As a teenager, what could be more fun that going to school on your days off, am I right?
Well, at this school, we have a very special group of teenage students who do exactly that.
Recently, I started a program where, on holidays and breaks from school, a remarkable group of teenage students would spend their days off at the dojang. This is not for students who are loaded down with other activities like hockey, basketball, soccer, etc. This is a mentoring program for teens whose thing is Tae Kwon-Do. These students show a unique dedication to martial arts. They will be the future instructors, and some will go on to start their own schools one day.
On their days off, we meet at the school around 11:00 a.m. We sit around and talk for a little while, while we get ready to do some training. We take some of the noon class together, and afterward, the students are assigned certain training regimens.
Each regimen is different and geared toward each student personally, and is designed to push them hard. These are teens that I can really nail down. By that, I simply mean that I can push them to be their best; much harder than other students. They can do more push-ups and sit-ups. They are motivated students. They’re on a quest.
After the class, and after we train, we sit down and have lunch together. During lunch, we talk about training, about life, about dealing with different people, about how their training is going, etc.
We also talk about how they are the future instructors of this school, and how to deal with problem students and how to become “good-finders”. Their job is to find one good thing to say to every student in their class.
We have even begun a “greeter” program, sort of like Walmart’s. One of the teens selects a group of younger students who greet people at the door when people come in and, when they leave, send them off with kind words of encouragement.
This is going to teach them some good social skills, communication skills… just overall people skills.
And, the program has really blossomed. Every one of these special students has gone on to become a really good instructor, even at a young age.
Their people skills are incredible. They’re usually about 13 or 14 years old, but people often mistake them for 20 or 21.
Ultimately, I’m hoping that what they learn during these days off carries over into their school, their choices for college, and eventually into their jobs.
And, what do I get out of it? I get some help at the school, but more so, I get the satisfaction that I’m helping a special group of teenagers grow into remarkable men and women.
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!