Inside Out vs. Outside In

What do I Want to Teach Today? Is the sign of a new, inexperienced or unenlightened teacher. It is the students who guide the master instructors and determine the content, not the whims and desires of the person at the front of the class. This is a tricky concept to convey to my martial arts […]


A little hand knocked on the door and the absence of Annie’s bark made me sad. I opened the door to find a white gi, a blue belt, a smiling boy and 2 egg sandwiches in his hands for the kids. Breakfast hadn’t happened yet and it was almost time for the 8 am class. […]

Will Joining a Karate School Keep My Child from Being Bullied?

Nope. Perhaps our biggest mistake as a culture is starting with the belief that people are nice. We treat mean behavior as an exception, dole out punishment (attention) to the offender and leave the target alone. Every child needs a champion and an advocate. Every parent should be that for their kid, but if they […]

Making Better People

START WITH WHY, by Simon Sinek. After watching the TED Talk a couple of times I decided to dig deeper by buying the book. It has been a worthwhile read and the result has been a discovery of sorts for me and my karate school, Bushido Karate Dojo. The short of it is this: Martial […]

The Least of These: Teaching a Multi-Level Class

Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ‘The Least of These’ It is always in the back of my mind when I teach, the importance of taking care of the youngest, […]

The Power of Intent.

A man put his arms around my neck and brought me to the ground over the weekend. He didn’t mean to hurt me. He thought he was challenging me. He thought that with my skill and experience that the lesson of being attacked from behind was a good lesson. The intention: teach me to never have […]


When my son was finishing 4th grade he was assigned to a teacher who got married and switched districts over the summer. We waited, then we got the letter introducing us to his 5th grade teacher: Douglas Elder. I did what any self respecting mother would have done, I googled him, and this is what I […]

Behavior Management IV

Can you believe he is back? I was wrong; so wrong about my assumptions. He missed 2 weeks because of summer scheduling. He is doing SO WELL in class. He is listening to directions. He recalls expectations and responsibly does what he is supposed to do when he is supposed to do it. Do I […]

What is Kata?

Every Karate school has forms that they study. Kihon(s) are basic movements, in our school we would call them combinations. But Katas are more complex, they involve blocks, strikes and kicks as well as proper stances and turns. They are choreographed and must be memorized. Each belt rank has certain katas that are part of the […]

Loser Circles

The key to keeping excitement in class is not in creating new things, but making the old things have new life. Why Hula Hoops? One summer I was teaching Karate and radKIDS at the Paris Elementary day camp. They had lots of amazing activities for the kids to do all day long. A dance instructor friend […]