• Shihan Kendall

Life of the Dojo

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” -John Dewey

If you haven’t already, you will see a lot of new faces at the front of all of our classes, every age and level. The younger of those are fresh members of our “Student Team Of Role Models”, or STORM. The teens and adults have recently completed the lecture portion of our four-week Dojo Instructors Course, and are now as part of their development putting the skills and principles they have learned into practice.

Excellence in any field doesn’t necessarily translate to the ability to teach that subject. That’s definitely true of the martial arts, although I believe that a warrior’s training at least sharpens many of the qualities required of great teachers: attention to detail, intuitive appraisal of others’ strengths and weaknesses, patience and perseverance, and an abiding drive to – as our Student Creed says – “bring about the best in ourselves and others.”

I could not be prouder to watch our intrepid instructors-in-training taking the mat to develop those qualities into skills. Doing so takes time and practice—and a hell of a lot of guts. Getting up in front of a group of people of any age is an anxiety-producing feat. Standing in front of people as an authority, even when that anxiety has your stomach doing aerial acrobatics, sometimes is nothing less than an act of heroism.

In helping fellow students improve themselves, these heroes are finding in themselves brand new reservoirs of courage, wisdom and skill. They’re learning how to communicate what they know to people that see things in different ways. They’re learning how to help students see the best in themselves and the opportunities in their mistakes. They are growing in ways that you can only grow when you take what has been given to you and share it with someone else. It is an essential rite in a warrior's path to being all they can be.

Education is indeed life itself, and our amazing team of instructors are the life blood of our Dojo. It is so exciting and rewarding to see the new blood beginning to pump through its veins.


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