Diversity and Leadership Training
I grew up in a small town in Florida that was sandwiched in between two US Air Force Bases. There were people coming and going from all over the world. Also, being a tourist area on the beaches people from all over came to visit. Living in a community with a diverse population of people was normal for me. I knew racism existed, but it always surprised me as to why? Why would people look at differences as a reason to separate and even dislike/hate others instead of learning from them? I asked my dad one day about that and he said that it’s because people learn that from their parents. I knew at that moment that I could have an impact on our community and world if, when I had children, I taught them about acceptance, equality and diversity. My two children are in their late 20’s now and I am happy to say they share my outlook on humanity.
A Child’s Perspective
Fast forward to the present when in my Leadership class the topic of diversity was being discussed. As is typical in this class, we work on public speaking and confidence building by practicing getting up in front of the class. On this day I had the students participate in an exercise where they had to stand up in front of the class and finish the phrase, “I believe…”. In both the Jr. and Adult classes, the responses were wonderful and insightful to listen too. However, one stood out to me and it is one I would like to share. In the Jr. Leadership class, one 12-year-old boy stood with a smile on his face and said,
“I believe in a world without racism.”
This young man is caring, giving, and liked by everyone in the class. Yet in his world, outside of our Martial Arts school he experiences racism and sees the need to make a change. What I found unusual was that he said it without hate, without fear, without judgment. His insight that something was not right in this world and he believed things could change. His belief statement gave us all a chance as a class to stop and talk about racism and how negatively it affects the world. By being bold in his actions, this young man is making the world a better a place. Though he is only 12, he is already a strong leader, unafraid to boldly try to make a difference in the world. I was humbled and proud at the same time to be a teacher. He certainly inspired me to be bolder and I hope he inspires you, as well.
One person can make a difference and maybe, that one person is you.
Amanda Olson http://olsonsma.com
From the Olson Family
We would first like to say, “Welcome!” It is our goal to provide the best martial arts training in a safe and encouraging environment. As a family we have devoted our lives to not only training the physical aspects of martial arts to thousands of people but the mental and emotional aspects, as well. Our goal is to help each student achieve Black Belt and Beyond. The reason for this is that we know from over 40 years of experience teaching martial arts that when a student experiences the awarding of a Black Belt, they soar with confidence.
What it Takes to become a Black Belt
It takes commitment, perseverance, goal setting and a strong work ethic to earn that belt. Even at a young age people know that a black belt in martial arts means something important. It shows you don’t quit, you don’t give up. That you have what it takes! Once you’ve done that, you know you can do anything you set your mind to: like getting into a great college, starting a career, making the team, anything you want. We love to hear the success stories of our students after they have gone off to college and started lives and families of their own. However, we are not surprised by their success. We already know they have what it takes to live their dream.
Another goal we have as a family is to support families and help reinforce the qualities of character you desire for your child to have. Our proven character development and leadership program includes lessons from making eye contact to handling conflict. Also, speaking up and showing confidence ,as well as, standing strong for what you believe is right. Our desire is to train black belts who are not only highly skilled in the art of self-defense but who are kind, compassionate, confident citizens of our communities. People who have a strong work ethic and will show “Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Respect”, everywhere they go.
Let us Partner with You!
Because of this, we want to partner with you, the parents and families, in helping give your child a strong foundation in values, to be able to stand up for themselves and others, to make good choices, and to live a healthy lifestyle. Please don’t hesitate to speak with us if there is ever a point where we can help with question or concerns from motivation to troubles with bullying. We are committed to helping each of our students live a happier, safer and more confident life.
Glenn, Amanda, Keith and Katie Olson