The article originally appeared on October 6th, 2007 on The Onion web site. One of my former students sent this to me and I had to post part of it here…enjoy, I did! Thanks Scott.
Karate Lessons Give Child Self Confidence to Quit Karate
ENGLEWOOD, CO—After months of being taught to develop courage, inner strength, and other values of the martial arts, Daniel Finkelstein finally achieved the self-confidence necessary to stand up to his parents and quit taking karate lessons, the area sixth-grader reported Monday.
Finkelstein, 11, who was bullied into beginner’s classes at Dragon Karate and Tae Kwon Do Academy by his father in July, reportedly drew on a number of recently acquired skills, including poise and self-assurance, when confronting his parents about how much he despised karate.
“Before karate, I used to let everyone—my mom, my dad, even my grandma—push me around,” Finkelstein said. “They would tell me what to do and I would just roll over and do it, because they were bigger than me and I was scared.”
“If it wasn’t for the focus and determination I learned in karate, I would still be in karate right now,” he added.
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Read the rest Here.
But my favorite quote from the article is this one from his Sensei:
“When Daniel first showed up to class, he was like many of the other kids we see—timid, unsure of himself, and very insecure,” Guardino said. “But look at him now: He’s gone.”
Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf. – – Native American Proverb
Listening is an essential part of communication. And it is different from hearing. Being a good and patient listener helps you not only solve many problems at work or home, but also helps you see the world through the eyes of others, thereby opening your understanding and enhancing your capacity for empathy. Besides which, you learn a lot from listening! As deceptively simple as listening to and acknowledging other people may seem, doing it well, particularly when disagreements arise, takes sincere effort and lots of practice. Here are some tips on how to be a better listener.
and fills the skies
with gold and yellow
which flit to earth
with skips and hops
to dance and twirl
like spinning tops.
The last one dips
in a puddle to float
like a single scarlet
By Marilyn Helmer
I always have understood the need to fight. But this message is increasingly driven home given the current situations around the globe. There are good fights and bad fights the difference is justice. What I do not understand is the mindset of those who feel you should never fight. What I understand even less is those who feel the need to speak for others even when it means ignoring those they purport to speak for…
Yup, what I expect from water cooler Karate experts! He forgot to mention his black belt was from J.C.Penny’s!! Special thanks to Becky for point this one out.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place. And I don’t care how tough you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you permanently there if you let it”
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life, but it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done”
“Now if you know what you are worth, go out and get what you are worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hits and not pointing fingers, saying you ain’t where you want to be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that, and that ain’t you. You’re better than that”
Rocky is everyone’s favorite movie to poke fun at, but the movies really do have a great message, an American message, never quit. Perhaps Winston Churchill said it best in one of his last speeches, spoke before a graduating class. “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Rocky offers us a more contemporary presentation but it is still the same message and one worth learning. It pains me to increasingly see people shy away from this ideal, to turn their backs on their convictions of honor and good sense. Most people have become subjects of fear, for often fear is the enemy we face. The best explanation I ever heard for courage was from John Wayne, he said “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
Of all the combat veteran’s and violence survivors I have known and interviewed this sentiment shines through. Never give up. These are lessons our politically correct world is quickly erasing, they are becoming the things of fiction reserved for the movies and hopefully the military. The mantra our children are being sung is “Never go it alone. Never get involved. Never ever tell anyone they are wrong. Call for help that is someone else’s job. Never use force. Yield for fighting doesn’t accomplish anything.” I hope that our youth listen to the words of Rocky Balboa because I am sure they don’t know who Winston Churchill is or why he spoke those words. If you are a parent, don’t just speak the words, live them. Life is hard and as long as we go with the flow the tide grows stronger and makes life harder.
We would also urge people to buy the book: Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope, And Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps as it is filled with great stories of real people fulfilling their dreams by following in Rocky Balboa’s footsteps.
This article was reprinted here with permission from the Author.
Women’s Center Raises Awarness of Domestic Violence.
By: Vanessa Joy
It may surprise many to realize that verbal and physical acts including breaking furniture, punching walls, swearing, name calling, mocking, shouting, interrupting and ridiculing are all warning signs of violence. More specifically, these are considered warning signs of violence directed towards women.
What one might mistake as a ‘normal’ argument between boy and girl may in fact be the foreshadowing of a more intense and perhaps deadly display of emotions in the future. According to FBI statistics, “every 15 seconds a woman is beaten in this country.” Furthermore, “typically, in 72-77% of the cases, violence occurs only after a couple has become seriously involved, rather than in the early, more casual, stages of dating,” reports Angela Browne, in her article, “When Battered Women Kill.” Dating violence is a real threat to campus communities nationwide.
As a result, the UConn Women’s Center has chosen to dedicate the next few weeks to educating students on those often-ignored domestic violence warning signs and will provide a variety of promotional and educational materials that aim to prevent violence directed towards women. These materials are available on the Women’s Center Web site and are all part of The Red Flag Campaign, made visible by the red flags that students can now see around campus.
Specifically, this is a public awareness campaign designed to address dating violence and promote the prevention of dating violence on campuses.
“The Red Flag campaign, although it is silent, sounds a powerful message that these issues affect everyone,” said Caitlin Torino, chairperson of the campaign. “We are working against the traditional belief system that abuse is a ‘private matter.'”
The red flags set up around campus are a visual reminder that violence against women is an all-too-common occurrence. Torino hopes these flags will remind students to actively think about this issue and perhaps influence them to make appropriate changes in their lives in order to prevent future violence against women.
A common misconception about violence against women is that it is solely a physical act.
“Many college students don’t realize that their own friends and peers may be victims of dating violence, or that they themselves may be cycling in an abusive pattern within their own relationships,” Torino said. “In part, this is due to common myths, which include the misperception that physical violence is the only form of abuse. In reality, violence against women in relationships is marked by patterns of power and control that may include not only physical assault, but also emotional and verbal abuse.”
Common forms of such emotional and verbal abuse include excessive jealousy, possessiveness, not listening, interrupting, changing topics, criticism and put-downs.
But dating violence does not just stop at physical or emotional control, it can also involve sexual control.
According to a study by the National Institute of Health, “one-fifth of college women experience forced sex by someone they know.” Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that, “more than 80% of all rapes are acquaintance rapes.” Just because a person is involved in a serious relationship, it does not give their partner the right to have sex with them against their will.
However, despite all the awareness campaigns against domestic violence, many UConn students say it is still a large issue on campus.
“Someone that I know said that their boyfriend at one point, they were in a public place, just like physically pushed them, for like making fun of them or something, and people around them that were watching, uh, looked very alarmed but didn’t really intrude,” said 3rd-semester undecided major Ashley Yalof. “I think she said she started crying as soon as it happened and he immediately apologized, but still.”
In an effort to help those harmed by domestic violence, the Women’s Center is sponsoring a survivor’s group for women who have experienced actual or attempted sexual assault at any time in their lives.
There is no I in Team, but there is a ME. – – Mitch Saba
It is important to be part of a team but it is more important to maintain your individuality. Even in groups we must be willing to stand up for what is right and just. While team sports and events are important and fun always remember that a great team is made up of individuals working together.
Amazing Karate Auditions!
Chuck was that you doing a roundhouse kick…?!