Growing Up Confident

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From birth we try to instill our kids with confidence. The ability to be brave, strong, defensive, and to determine and to take calculated risks. We teach them morals, compassion, and love. We try to raise our kids to be the best they can be.


My son has always been the kid who was happy being at the back of the line. Although he loves winning at home, take cards or board games for example, being in a group setting he was always happy just to participate and not be the centre of attention. He has grown to be more assertive, but his teachers in every aspect of his life would like to see him continue to develop further in this way.


Last September he started at Durham Modern Martial Arts. From the first class until today he has grown in so many ways. He is often the kid to put his hand up to demonstrate something in class. He is actually happy when he is chosen first to lead the line. He is also just as happy when he is last in the line. He has learned to be happy with himself and his abilities. One of the schools sayings, “do your best, work hard and have fun” – are always instilled. We’ve taken these from the karate classroom and applied them to everything he does as good values for life. We encourage doing his best and from that we will always be proud.


DSC_7757Today he participated in the Festival of Fighters tournament. Truth be told I was very nervous for him. We had registered for the tournament date before getting his surgery date. He had missed the previous three weeks of class due to surgery recovery and returned for only a single class before the tournament. He was unable to be active or practice in his time away. I figured he would not place, but the event would be a good experience of learning and confidence, and he still wanted to do it.


He was so excited for the tournament in the morning. In true fashion for our family we arrived much too early. He was eager (driving me crazy) to go in so we did. He was a little nervous immediately as the set up was different and they didn’t proceed to sit for their zen time. Changes in schedule are always hard for him to digest as he thrives on regiment. He anxiously awaited direction and you could tell by his face he was eager to get started to some familiarity. Our masters black belt teacher was in attendance to judge. He talked to my son and although his wealth of knowledge was immediately known by watching and speaking with him, my son was intimated and acted very shy as he does when he is overwhelmed. He answered his questions but was brief and not his normal smiling self.


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Finally all the Kenpo Dragons were called to sit, A load had been lifted as he happily trotted off. As he sat and waited he was nervous but happier sitting on the familiar mat he visits weekly. When they started with their normal ritual of their creed he was setting back into comfort. They started to call up the participants, in no particular order, asking students to volunteer to go, and calling out names when no one later raised their hand. To my surprise he volunteered within the first handful to go. Not that I doubted what DMMA had done for him to date, but it was at this moment it all came together. He was confident in his abilities even being so nervous. Everything he had been taught had come together. This tournament was not about being on the podium. This tournament was about going out there, doing your best, growing your confidence, and giving yourself a basis to work harder from in the future. He got this – even if he couldn’t explain it in these words. He was happy with his performance and did HIS best. His best isn’t my best, or his masters, or his fellow dragons, it is doing the best he could have done. I was a very proud mommy.


I look forward to watching him grow month by month. He has learned so many skills for life about effort, confidence, balance, and even strangers. He is learning how to defend himself should it ever be needed, but in doing this he is learning so many life skills that will help him in every life situation to come. Putting him in karate was one best decisions we made, I only wish we’d found this school sooner.


Interested in having your child try it out? DMMA has a new special each month with opportunity to try it via a few classes without the obligation of committing long term. We highly recommend this school and its values, and for us, even being out of our town, it is worth the little extra drive and commitment. We recommend following them here to keep up to date on their specials and activities.

One Comment

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  • A very inspirational story. Definitely am proud of your son’s accomplishments and development. Mr. Zarnett is a great instructor and Durham Modern Martial Arts is an awesome school!!

    Will watch for more accomplishments in the future!

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