Many o’ brave student met on the sacred field of battle (i.e. the Young Forest Martial Arts training mats) to stake their claim as top student of their class (age/size/rank). As to be expected from Young Forest Martial Arts students the competition was fierce! Just like any Warrior defending home turf (or any sibling vs. sibling scenario), these students fought with a ’till death’ heart. And though there can be only one victor, the camaraderie and brother/sister hood was the ultimate winner of the day. We are so proud of our students and the virtues they are developing. Some of these students literally fought through blood, sweat, and tears to demonstrate the never give up spirit of a Warrior. Some would think these rivalries amoungst their Kung Fu brothers and sisters be bitter, and losing to a fellow student would cause animosity. But in a strong family such as Young Forest Martial Arts, the ‘rivalries’ are healthy and competition strengthens relationships. There was certainly disappointment from those who ‘lost’ but not animosity or bitterness. And there was certainly pride amongst the victors; but pride that was well balanced with humbleness. And though compassion from victory to loser would be perceived as pity or even patronizing to most adults, in the eyes of children it is just compassion. We saw plenty of compassion in the aftermath of our tournament as Kung Fu brothers and sisters complemented and encouraged their ‘fallen’ brothers and sisters; who returned complements with equal sincerity. We even bore witness to some of the more successful winners offering to share their spoils (medals won) with those who had none, or very few. It makes us proud to see our students fight and compete with such fierceness but not give into anger and hostility as their source of power as so many do. We are proud they can fight and compete with that level of intensity and do it with grace, humbleness, and compassion. And we are especially proud that they can fight and compete with such heart and be able to keep that heart in the face of loss.
Great job students! And great job parents for pushing your children, for letting us reinforce life lessons you are already teaching, and for being supportive not only of your children, but of our Young Forest Family and everything we do!
Train hard students! There are many more ‘competitions’ to face in life! Thanks to your family and your Kung Fu family you will be ready for them!
Check out a few pictures in this slide show;