As I sat in the gym this morning, reading Harry Barry’s book, Emotional Resilience, and watching my children practicing their taekwondo patterns, I began to think. I have sat there many times over the last 9 years. First watching my eldest, now eighteen and a black belt. Now with my youngest who are eight and ten. Being here matters. John Swift, owner of Verve Martial Arts, is an artist, unassuming master of taekwondo, inspiring speaker and role model. Being here matters to my children because John has crafted much more than a martial arts school. It is a breeding ground for resilience, respect, and bravery. Even after all these years I never get tired of listening to John speak to the children. He speaks to them about taekwondo, and life. He talks about getting out what you put in, that dedication brings greater reward and half hearted effort will not, that sometimes the best way to defend yourself is to run away, how to deal with bullying and that stepping out of your comfort zone helps you to grow.
My musing lead me to thinking that our jobs were not dissimilar. We both get paid to teach our clients about the ability to trust in themselves, to protect themselves, to guard against an attack that would harm them, and to boldly dare to step forward into the arena, knowing that they have all the skills and abilities they need within them.
Then I thought about my son, the black belt. He makes mistakes, but he’s making his way in the world, daring to try new things, picking himself up when he gets knocked down. He is already boldly pushing himself forward in spite of his fears, he owes this ability, in part, to taekwondo. We don’t all have an inspirational teacher, but what if we all listened to the one person that was telling us to push forward, to dare, to be resilient, and to give it all we have without fear of failure? And what if that person was us?
I’m going to finish with a quote. It’s not John Swift, although it could have been, but that other martial arts master, Bruce Lee,
“If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
If you would like to know more about John Swift’s amazing classes you can find details here: https://www.vervetaekwondo.co.uk