What does raising a plant have to do with becoming a Black Belt?

On Tuesday, Sensei Fariborz asked me to make a video with him to talk about the BBC project we were given to raise a Persian Basil plant from a seedling, the benefits related to becoming a Black Belt that he hoped we would be getting, and what related benefits I felt I had gotten from my experience to date.  If you are interested in watching that video, its YouTube link is included below.

     A few minutes after we finished shooting this video, I realized that while this was a relatively easy project for many of us once our seedlings grew and became more self-sufficient and tolerant of changes in their environment, that it could have been very challenging for some of the parents of our BBC juniors and teens.  When any candidate sees that their plants are not doing as well as they should, they either choose to do nothing and hope it gets better, or they choose to figure out why and do something to correct it.  

     Many juniors and teens are still learning that doing nothing is easier, but seldom produces good results.  Their parents are well aware of this, and although taking care of these plants for their kids might be an easier approach, they realize that doing this would result in their kids missing their learning opportunity.  Finding a way to help their kids be successful without missing their learning opportunity takes a lot of extra effort and patience.  It means letting the plants do poorly, intervening early enough and often enough to keep the plants from dying, and then asking their kids guided questions to help them figure out why, and what to try to do to correct it.  Eventually they should become interested enough to check their plants every day without being asked, and care enough to ask for your help when something doesn’t look right.

     Personally, I had no significant gardening experience previously that would have made me think my plants would have grown as well as they have.  Yes, I looked online to learn about the Persian Basil plants, how to grow seedlings into plants, the outdoors environments they do best in, and what kind of care and feeding is recommended.  Yes, there was a week when my seedlings looked so bad I thought that they might die.  But once I figured out that the seedlings had become root bound in their pot, they got better within a week of when I split them into 2 groups and replanted them in larger pots.  For anyone who cares enough to ask, I will also happily share what I have learned, to help you figure out why your plants are having problems and give you suggestions about how to do something to correct those problems.  Please also let me know if you have any other questions, or if there is anything you would like me to do to support you in your Journey to Black Belt.  Thank you!

P.S.  Did you know that Sensei Fariborz has a large and diverse collection of YouTube martial arts videos he shoots about things he feels others would be interested in and could benefit from?  Some of these videos are related to instruction and demonstration of martial arts skills and techniques.  Others are conversations with well known martial artists about its past, present, future and the potential it has to improve its students, to make contributions to our communities, and to eventually make a difference in our world.  If you are interested in knowing when he posts his videos, he suggests that you also “Subscribe” on YouTube to the collection that this video is included in.