Through Martial Arts Training


About the Author

Kyoshi Roger Dabney


Please keep in mind that my story is a short glance at what lessons I’ve personally learned along my journey. Within the book there is an in-depth look at the life lessons being taught at Competitive Edge Karate from my experiences, followed by real stories from students and parents.

When parents and teachers work as partners, children do better in school and at home. When working together as partners, it’s been found that parents and teachers communicate more effectively, develop stronger relationships with one another and develop skills to support children’s behaviors and learning.

Teaching Children How to Overcome
Adversities While Discovering Life Skills

Competitive Edge Karate Teaching Children How to Overcome<br>Adversities While Discovering Life Skills

Shortly, after my kid returned home from her first year of college, a surprising thing happened…

“Mom and Dad I have something to tell you,” – now after holding our breath bracing for the worst – the words that every parent who believe sin tough love hopes to hear is – “I didn’t understand why you were so tough on me, but now I want to say…Thanks.”

And while there isn’t a set recipe for raising successful children, teaching your child life skills is not only important for self-care and sufficiency— it also allows them to feel empowered.

All parents want their child/children to do well in school, stay out of trouble and go on to do amazing things as adults but, much of it comes down to “6574 days of parenting.”

That is the number of days before your loved ones celebrate their18th birthday. Are you preparing your child to be dependent or independent?

“The great mistake good parents make is doing too much for their children,”

―Dr. Edward Hallowell, M.D. Child Psychiatrist and Author

What must we do to be successful in parenting? What are the basic factors that any person must face in order to survive?

Today, there are many ideas and advice about parenting that could be overwhelming for some. The 6574Principles for Purposeful Parenting is not an idea or advice, it’s a comprehensive in-depth insight for raising happy, healthy, independent children to become successful teens and adults.

Competitive Edge Karate Teaching Children How to Overcome<br>Adversities While Discovering Life Skills

We’ve all heard these child rearing clichés before: “They are only little once.”
“It takes a village to raise a child.” “Not for the faint of heart”

“You’ll miss these days (with young children tugging you in every direction).” “The days are long, but the years are short.”

Most of them are true statements and they all take on a whole new meaning when you have children of your own.

“Parents, Time Passes So Quickly” and you figuratively have 6,574 days, 157,776 hours and9,466,560 minutes before your child/children turn 18 years of age. When you break it down and look at it, and think about how long those minutes sometimes feel when you are in the thick of raising these little ones, it’s hard to think of this time as being ‘short.’

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

―John F. Kennedy

“The more risks you allow your children to take, the better they learn to look after themselves.”

~ Roald Dahl ~

One of the most universal lessons we need our children to learn is that the world operates under certain laws—and the laws apply to them just as they do to everyone else. The most fundamental of these is that their choices have consequences. Once they understand their choices impact their lives, they have motivation to focus on making good decisions and develop responsibility. As children grow up, their choices become more complex, and the consequences can be life changing. Teens often face choices about drinking and driving, smoking and drugs, relationships and sex. Those who have fully grasped that all their choices have consequences are more likely to choose wisely.

Experience nudges children to make the connection that their actions result in effects. The little girl, who ignores mom’s advice, running out of the house without her coat, discovers that being cold is no fun. The novice soccer player who spends extra hours practicing dribbling, passing, and shooting improves his skills and is thrilled when he gets more playing time. The child who gets the chance to explore his ability to make things happen, within a safe setting, learns his first important lessons about the real world. He learns that some of his actions will lead to positive outcomes and some will lead to painful ones. He realizes he can think ahead and act for the outcome he desires.

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Competitive Edge Karate

At CEK, we strive to give students plenty of opportunity to practice making choices in a controlled, protected environment.

To learn physical self-defense, we have them practice falling correctly, on mats, so they won’t get hurt if they ever fall on concrete. When it comes to making choices, we let them experience reality on a small scale, including the experience of consequences, being both rewarding and painful. We want them to learn the lessons of cause and effect now, while we can keep the lessons safe and the pain minimal. Later, when we can no longer protect them, such lessons can be life shattering.

We encourage students to plan and take action, because mistakes lead to learning and the chance to improve. We look for opportunities to help them evaluate when they performed skills well and when they were off the mark, when they made good choices and when they didn’t. This approach fosters an understanding of the benefits of sound judgment, honesty and self-responsibility.


Competitive Edge Karate

Our instructors model risk taking and learning from their own choices. They will contrast good and bad decisions they have made, and discuss what they learned in the process. Our instructors help students practice this first principle by giving them choices, asking them why they made the decisions they made, what the outcomes were, how the student felt afterwards, what that feeling meant to them, and what they learned. Our purpose is to help them figure out: “I can learn from my choices and my mistakes.”

Learning enhances achievement.

We encourage self-motivation, effort, practice, and the development of self-confidence based on competence that has been demonstrated. At each belt level, students make choices that can lead to mastery of skills required for the next belt. This goal gives them a point of focus. Their choices and effort determine whether or not they will earn the belt.

Competitive Edge Karate

You will see our instructors illustrate the benefits of lifelong learning and achievement by sharing their struggles and successes via personal stories or stories of people they know, including those they admire—as well as those they don’t. They will encourage students whenever possible by identifying advancements and improvements verbally and by honoring those who have mastered specific goals. The belt ceremonies are one example of such recognition. Our instructors want the student to learn:

“My choices affect my life.”

We want our students to develop a positive, practical approach to life. We want them to learn that the world is not their enemy—it is a place open for their discovery and success.

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The names have been changed to protect identities.

Mom: Kyoshi, Grace wants to quit karate.

Kyoshi: Why? She is doing a great job in class.

Mom: She says it getting too hard for her.

Kyoshi: Each belt level will become a little more challenging as you progress through the belt ranks. But remember that the students are also more focused and prepared for the next step.

Mom: But I don’t want it to be too hard for her and take away the fun.

Kyoshi: Let’s bring her in the office and talk about it. (Grace enters the office.) Grace, your mom has informed me that you want to stop coming to karate class. Is everything okay with your training?

Grace: It’s just getting too hard and not as much fun anymore.

Kyoshi: What do we say in class about things getting harder to accomplish?

Grace: We keep trying and never give up. Some techniques are going to be a little harder to do.

Kyoshi: So, why would you want to quit?

Grace: The other belt levels were easy.

Mom: Kyoshi, should it be that hard? (Grace exits the room.)

Kyoshi: Mom, it’s not that hard. Grace is finding out that she needs to pay more attention in class and I believe that’s what she is referring to as hard.

Mom: Do you think giving her a month off would help?

Kyoshi: I don’t think that would make it easier for her. But, what do you think we should do?

Mom: I want to give her a month off.

Kyoshi: I wouldn’t recommend that from my experience of working with students but it’s your choice.

Mom: Kyoshi, it’s so tough with her.

Kyoshi: Being a parent is a tough but very rewarding job and kids are not going to always agree with us.

Life Lessons:

Everything that happens to us is a consequence of choices made. Often the choice we make is nothing more than how we react to a situation.