Time... how to best spend mine and my children's. It's an age old deliberation, but it lead me to find the 'time' to share my experience at Keiko Shin Karate Academy.
I always admired the balance, control, and discipline of martial arts. The problem was finding someone/somewhere that earned my confidence enough to leave my impressionable 'Angels'.After a year of asking around, and visiting the many karate studios around Tampa Bay, my pediatrician was the one who recommended Keiko Shin Karate Academy. As a father of two, he said Sensei Ernesto and family has "done wonders" for his girls. He told me the 30 minute drive (from Carrollwood) would be well worth my time. My pediatrician was SO right!
I am extremely pleased with the changes I've seen in my boys, thanks to Keiko Shin. I'm not only referring to the physical strength, agility, and body control, but more importantly the mental strength: heightened awareness of ones' surroundings, extended concentration, and a heart-felt determination to achieve. All while keeping goodness and kindness in the forefront of their minds.
For example, this past weekend our Karate Academy entered a state competition. I've become accustomed to the (extremely) high success rate of our academy at competitions, but what made me stop to write this was the email we all received yesterday from Sensei. Our Sensei did not email us to discuss our great performance, but rather to highlight a Keiko Shin student's kindness towards a competitor from another academy. Sensei's entire email focused on praising this child for his wonderful display of humanity, and reminding our members (and their parents) about the importance of showing kindness to others. Again, I have been reminded why I am so grateful to be part of such a wonderful organization.
Our young competitors were taking a group photo after competing and receiving their medals. An unknown competitor from another academy wanted to be part of our group photo, but felt out-of-place because he didn't have medal. Without a further thought, one of our young students went to this boy and gave him one of his two medals, so the boy (from another academy) could have a medal around his neck for the photo. Seeing the happiness on the boy's face, and hearing the gratitude in his mother's voice, made the day truly successful!
Thank you Sensei, for having the foresight to highlight this student's selfless act, and for reminding us all about the power of kindness. I am proud my children are members of the Keiko Shin Family.
Lastly, I am very impressed with the wholesome, family oriented environment of the Keiko Shin dojo. The Fuentes family runs every aspect of the dojo, and are always present showing their care and commitment to my children's mental and physical wellbeing. It still amazes me that both, Sensei Ernesto and Sensei Alex, make such an effort to walk over and bend down to talk to each student on the 'child's level'. They have a way of knowing when a child needs a little extra love and attention. Neither use intimidation, but rather guide and encourage everyone to expect the best of themselves. My children truly love their Sensei(s)!
Whether you choose group classes or team training, Keiko Shin Karate Academy is much more then karate... It's about teaching LIFE SKILLS that will truly last a LIFETIME.
If you have questions, stop bye the dojo. I'm usually coming or going with one of my children :)