by Shihan Gene Dunn
Yesterday I told the karate class that my life’s work is to teach the martial arts. And it’s my life’s work because what the martial arts has given to me is priceless. I can only tell the horror stories of my childhood to give you perspective, so you can see the arc for me and what it really was like.
The reason that we believe in the martial arts is because we know that it can give you something that’s amazing: confidence, a relaxed nature, and the strength to be friendly when you feel vulnerable, among many other benefits.
All of these things are making my own life better and are making the people in my life a pleasure to be around. In fact they’re making the world, in a little way, a better place to be in.
We want to do that with more people – thousands of people, actually. If we can replicate that experience and those benefits, then we can really do something to effect change in our community. We can make a real difference.
When I wake up in the morning, I ask myself, “am I really being effective at inspiring people to live more fully through the martial arts?” And one of the only true litmus tests for me is if the school is growing. In other words, are there more students around to receive the message?
This is not my pitch. It’s not a call for more money. It’s me telling you that the only way that I can tell that my life matters is if this idea – confidence through serious martial arts practice – is expanding in the world.
And so we need your help. We need you to share this work and your training so we can help people become more confident; become courageous in the face of their vulnerability; to live with less anxiety; and to provide them with a pathway for success in their endeavors.
It might be sharing it with your friends – or bringing someone to the class. Or maybe just by talking about it wherever you do that, in person or on Facebook. When you do that, you have a chance to actually make a difference. You help expand this work, you become a part of it.
We are not used car salesmen. In fact, we’re not selling anything. We really do love you as students, and we believe that this work is a way to do something great for humanity.
This is our way of giving back – it’s our way of making a difference.