In teaching 1000’s of young people martial arts in the city of Kirkland for the last 20 years, and three years before that in Seattle. I have come to understand something really important and I would love to illustrate this with the tale of two students.
I was over at Costco getting some supplies for the school the other day and I ran into a student named Johnny. Johnny was one of those students who started out so enthusiastic about martial arts but for some reason he got sidetracked and other activities competed for his attention and then his parents let us know that he wanted to quit. We always go the extra mile to help students over their ups and downs in motivation. But when a student losses the passion its a challenge to reignite that. When I ran into Johnny I struck up a conversation, not mentioning martial arts or our school at all. Halfway through our conversation he said “You know professor, I really wished I would have stuck around, I think martial arts could have helped me, I feel like things were left undone.” I said “Its never too late, please comeback sometime as a welcome guest.”.
I got an email from a student the other day
“ I began as one of Miller’s Martial Arts Academy first students in 1995, when I was 5 years old. For the next 8 years, I had the honor of being his student, learning not only martial arts but priceless life skills that today are an integral part of my character. Korbett’s emphasis on respect for oneself and others, self-discipline, persistence and devotion to improving oneself with an ‘always happy, but never satisfied’ attitude, along with his natural kindness and desire to help others have made a profound impact in my life and in the lives of many, many others. As one of his first students, I also had the unique opportunity to witness firsthand how Korbett lives the life he teaches. As time passes, I find myself growing more and more appreciative of Korbett’s contribution to my life. In high school, I was the concert master of the Lake Washington high school orchestra, a varsity wrestler and an AP/Honors student for all three years. I currently attend the University of Washington and plan on going to law school. I say this not to flatter myself, but to recognize how lucky I was to have this incredible teacher guide me through my early years and help shape the attitude I take towards life’s obstacles. I strongly encourage anyone who is looking for a healthy, fun, positive environment for their children (or for themselves) to consider Miller’s Martial Arts Academy.”
As I blush from this I really feel that almost everyone who quits martial arts too soon often regrets it, however I have never met someone who regrets long term training in the martial arts.