Student of the year!
Our blog this week is all about the awesomeness of our students. I know I’m hugely biased because I just have so much affection for them but still they really are wonderful.
Every week we have a student of the week, and at the end of each month we have a student of the month. So every week I have to decide who I think has done enough to deserve this accolade. This presents me with a problem. I’m the type of person that gets asked if I want tea or coffee and immediately I want both! Custard or ice-cream? Yes please and I’ll have a dash of cream too. So deciding who has shone isn’t always easy. Some weeks it’s obvious, like the week in scenario training when Hollie nearly took my head off defending herself. That was amazing and had to be recognised. Some weeks though I want everyone to be recognised.
That isn’t how life works.
The fluffy part of me that loves puppies and onesies and flowers and baking wants every child to be recognised every week. I have such a fabulous job getting to know these epic little humans and their quirks and idiosyncrasies. However, the practical, realistic, personal coach who teaches Krav Maga and volunteers as a school governor knows that’s just daft. At Focus Krav Maga (Dorset) we do not do participation medals. How can you teach children to value things if they don’t work for them? Every now and then we have classes where for whatever reason I’ve decided no one gets student of the week. It may be because they don't listen well or are being unruly or ignore my instructions. It doesn’t happen very often, maybe 3 or 4 times last year but I notice the shock on their faces when I tell them and explain why. They take it like champs, whining is not a form of communication in our club!
We are not robots.
Make no mistake, students at Focus are not robots. I have enough memories of my time in school being told to ‘shut up, sit down, stand there, do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that’ that I encourage free thinking, creativity, movement, questions and just fun with a capital F! If it’s not fun then why are we doing it? Are they feral? No way! There are boundaries and rules, if you want to describe it as discipline cool, we don’t. I know a lot of martial arts sell using ‘discipline’ as a way to hook parents. I’m not knocking that because I think the traditional martial arts are great for giving people a way to express themselves. It’s just we don’t quite see it that way.
We believe in collaboration. Curiosity. Challenge. Empowerment. Self-respect and respect for others. We believe in developing resilience. Most of all we want to grow and learn and ask questions of ourselves in a safe, friendly environment and we want to be active and have fun while doing it. We want to explore tolerance and understanding whilst speaking our own truth and celebrating our own unique gifts. Honestly, most weeks we don’t do all of it, but that’s what we’re always aiming for and that's what we are building in our club.
Waking up in the middle of the night.
When I’m awake at four am it is invariably because my dog is being an idiot. She has this habit of barking between the hours of midnight and four am for absolutely no reason whatsoever! However when pondering who would get student of the year I kept waking up in the middle of the night mulling it over. I genuinely struggled, because everyone had done something that demonstrated the values I admire so much at some point or another. Yet to ensure it meant something I had to be true to what I believed in. To make it feel right we had one student of the year and three highly commended awards spread out over both my kids krav classes in Poole and Bournemouth. As it happened we had two awards in each class but that was pure happenstance, it could easily have been all four in one, I chose based on the reasons I explain below.
Holly is our student of the year.
Holly had a few issues in 2017 but it didn't stop her commitment and dedication to training. Despite lots going on she still showed up at training and worked hard. Her kindness is legendary, she always shouts for her team and encourages others to do their best and her understanding of the principles of Krav Maga simply blows me away. So for all of that and more she gets student of the year.
Our three highly commended students were all boys. All three showed commitment, determination, and progress throughout their training.
Oli has the most amazing work ethic, he shows up and works unbelievably hard in every lesson. He's also really gained confidence and has found his voice.
Jake too has gained in confidence and shown a will to push himself out of his comfort zone during training, however best of all his incisive questions keep me on my toes and are simply fantastic.
Ethan not only works hard but has demonstrated such kindness and consideration for others I felt he had to be recognised. In a world where kindess is often misunderstood and seen as a weakness I don't have the appropriate words to articulate what a delight he has been to teach.
Oli one of our Highly Commended students.
Jake training with his sister! In my excitement I forgot to get a pic of him with his award!
Ethan and his award, again I forgot to get pics do thanks to Marion for helping me!
Back to normal!
So my job this week is to make sure in class they all work hard and stay engaged and focussed. We all know it sucks if you miss out on something you want, but as I made it clear to them all, awards are nice, but it’s how you live your life every day that counts.