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Offered by Sensei Kyra Arnold, Colorado Karate Club

Little 3 year old Rebecca was leaving with her mom after her Karate class, when I came over and said to her: “Rebecca, you did very well in class today, I’m proud of how much you have improved!” While Rebecca smiled, mom looked at her and said: “Rebecca, what do you say?” She turned to me bright eyed and said, “Thank you Sensei!”

I have the pleasure of four year-old Evelyn, who tells me that she wants to be a black belt some day because I am a black belt and “girls can be black belts too!” I beam at the fact that Elizabeth finally worked up the courage to stick up for her friend at school. I love five year-old Zachary’s “serious face” that can’t help but make me smile because I know he is focused and ready to learn every single time he’s here.

Even better are those moments when a parent takes the time to thank me. When a parent has seen tremendous growth in their child since starting Karate and tells me, “Thank you for bringing my kid out of his shell. I’ve never seen him more excited and motivated over anything in his life!” Well, there’s simply nothing more rewarding than hearing that.

But the best part of my job is when one of those tiny students I taught when they were just three years old, show up in my own class training alongside of me. She is the reason I do what I do. As we bow to each other in class, I note how extremely proud I am of her growth and maturity. She came through the ranks, battling through the tough times, and never gave up. Now this once three year-old girl who used to grin at me with a face full of sunshine, is training to be a future instructor herself. There is little in life that can bring me more joy.

Life is about building others up until they have no choice but to start building up others, having been so filled themselves. The “thank you” from the parent, the countless success stories, and the feeling that I’ve made a difference makes life worthwhile. I encourage you to pursue your own internal happiness so that others too can share in your joy.

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Colorado Karate Club