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Bowley Kenpo Karate » Philosophy » What Can I Do?

What Can I Do?

As a father of two daughters and a martial arts teacher, the tragic events from Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut have weighed heavily on the heart and mind. The grief of and for the families there is indescribable. In the coming days and weeks, the media will talk about violence in schools, mental illness, gun laws, and anything else to help for a better understanding of “why” the event took place.

Kids at our school

Kids at our school

My perspective this weekend has been a little different. Teaching 6 year olds about martial arts is a major driving factor in my life. But this horrible tragedy has been a harsh reminder there is only so much a 6 year old can do against a 20 year old. Size does matter sometimes. And even the most hardened, experienced martial artist has problems with unarmed versus armed (heavily armed). My thoughts have dwelled on, how do we teach for these instances? I still don’t know.

Maybe the biggest contribution we can make is to the kids already in class and the new ones coming. We can show them how much they are loved and appreciated. Help guide them to be better people. Learning self defense will be the vessel to build strong, moral character. And hopefully the kids (our kids) won’t become the perpetuator of the next horrific headline.

It’s naivety to believe this will work all the time and for every student. For all we know, the school attacker could have been in martial arts as a kid too. But if this lesson teaches us nothing else, protection is more than just fighting back. Protection is also about being a good person. As teachers, as parents, as people, how can we do any less than this for our students?

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Sam Bowley
McKinney, TX

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