As a martial arts instructor, one of the greatest benefits you get out of teaching is watching your students grow and blossom into focused, confident individuals who are no longer afraid to look people in the eyes, to answer questions at school, to stand up to bullies, and much more, which produces healthy and happy people who become successful in life and good citizens. It’s even more rewarding when parents come to you thanking you profusely for the great things you’ve done for their child and that they can see the amazing positive changes in their child.
Mr. Kelley received this e-mail from one of his student’s parents:
Hi Mr. Kelley,
I wanted to write to say thank you for all you have done to help us with Aaron. I will never forget how insecure, quiet and afraid Aaron was when we first started your classes. He would hardly speak and when he did it was always with hesitation and doubt. Aaron’s learning problems in school had made him a target with bullies, it was something he had dealt with since the first day of pre school. Even though he was bigger then the other kids his self esteem was so low that he felt he could do nothing about it except put up with the constant taunting and picking from the other kids. As a parent it is devastating to watch your child go through such a horrible thing. We would talk to Aaron to help him understand why kids bully but with such low self-esteem he could not grasp that there was something wrong with the bully, he felt it was because there was something wrong with him.
We made the decision to put Aaron in karate to learn self defense so he could stand up for himself should a bully ever get physical. What we never imagined is that he would learn so much more then self defense. You and your team have helped us to build Aaron’s self esteem and self confidence to where he feels that he is worthy of all good things and that he is perfectly made just the way he is. The Stomp the Bullying program has made Aaron feel like he is a part of something. He no longer feels alone and he now knows that bullying is something he does not have to put up with any longer. Because of the adults that rallied around his father and I to support Aaron by lifting him up and showing him that he is important and his feelings matter he is a new kid. He is strong and can protect himself, not just by using the karate skills he has learned but also by using the reasoning skills the bullying education you taught him as well.
Thank you so much for your compassion, your tireless efforts and unconditional love you have for all the kids…. and their families. We could not have done it without God, you and the rest of your team.
Director of Outreach Services
New Beginnings Recovery Center