Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own.
This kept resonating with me while I was observing class at The Workout Place. It’s more than just a karate class, and Sensai Arnie makes sure that it’s apparent. It’s truly amazing to me how many different lessons are taught in just one class. You see, I am a bit of a Star Wars buff, and what I find appealing about the Jedi order is that being a Jedi is not about having a light saber and fighting the sith, it’s a balance, it’s about peace, it’s a way of life. Similarly, becoming a member of The Workout Place is more than joining a class, it’s a community just like being a Jedi and here’s why.
(A) and I showed up early for class. I am not a fan of being late and I wanted to be able to introduce Sensai Arnie to (A) as well as talk about being in the class to take pictures and not being intrusive. When we arrived Sensai was cleaning up. After introducing himself to (A) he asked if (A) would help him. Right to work they went cleaning cubbies together. Sensai is great with kids, he is sort of like a Sesame Street Character. He finds ways to connect with them on their level, while respecting them and making them feel super important, because they are.
As the other students started arriving, (A) began to get a little nervous. His confidence from before started to slowly melt away. The students and parents noticed and each introduced themselves to (A) and encouraged him to go and have a good time. He wasn’t ready. All I could think was “great this is going to work out well.” I remained calm and Sensai Arnie told (A) that when he was ready he should just jump right in, don’t worry about it. Sensai greeted each student and asked them if they were good this week, and if their rooms were clean (music to my ears). He holds them accountable for what they do at home and at school as well.
So (A) sat with me as I took pictures in the beginning. All of the other students know exactly how these classes work. They know how to line up and get ready. So much so that a student who is good and responsible gets to lead not only the warm-up but then some of the different activities later on in class. This is not dependent on ranking (although there are a few things that are) it depends on your willingness to volunteer and take pride in leading.
As class continued (A) became more comfortable and finally jumped in. He did very well for his first time, and for being one of the youngest students there. While students practiced their forms a fellow student even took him in the other room and worked with him for a while. (A) had to be reminded a few times to sit correctly while waiting (patience, yes he needs to learn patience) but I was so very impressed at how focused he was. He had to be, that’s the atmosphere in the class.
Students for the next class began to arrive near the end of class when the students played a few games (all strategically geared toward specific skills). The older students who would participate in the next class, jumped in without prompting and helped Sensai set up and run the games. They kept the line moving and encouraged their younger mates.
What Arnie is teaching doesn’t end there. In his fun and enthusiastic way he is always embedding a myriad of lessons. Work harder, work as a team, the easy way is not always the best way, follow directions, lead confidently. A particular lesson that sticks out in my mind is the reward for working hard. Students arrive with piggy banks and at the end of class they earn pennies for doing well. It doesn’t end there. On the windowsill on the side of the lobby there are three large jars, to teach the students to give back to great causes. One for animals, one for people in need, and one for cancer research. Students can choose a charity and put their pennies in it, and more of them do than don’t. It’s not a requirement to put them in there, but they choose to. (A) chose the Cancer jar.
(A) had an amazing time at class, demanding that we return this week. We are, and here’s why. I love watching him concentrate and listen the way he did last week. I love the lessons that he is learning. It is more than just the usual respect and confidence that you would look for in a regular martial arts class. It is so much more. Sensai is dedicated to developing the whole child, mind, body, soul. They are responsible for their own actions, in class and outside of class. They pick one another up when help is needed. This is a place I would like for my son to be. UPDATE: (A) has been attending class here for the past month and I am beyond impressed. He has learned much and even led his first exercise the other day. Several people have attended introduction classes on my recommendation and were so impressed that they have signed up.
If you are interested in checking out a class at The Workout Place, contact Sensai Arnie at: 845-624-2244 to schedule a free trial.