Why I Love Martial Arts and You Should Too
This story is by my wife Sonja Leone. Photos posted are a combination of photos by Joe Leone Photography and Sonja Leone.
Why I love martial arts and you should too. Its story time...
Let me tell you about a kid that I know. He was struggling to find himself, and he was struggling in school. Diagnosis – He was an ADHD kid, and he came from a split home. He was on medication; couldn’t focus; couldn’t set goals and didn’t believe in himself. As an ADHD kid, especially one from a split home, most teachers had given up on him.
Most teachers had just assumed he’d fail and didn’t set and higher standards for him; they just gave up and left him for the next teachers to handle. In elementary school, they determined he would fail and said even if he’d pass this grade, he’d never pass the next. They had given up on him.
When he was nine years old, he stumbled on to something that would change his life. In the course of the next few years, he would learn to focus; would get off medication for his ADHD (he still has the diagnosis and always will), would learn that he can set goals for himself and to believe in himself. He would learn how to deal with his ADHD on his own. He went from a struggling student with a lack of confidence to someone who began to realize his self-worth. He didn’t need for others to believe in him; He would do it on his own. He started passing all his classes and then surpassing all his teachers’ expectations.
By the end of his Middle school years not only was he thriving, but he would finish with many High School Credits already under his belt. As the years passed, he always pushed himself to take extra classes online besides the rigorous academics he had in place at school. As a sophomore, he was already taking multiple AP Classes. Now at the end of his junior year, he is almost done with all of his High School classes a year early.
You may be asking yourself, what turned him around? What helped him learn to set goals? What helped him believe he could make a difference?
The answer is simple. Kinney Karate. Under direction from Seth Koehler and the late Michael Kinney, he learned to focus. He discovered that if he wanted his next belt, he didn’t have to wait for others around him, and just had to work hard for it. He learned that by setting goals in his training, he could succeed.
This translated to his personal life and his school work. He learned leadership and respect, qualities that have also put him in various Honor Societies at school. With the guidance and direction from his Martial Arts instructors, he learned acceptance of himself and others. He discovered that knowledge not shared isn’t worth having. He continues to give of himself to others and to pass on what he has learned.
How do I know all this, because this young man is my son, Douglas, now at 17 years old, he is a 2nd Degree Black belt and an assistant Instructor (my favorite – but I’m a little biased). There are many accolades I could give him. The truth is – he is all those things because of what he has learned through Kinney Karate. Martial Arts has become much more than just a physical skill. It has become a lifestyle of self-discipline, learning, and knowledge. He is the next generation living Michael Kinney’s legacy of love and hope for the future.