My daughter and I have been students at TKC since beginning of 2006. We both tested for and received our 1st degree black belts in September of 2009. As I progressed in ranks from white belt to black, I would always imagine what it would be like to assist or even teach some classes myself, once I had high enough ranking. Then I found out about the SWAT program, which I thought was just a basic training for students interested in assisting and teaching. I knew that signing up for the SWAT program meant committing for 12 weeks of classes on Saturdays and putting extra hours at the studio with assisting some of the classes. So, I was always hesitant to sign up because of my familys hectic weekends. Finally, January of 2011 seemed like a good opportunity to enlist in the program since my family had no set plans for the next few months. My daughter, Nicolette, also was interested and very eager to join. SWAT proved to be much more than I had thought. I have to admit that the main reason for wanting to sign up for SWAT was my belief that the program would help me get over my fear and anxiety of public speaking and teach me to exude more self-confidence and control when confronted with a group of people. I wanted to gain these abilities not only for my personal life but also to help me with advancing my professional career. I believed SWAT would be a great program to test myself because I would see some of the SWAT graduates at the studio on a daily basis. Some of these graduates had started at TKC around the same time I had, and they were team mates for the 1st degree black belt. I saw how the program had transformed these students (some teen-agers) into more confident, responsible, and respectful individuals and overall better persons. I am almost finished with the program and will be taking the final test soon.
I have to admit that I never thought that the program would encompass so much that, on the surface, has very little to do with teaching martial arts and a great deal to do with improving oneself as an individual and as a productive and positive member of the society. The many lessons taught in the program, if applied and practiced regularly, teach not only self-confidence, public presentation, and how to run a great martial arts class, but higher qualities of patience, understanding, compassion, respect, time-management, and how to WIN. I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to go through the program, and even happier that my 11-year-old daughter got the chance to do it as well. I am certain that whatever we take away from this class, no matter how small, we will be better for it.