Mr. Jerome says...

From Helpless ---> To Fearless... Parents Take Action... Responds to Bullying

Hi Everyone! (Parents & Kids),

The feeling of HELPLESSNESS is the worst feeling ever.  When you do not know what to do, you are frozen with FEAR.  

Kids are being bullied every day... Will your kids be strong enough to respond to this inappropriate behavior?

I want to share another story with you that occurred over 23 years ago.  It is the story of how my little sister Kelly was introduced to the martial arts.

It was the last day of school, and summer was about to begin.  We waited at home for my little sister Kelly (age 6) to arrive home on the bus.

The school bus stop is right in front of our house.   

Kelly gets off of the schools bus and comes running into the house.  Her eyes full of tears, and she is holding her tummy area with her hands.

My mom very concerned asks, "What's wrong Kelly?"

Kelly replies, "A boy kicked me in the tummy on the school bus."

Mom's lips clenched, her eyes became very narrow with a sharp V formation in the middle of her eyebrow, and her skin color literally turned red...you could see the heat emitting from her.

Mom was FURIOUS!

She was furious for many reasons:

Her daughter was hurt.

She wasn't able to stop the kid who kicked Kelly because she wasn't there.

She knew Kelly didn't have the skills needed to protect herself.

She felt helpless.

In the following days to come, I remember my parents discussing ways on how this bullying could be stopped.

They both went to the school office, and reported the incident...

then they recognized that Kelly needed to learn the necessary skills to defend herself, and to build her self-confidence...She needed to become stronger.

Both of my parents agreed... it was equally important for Kelly to learn these skills as it was to learn to read, write and do arithmetic.

They found a special program held at the local youth center.  It was a Youth Karate program.

The Karate program focused on making its participants STRONGER - in Confidence, Fitness, and Character.

Over the course of the summer, Kelly learned to defend against punches, kicks, and grabs.  However, through learning those techniques,  she increased her self-confidence, because she knew how to physically defend herself against those attacks, and that she was not helpless any longer.

She increased her physical fitness level, because it was a workout... she gained more control over her balance, coordination, and conditioning.

But the most important lesson she learned was respect for herself...Kelly believed in herself, she was important.

All this occurred in about four months of the program.  

The Bully incident occurred in the month of June.  By November, Kelly decided to enter a sport Karate Tournament, just for fun of it.  

She participated in the Sparring event which is like a game of tag where the participants use their blocks punches and kicks to tag their opponent on specified target areas.  The first person to make the tag with good technique is awarded a point... and the one who gets to three points first wins the match.

Kelly made it to the finals in her beginner level division for her age 6 group.  At the end of her finals match, of which she had WON... Kelly came running back to Mom and Dad and said, "I just beat the boy who kicked me in the tummy on the bus."  

It was similar story line of a popular hit movie... a Real Life version of the "Karate Kid."

Her eyes were wide and sparkling, her smile was very big, and she was standing tall and very proud of herself.  Kelly overcame a huge obstacle, and her demeanor says it all... 

Kelly had become STRONGER! 

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Let's help our Kids to become STRONGER through sharing of our stories on how we handled tough situations... they can learn from our experiences.  

Let's give them the physical self-defense training they need so the can be prepared for those worse-case scenarios... it will give them options instead of the feeling of helplessness.

Let's teach them to respect themselves so they can treat others as they would themselves.

We can not control how others behave, but we can control our response... so let's help our kids to become STRONGER before the bullying starts.

Remember to: Radiate Confidence, Exhibit Courage, & Exemplify Character.

Live Fearless!

Mr. Jerome Nojima

Make A Decision To Take A Stand... Respond With Courage to Bullying

Hi Everyone! (Parents & Kids),

I wanted to share a story with you about a little incident that still makes me proud of a decision I made despite the consequences.

Back in the 5th grade, I was apart of the JPO (Junior Police Officer) Squad.  This group at our elementary school was responsible for carrying the stop signs to control traffic before and after school.  We were the cross walk monitors that allowed students to walk across the street to the school grounds safely.

On one particular day while we were putting away our safety vests and stop signs away before classes started, one of our fellow JPO members named Dan was behaving in a very inappropriate BULLYING manner to one of the girl members Ashlyn was about in tears.  He was messing with her and her safety vest he would not allow her to put it away, so we all could get to class on time.

I made a decision... stepped in and told him to quit what he was doing and leave her alone.

Before I move on with the story, let me describe myself at that time.  I was this skinny little thing, looks that would not intimidate a flea, I wore glasses, sort of a wimpy kid look about me.  I was a very quite kid an introvert.

In our fourth grade year, my best friend at the time Anthony and I had a run in with Dan.  We would always try to avoid him, but Dan would search us out.  He would corner us as we were walking home through town - call us names, push us around, threaten to harm us.  He intimidated us as a bully would.  We had the numbers, but neither Anthony or I responded back with violence.  This went on for a few weeks that year until Dan got tired of us and moved on to new targets.

We were afraid... we did not know how to handle the situation.  We never told our parents. We kept it to ourselves.

Back to the story, something inside of me said, "Enough!"

I was tired of standing on the sidelines watching someone else getting bullied.  So I stepped up, stepped in front of Dan and said, "QUIT!  LEAVE HER ALONE!"

He stepped up, we were now chest to chest. Dan says, "So what are you going to do about it!"

I responded back with, "I am tired of you picking on everyone, you wanna fight?  After school, I'll take you on!"

