My grandfather always used to ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The typical response of a youngster was, “Oh I don’t know… a police officer or firefighter, I want to help people, so maybe a doctor or a lawyer.” However, I was never really excited about those responses. They were just acceptable answers at the time. The last time he had the chance to ask me that question I had finally decided my future occupation and was genuinely excited about it. My passion was to become a small business owner and head instructor of a karate school.
Most people would not respond with the desire to become an instructor and owner of a karate school but from the time I started as a student in my karate school, I knew this was something I could pursue for the rest of my life. My life has been changed by karate and my passion is now to share this wonderful experience with others. For example, being in karate has changed my life by allowing me to explore different parts of the world. I’ve been to many different places in the US and other countries for competitions that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to visit. Also, karate kept me out of trouble. It kept me focused on my goals in life and while other kids were out at parties or getting into trouble, I was in the karate school training. It has kept me focused and driven; something that kids can lose when they are teenagers. So karate has not only given me opportunities that I would have never had but it’s also influenced my life in a very positive manner.
Before I can touch someone’s life the way karate has shaped mine there are a couple of goals I need to accomplish. First, I want to finish getting my bachelor’s degree in business while I continue to work and teach at the karate school I have attended. Running a karate school is a very risky business and I need to understand best practices as well as learn management and financial skills. It is important I continue to work and teach while finishing my degree as this is the main aspect of my business and I learn valuable teaching skills everyday. This leads me to my second goal to continue training in martial arts as well as kickboxing to ensure I have the knowledge I need to teach my future students these same skills. When I open my school I don’t only want my students to be great at martial arts but great in every aspect of their lives.
So how would being a karate instructor and school owner really change the world? Well, it wouldn’t be in a big way. I wouldn’t be recognized for it most likely and it wouldn’t make the news. I would change the world one kid at a time. Influencing their lives by teaching my students principles of life, like respect and discipline. The same principles that I was taught when I started learning on my first day and that I still exemplify today. I would change people’s lives by influencing every aspect of their life and training them to be a true black belt. A true black belt is not just someone who has become proficient in their martial art but someone who always shows those principles in all aspects of their lives. The kids that I do impact their life will know it and I might not change everybody’s world but I will at least have changed their world, the children I have influenced.
It was Mahatma Gandhi that said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Those words have been drilled into me since I was a little kid. To influence the lives of the children I plan to I have to be the change I want in them, the same way my instructor was the change that he wanted me to be. What I want to do with my life might not impact the world in a huge noticeable way but it will have an impact that is very important and without it the world might not turn into good place. Influencing people lives is a huge responsibility. Teaching life lessons and being the one that gets them to their goals is a huge job to carry out. The people’s lives that I change will always know I helped them get to where they wanted to be. The world may not see that, but that’s fine because if I do my job right they will be a shining example of what I helped influence, just as I am a shining example of what my instructor taught me. A true black belt, as we refer to it in my karate school, will shine inside and outside of the karate school. That’s what I want to see the world change into; maybe not everyone being a black belt, but every one having the same life principles of discipline, honesty, respect, and leadership that I have been taught and I shown. I am and will be the change I want to see in the world when I open my karate school and I will change the world one child at a time. Just as I was taught and how I will teach because if I teach my student’s right then they can continue to change the world when I am gone. My impact will change the world slowly but if done right will change the world continuously after my death, one person at a time.