Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Leading By Example

In our April leadership workshop we reviewed class procedures, general guidelines and our role in both adhering to them and helping others to do the same. We touched on a handful of subjects most easily summarised in the 3 points below:

(Side note: This was a session with our leadership team - junior leaders, assistant instructors and head instructors - and discussed from the perspective of undertaking leadership roles the class. In reality they may be useful for all students).

1. It Starts With Us

We all know the school rules – the official Choi Kwang-Do school guidelines are sent out in the welcome pack whenever a student enrols. However, as clear as they are, reading a list of instructions can be very different when compared to actually following them.

The bottom line is that it starts with us; leadership team members are expected to maintain the highest standards so their ki-hap must be louder, their movement to line up faster, their uniform standards higher, etc. etc. than everyone else.

We have to provide an example and collectively, guide and influence others to follow.

2. Take Pride In Your Position

Students know you are ‘special’ by the colour of your uniform, but we should also seek to display that difference in our character.

So take pride in your position! Show people that you are ‘special’ - not to be confused with showing people you feel superior – through the way you conduct yourself and your knowledge of the martial art, as well as your techniques.

It goes without saying that this should always be done with humility.

This doesn’t mean you know everything and never make mistakes. We're all human and sometimes forget things or get things wrong. Mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process, but you can still take pride in being curious and finding out the right answers or course of action.

3. Remember, Everything Counts

Whether we are aware of it or not, people pick up on the things we say and the actions we take (or don't take). Sometimes it's conscious, at other times it can be unconscious.

Many would say it’s more what you do, than what you say. Whatever you believe, what this simply means is that everything you say and do counts and perception, as they say, is ‘everything’. Ask yourself:

- Do my words and actions ‘match’?
- Am I trying to do the right thing and acting truthfully, both in public and in private?

Being consistent in our actions can help others to have confidence in our words and is an outward display of personal integrity. Just like martial arts skills this requires focus and practise; aim to keep you intentions in mind and persevere, using the feedback from instructors, fellow leadership team members, students and parents, as helpful reminders.

Jason Wright is a 6th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in the martial art Choi Kwang-Do. For further information on Choi Kwang-Do classes in Ealing, West London visit

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