I could not believe what I said,  I stood there shaking, but somewhat relieved, I made a decision to Stand Up, and Stand Strong against this bully.

The word got back to our teachers that a fight was planned for after school that day.  

The fight never happened.

Dan and I were called into the school principals office after lunch.  We were both released from the JPO squad.  I never did have any problems with Dan again.

Thinking back about it...I handled the situation wrong, in that I challenged Dan to a fight.  However, I am very proud that I stood up for someone else and accepted my release from the JPO squad.

We were very fortunate that the principal had intervened and the fight never occurred. 

Fighting- causing physical and emotional harm to one another is never the answer.  But sometimes, we must draw a line in the sand and say, "Enough is Enough!"  

We need to reach deep down inside of us and find the COURAGE to let the other person know..."NO More!"

We need to make a CHOICE, make a DECISION, that we are going to STAND UP & STAND STRONG to wrongful, and inappropriate behavior.

Let's help our kids to make a choice to become STRONGER, to prepare themselves for these everyday situations.  

These skills are as important as learning to read, to write and do arithmetic.

Remember To: Radiate Confidence, Exhibit Courage, and Exemplify Character.

Live Fearless!

Mr. Jerome Nojima

Your Name Is Worth > $$$? ... How to Increase Your Value ... Your Worth It!

Hi Everyone! (Parents & Kids),

These days... when you ask someone what is your worth?  They think in terms of the dollar $ bills.  His/Her parents make a lot of money... They are worth a lot, they have the newest gadgets, and name brand clothes.

There is another type of "Worth" that I would like to share my thoughts with you about.  It is "Trustworthiness".  This goes beyond the $$$.

Trustworthiness is the personal state or quality of being reliable or trustworthy. (wikipedia)

Your NAME is so valuable... it is really PRICELESS!  

As you keep your word to someone.  You say your going to do something and you get it done in a timely manner.  You earn their trust.

People remember your NAME for being trustworthy and reliable.

At the beginning of each of my sessions with new students, I describe to them the meanings of the "BOW" in my martial arts program.  

The "BOW" has a few different meanings...1st it means "Respectful Greetings", 2nd it means "Thank You" for sharing this time with me, and 3rd it means "I promise to do my very best as a martial arts instructor to help them to learn and understand the principles/techniques."

When someone says who is your martial arts instructor?  and they say Mr. Jerome.  I want them to say it very proudly.  I want them to remember Mr. Jerome as being a very trustworthy martial arts instructor because i did my best to help them.

Remember, Your Name is valuable... Increase its value by earning the trust of others and you'll also earn their respect, and friendship for which you really cannot put a price tag on.

Remember to:  Radiate Confidence, Exhibit Courage, and Exemplify Character.

Live Fearless!

Mr. Jerome Nojima

Where is Your Dojo?

Hi Everyone! (Parents & Kids),

A "Dojo" is a Japanese term which literally means "place of the way".  (Wikipedia)

It is a formal gathering place where learning/training takes place for the Japanese "do" arts, such as Karate-do, Kendo, and Judo.

Over these many years, I have held class in a variety of locations.  Most of these locations were not strictly a dedicated Martial Arts Dojo.  

These locations include Backyards, Garages, Living Rooms, Porches, and Multipurpose Rooms in City Buildings.

"Where is your dojo?" really refers to a place of learning... where ever that may be.

Each of my students who have learned from me really had the right attitude.  They wanted to learn.  They never complained of where the class was held.  They came and we trained.

About 10 years ago, I was living in a 1 bedroom apartment in Greenville, NC.  I had scheduled a class for a few students who were putting in some extra training time since they were about to test for their Black Belt.  The class was held on a Friday evening outside of my apartment.  if it rained, we would squeeze into my little living room.

That was a sight to behold... We fit 6 teenage students in my living room training... they learned how to adjust to the tiny quarters.  They did what was necessary because of their attitude and their desire to learn.

Their "Dojo" is between their ears.  Their "Mind".

Remember to: Radiate Confidence, Exhibit Courage, and Exemplify Character.

Live Fearless!

Mr. Jerome Nojima

How Often Do You Use Your Martial Arts?

Hi Everyone! (Parents & Kids),

I get asked this question all the the time.  I tell my students and others... that I use my Martial Arts EVERY day!

In my eyes...I view the study of Martial Arts as the "Ultimate Social Skills" training course ever designed.

We are taught how to interact with others at the very first class.

We learn when we are interacting with others, we greet them with confidence and treat them with respect... and when we are being disrespected in the most extreme manner (being attacked), we exhibit courage and exemplify character in our response.

Using Martial Arts every day encourages us to be courteous and respectful and builds our confidence in ourselves to be problem solvers to overcome extreme interactions.

Remember to: Radiate Confidence, Exhibit Courage, and Exemplify Character.

Live Fearless!

Mr. Jerome Nojima

Happy New Year 2013

Hi Everyone! (Parents & Kids),

This year marks 13 years teaching at the City of Greenville's Aquatics and Fitness Center, and also 13 years since the Goldsboro School of Martial Arts/Fearless Tigers Shotokan Karate Dojo has been open.

These year have flown by so fast...and I am so appreciative of all the students who have been involved with the program.  I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them and see their continued growth over the years.

I am looking forward to seeing us impact more kids positively by spreading the "Fearless Attitude of Strength" message.  Kids learn to Radiate Confidence, Exhibit Courage, and Exemplify Character through the martial arts.

Live Fearless!

Mr. Jerome Nojima

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