The student should feel that what it means to do karate has a different value, given by its rituals, protocols and virtues to develop, both physical and spiritual.
I must admit that, for our lifestyle, these attributes are quite foreign and difficult to put into practice. We educate our children in informality, and we teach them little respect for virtues such as humility and modesty. From this position, children grow in the notion that nothing should make them uncomfortable and that everything should be made easier for them. Based on this assumption, we do everything possible to avoid the inevitable clash with the suffering that growing up implies. This is how parents then try to ensure that their children do not receive performance demands in classes, which is transferred to all aspects of their lives, modeling their attitudes towards each circumstance they must face.
Fortunately, there are those who demonstrate the opposite and are the model to follow.
Have you seen the Japanese children practicing?
They are the most defined example of what I say.
In none of them is shyness seen, but quite the opposite: they strive to improve, to demonstrate their abilities and become better every day, there is no fear in their behavior. They do karate with the respect it demands, instilled through maximum demands that the instructor requires and the student assumes naturally.
That is why it is the duty of every good sensei to demand compliance with the standards of the art.
Currently, a line of thought has been imposed on a global level that encourages the formation of fragile people, with little or no tolerance for failure, who become frustrated at the slightest brush with events that reality will inevitably put in the path of everyone who want to progress. This ideological current that sees victims and weaknesses everywhere contradicts the essence of karate, which is strength, determination, audacity, challenge, and does not promote timid attitudes.
That is why it is a discipline, and although that word sounds bad to many today, that is what it is.
If a child does not enter practices with that notion, they are receiving an extremely negative message, the idea that going to classes is fun to share with friends.
That it will be a pleasant shared moment, yes, in which the student will learn both self-defense techniques and rules of conduct and courtesy protocols, something very unusual in today's world that is not taught in any school, and less and less - It is unfortunate to say -, in homes, but it is definitely not a GAME, even if they make an effort to present it that way in the belief that the child will accept it more willingly.
Karate is not complicated nor does it require sophisticated theories to understand.
It is about respect, humility, simplicity and acceptance of harsh rules designed to form strong, temperate people, without ambiguities or intellectualist pursuits that contaminate everything.
A karate student has a pure, resistant heart, a willing and unbreakable spirit, regardless of his age.
Long days of preparing body, mind and spirit clear existential doubts, improve life and free us from mirages that the self designs to confuse.
The student who practices with sacrifice learns from it and perfects his character, knows how to respect because he is respected and refrains from violent behavior because he understands that he does not need to demonstrate superiority:
He has understood that achieving excellence in the mastery of techniques has broken him again and again. He has defeated himself countless times, which keeps his ego in check.
Karate is simple, so simple that it takes a lifetime to understand it.
Does it sound too much for these times?