Pine Trees Make Good Bonsai: Not Good Karate Students

Pine Trees Make Good Bonsai: Not Good Karate Students

  Pine trees are very beautiful to see in nature with their flowing trunks and cascading branches and they do very well growing alone, standing strong against the elements of nature.  Pine trees make good bonsai, but not good karate students.  Karate Students need others to grow strong and the same is true of every individual regardless of their chosen field.  It has been said that there are no Lone Rangers in leadership.  Even the Lone Ranger had his trusted friend Tonto.  The Karate student is more like the great Redwood trees.  They need each other to grow tall and strong.  Redwood trees grow in small clusters and they have a massive root system and the roots of all the trees intertwine, making them stable and keeping them upright as they reach towards the sun and grow for generations. 

   To reach a big goal like black belt, or any goal for that matter, we need others to join us on the journey.  The Redwood trees all share the same common goal, to grow and survive for centuries, and by sharing a common foundation of a strong root system with the other Redwood trees they accomplish their objective.  It is the way God made them and it is also the way God made us to work in a community with others.  In the dojo we too have a common goal and that is to become a black belt and then go beyond.  It is the commitment we make to become a black belt that creates community and fosters unity within the ranks.  True we can attempt to go it alone like the mighty pine, but win the first wind hits us, it can often blow us over and it can be very difficult to recover and we will never be able to grow to our full potential alone.  But if we train together and have strong roots in the foundations of our values as students and black belts we can grow tall and strong. Like the Redwoods, when a challenge arises we will have the support of a strong foundation of community and shared values with our teachers and fellow students to help us weather the storm.  By having strong roots in community, like the Redwoods, we too can grow for a lifetime.


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