Word of the Month: Excellence
Excellence is a word that sounds like a destination. But it’s not. It’s a process, an evolution. At Douvris Martial Arts we believe that pushing ourselves every day to be better than the day before is what will help us become the best we can be.
“When we’re talking about excellence, we’re really talking about effort,” Sensei Cody Diesbourg explains. “You don’t have to be the best at what you’re doing yet, but if you put in the effort that’s where you’re going to get to.”
In class we often ask our kids what kind of effort they need to put into their karate. The right answer is “Black Belt Effort”, and we want them to yell it out convincingly. The idea is to make it clear to them that they shouldn’t be looking to stay at whatever level they are now, but to show the kind of effort that will lead them to where they want to be.
“When we see black belts give to us or show us what it takes to be a black belt,” Sensei Cody adds, “then that really pushes us to push ourselves and have that effort in class to strive to be that black belt, to get to that next level.”
To help our students stay focused and motivated we use short-term and medium-term goals, as well as the long-term goal of becoming a black belt. Our curriculum is organized by belt level, and each one is further divided into smaller levels. When students achieve a particular level, they get a stripe on their belt to indicate that they’re ready to move on to the next step – until they are ready to test for their next belt. This not only helps children stay the course, but it also teaches them the importance of setting goals and of dividing big goals into small, manageable chunks – and that’s a lesson they can apply to other aspects of their lives.
What happens once you get your black belt? “The story’s not over,” Sensei Cody says. “That’s when you have to set your new goals. At Douvris Martial Arts we always teach our students that when you achieve your goals, there are other things out there that you can go for. And really the effort and the time you put in and everything you put into your classes, is where you’re going to achieve that excellence.”