Karate Teaches Self-Awareness

A month ago, while mulling ideas to capture students’ attention while highlighting school character traits, Mr. William “Bill” Strain, Physical Education (PE) Teacher at Rocky Mountain Classical Academy (RMCA), sparked an opportunity.

“At RMCA, we’re the Knights, and we have seven character traits,” said Strain, adding, “Our students turned our nickname into an acronym for them: Kindness, Nobility, Initiative, Generosity, Honesty, Trustworthiness, and Self-awareness.” For Strain, “Sport, wellness, and physical health obviously teach character, and I wanted to include self-defense within our PE curriculum, because it fulfills learning objectives while teaching students how to be self-aware.”

Counselors Mrs. Dana Woods and Mrs. Jesse Wretlind agreed, offering enthusiastic support. Mrs. Wretlind explained, “Bill’s program models how teachers may integrate their curriculum with character education. Self-defense teaches students to know themselves and their situation.” Colleague Dana Woods agreed, “I overhead a group of sixth-graders talking about it. They think karate is cool and not something they would take in school. One joked about becoming Chuck Norris.”

Each school year, Strain will highlight a different self-defense discipline, avoiding exclusion of any self-defense style. For 2017, middle-school students start with four days of Universal Kempo Karate, on Monday and Tuesday, February 13th and 14th, and again a week later on February 20thand 21st.  Strain encourages parents to attend their child's class and learn with them.

To participate, students and parents must complete a permission slip (Kempo Form) and pay $8 for each of their middle school children. Make checks payable to UKKSA. For questions, please contact Mr. Strain at wstrain@rmcacs.org .