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Bowley Kenpo Karate » Philosophy, School Information » The Ideal Student

The Ideal Student

Let’s open the discussion of the ideal student with some honesty. I don’t have a black belt (as of writing this). Our school operates out of a garage. If you’re alright with those two things about me as a teacher and our school, then let me describe what I’d like to see in a student.

Bowley Kenpo Karate is blessed with many Ideal Students

Bowley Kenpo Karate is blessed with many Ideal Students

Attitude– Certainly a good attitude is important, but instructors understand everyone has a bad day. What’s more important though is a willingness to learn. Enjoy uncovering what Kenpo can teach you physically and mentally. Be able to take constructive criticism, think on it, and make a decision to do better the next time. Baby steps are just fine. For example, round house kicks can be a tough maneuver to learn for kids.  Learning to turn your hip over as you kick is a coordination skill that takes time to master.  Even hard though, it’s important to not give up.  Try to make each kick just a little better than the previous. A positive attitude rewards you and everyone around you inside and outside the studio.

Dedication– Dedication can be summed up in consistency and hard work. Come to class regularly. Practice as hard as you can at class and at home when you’re doing you’re homework. (Yes, there is Kenpo homework after every class.) I understand for most, Kenpo is a hobby. And it is a great hobby with many rewards. However if you decide to embark on the martial arts journey, let alone pay for it, commit wholeheartedly. Kenpo karate is a system that builds upon itself through practice and repetition.  Large gaps of time (missed classes for example) may not cut off advancement, but can certainly slow it down.

Notice there is nothing mentioned about ideal age, coordination, speed, or raw talent. Kenpo as a martial art is designed to be tailored to the individual. So even if you’re young or old, have poor coordination, or slow speed, Kenpo can be tailored to fit you. But if you have a poor attitude, no dedication or passion, Kenpo likely isn’t for you. I’d take one student with a great attitude and no raw talent over 10 with tremendous talent and poor attitudes.

Why am I comfortable making a claim like that? Because I’m still a student of Mr. Damian Wilson and Mr. Brian Duffy. It’s how I approach my training with them and speaks from experience. As a kid, I’ve done karate training and school education with a poor attitude. The result was I didn’t get anything from it and had to start over with a renewed mindset.

Is it realistic to expect to be the Ideal Student all the time? No, probably not. School, jobs, life happens. That’s ok. But this should be the goal, and we work on this each class as much as we work on the physical training. Try to come to class with an empty cup. It’s why we bow our heads at the start to class. We clear our minds of the day’s happenings. We make ourselves ready to receive knowledge and fill our cup.

Sam Bowley
McKinney, TX

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