Originally posted Feb 6 2017
Today I write about Follow through,
A few weeks ago I meet with one of my first Karate instructors for the first time in 10 years. I met with him and his wife in the midst of my longing for the time when he lead our class and taught from his experience. We talked about family and the general catch up things. Then the term follow through came up.
In the year 2001 I moved back to the area. As I returned to classes it was apparent our instructor had gotten busy with his job and was not able to regularly lead classes. There was no clear communication about person or persons to fill in when he was unable to be there, some nights class were being led by green or brown belts, whoever showed up. For years we had been aware of holes in our training and many of the black belts had petitioned the original head instructor for opportunities to advance. The petition had met with no result and the holes were growing. Seeing the problems identified a board meeting was called to discuss different things relating to the direction of the group. With assistance from Mrs. Young I demonstrated things I had learned, proposed additions to the curriculum and taking leadership to help move in a slightly new direction. This was based on experience training with some senior instructors. My Goal at that time was to fill in holes in the curriculum, move our knowledge base forward, give a clearer understanding of our techniques and create a structure that would help ensure the knowledge would continue to grow. Mrs. Young and I traveled to seminars and classes with people who could help us move things in the identified direction. We brought in senior instructors to help all participants see the benefit of this style of training. We expanded class offerings and moved to our own space that allows us more flexibility in class times, an ability to set up a “dojo”, have training equipment and implements, and be free from many of the distractions that were frequent in our old space. With these goals met we began working on the weapons curriculum that had been all but abandoned allowing us to focus on Goju Ryu.
Over the years there have been numerous students training here learning skills and gaining confidence, several have made black belt. There have been growing and changing pains and there continue to be transitions but there will be follow through on my part. I again invite you to make goals that are Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and give them a Time frame (SMART). Set step that will help you move toward those goals, maybe involving your training partners or someone else in helping keep you accountable and go after your goals with focus.