Building Real Integrity for Ourselves and Our Children

It’s the 2nd Week in “Earth” month and our theme is Real Integrity.  I’ve been thinking lately about how instill a deep sense of integrity in our children as they grow.  Our 6 year old is heading to 1st grade this fall.  As she’s getting older, her peer relationships are more complex than they used to be and lessons for living with integrity are at the forefront of what we’re teaching her.

She’s starting to deal with things like, “So and so is nice to me, but she tells another kid she can’t play with us and puts her down”.  This is such a tough situation to navigate.  If someone is acting in ways that hurt others, but that person is being nice to you, it can be so tempting to ignore what they do to others, or even to join in the bullying behavior.

This is not only an issue for kids – adults have a very difficult time sticking up for those in trouble when they fear for their own emotional, or physical, safety.  It reminds me of that poem by Martin Niemoller “First They Came,” from the perspective of someone turning a blind eye to the atrocities of the Holocaust when they weren’t happening directly to him.

When we talk about real integrity, what we mean is striving to live a life you can be proud of in your most honest assessment of yourself.  As Oprah Winfrey puts it, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”  

So, how can we build real integrity in ourselves and our children?  Practice!  In the Kid Power International training I went to recently, I loved how they emphasized the power of practice as a teacher.  It is much more effective than the power of a lecture!

Having a dedicated discipline that challenges us to really see ourselves is also an excellent foundation for building integrity.  We weave value lessons into our programming because character building goes hand-in-hand with being dedicated to the life-long practice of martial arts.  Kids get to dive into these lessons more deeply in our Ambassador’s Leadership program, which is part of our Black Belt Track and the new After School Program!  Learn more and sign up for that here.

This week, we’re building the value of integrity through our martial art discipline with these techniques…


Techniques of the Week: Earth Week Two
Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri
Ukemi Backwards Break Falls Back Rolls
Technique 1 Finding Correct Distance

for Punch, Kick, Chi no Kata and with Hanbo

Matching Your Partner’s Timing in Chi no Kata
Technique 2 Bear Hug Escape 3Muso Dori (advanced kids and adults only)
Technique 3 Hanbo KamaeMoving through basic hanbo and empty handed lamae with hanbo

(along the room)

Hanbo Blocks and Strikes(with partner along room)

Kasumi Club: (most likely):  Chi no Kata through the Test Levels and the Kyu Focuses


Thanks for reading everyone!  See you in the dojo,

~Sensei Nesta

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