty much the same with students. We try our best to teach them. Sometimes it is hard, sometimes it is easy. But at a certain point, the students catch fire with Karate and are learning on their own. Then we can sit back and watch them cook!

It is good for students to think about and state what they have learned and what they want to concentrate on in the coming year. This helps to get the charcoal going.

One thing about our dojo -- none of the students mentioning wanting to earn a certain rank or win a tournament as these are things we do not emphasize (actually, we do not participate in any tournaments). Most of the students described different aspects of body mechanics they wanted to work on.

Our dojo in on break for the year. I know that it is more hard core to train right through the holidays, but I think it is important for the students to spend time with their families and friends. By doing so, they are practicing their Karate. Training in the dojo is just the tip of the iceberg.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, dojo, students, and friends in Karate!

What have you learned this year and what would you like to concentrate on in the coming year?

My wish for you is that accomplish all your objectives -- so make sure that they are worthwhile ones.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin