As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, in addition to figuring out the menu, deciding what time to put the turkey in, and shopping for this particular meal, stop and remember what you are grateful for. Sadly, with the hustle and bustle over Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is not uncommon to lose sight of the purposes of the holidays. Gratitude can become secondary and even forgotten.
So, I urge you to pause. Take a minute and think about the things you are grateful for in your life.
As I reflect, even after ten years, I feel enormous gratitude for the community fostered by Owner and Founder Brian Cowell at SwiftKick Martial Arts, San Diego. At a time when my family had just relocated, the community and friendships formed not only got us through a difficult time, but those friendships have continued well beyond our young children’s initial training.
Thankful for Feeling Welcomed
A smile comes across my face as I recall how welcoming Brian was when me and a small group of moms showed up for our free training class. We were all over 35 years of age, some moms for the first time, some with many years between children, and some with many young ones!
Upon meeting Brian, it was clear he was on the journey with the other parents and me as we sought valuable activities to develop our precious ones through healthy and productive outlets. All the instructors welcomed every child with care, sincerity and instantly put our minds at ease. Creating a fun learning environment kept the kids (and the moms) coming back each week. The social aspect of the training was a benefit we all experienced but never expected.
Thankful for the Power of Community
We are wired to seek community and martial arts training provided that and more. Seeing familiar faces each week, getting to know other people in the area met and exceeded our hopes for connection. It was abundantly clear we were joining a team of professionals invested in our children’s futures.
We watched the power of community in action as some parents attended in hopes of channeling unwanted behaviors, such as aggression and disregard for discipline. We watched, amazed as the children responded to Brian in a way that we admired. He was a master working and motivating the children to set and reach goals. Whether it was a rough week between sessions or a fantastic one, Brian always sought feedback from the parents and included it in the day’s focus. Stripe after stripe and belt after belt, we watched our children transform as they wanted to have good reports for their sensei, and we wanted to celebrate their victories.
Thankful for Encouragement
The genuine celebration of every accomplishment for every student was just the encouragement needed to stick with the training. As our children desired to go back each week to see their friends, the parents were happy to tag along and have our time too. The bonds formed through the healthy and encouraging environment fostered at SwiftKick resulted in lifetime friendships.
Over the years, our once 4- and 5-year-old children continued in the program, learning new skills and displaying remarkable self-control and respect. It was always an exciting time when the students could participate in breaking boards with their feet and hands! After about a year of training, the students were able to participate in an activity called sparring. It takes you back a little to see your child, for all intent and purposes, fighting and using techniques and skills they have mastered to that point. Brian has an incredible gift identifying when children are ready for the next stripe, belt, and participation in these activities, never offering it before they have earned it. Brian explained the importance of sparring and experiencing the sensations that come through that process. Brian and his team masterfully orchestrated all training and activities.
We watched our children transform in front of us – no wonder the community bonds are so strong!
Thankful for the Journey
What an incredible experience I still look back on fondly, as does my daughter as she applies what she learned at SwiftKick to her high school life now. Having self-respect, respect for others, compassion, setting goals, confidence and leadership are all part of the training at SwiftKick.
I love reading the testimonials, continuing to see the incredible benefits clients still experience through martial arts training. They remind me how thankful I am for the experience of SwiftKick’s training. Grateful not just for my daughter but for my well-being and connection to other like-minded parents. I still get a giggle when I see a previous student become part of the team of master instructors at SwiftKick. I am thankful for the blessing SwiftKick continues to be to North County.
Regardless of your personal story, we all need community. Maybe you are struggling with your child’s behavioral issues, or you’re just seeking an outlet for physical exercise and connection. May I encourage you to try a free martial arts training class at one of the San Diego locations? Brian and his team of instructors work with children as young as three, with no limit on the other end! Many adults begin SwiftKick and form long-lasting relationships. Martial arts have something for everyone, and attending as an observer or a participant leads to connections that can last a lifetime.
Remember to pause this holiday season and consider all for which you have to be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving.