America's Best Karate Center
Monthly dose of inspiration from 
ABK
Powerful Word Of The Month:
DIGNITY
Dr. Robyn Silverman
Young students: “We all deserve to be treated like we matter!”
Older students/teens/adults: Treating ourselves and others like we are all worthy of care and attention.

D I G N I T Y

Week 1 Dignity defined: What does it mean and what does it look like?
Week 2 Relationships: Connection, acceptance, inclusion & fairness.
Week 3 Value and strengths: How can we recognize strengths in others & show them that they are worthy of care?
Week 4 Celebrating uniqueness & standing up for attacks on dignity: What do we say and do?

Dear Family,
This month we will focus on the powerful word; “dignity.” Dignity, the idea that everyone is born with value and worth, is something that we all have in common. We are all part of a human family and remembering our similarities while celebrating differences can help to connect us all. 

Every person wants to feel valued and worthy. We want others to treat us like we matter. And, as it turns out, we are very good at identifying when indignity is occurring. Research tells us that when we recognize that we are being judged and treated unfairly, our response is similar to when we are treated poorly in a 
physical manner.

What does it mean to treat others with dignity? We know it is different than respect. Respect is something earned while everyone is born with worth. In Dr. Donna Hick’s new book, “Leading with Dignity,” she espouses 10 elements of dignity that are guidelines to ensure we are respecting other people’s dignity. These elements 
include such areas as; accepting people’s identity, recognition of other people’s strengths, ideas and contributions, ensuring people feel safe, treating people 
with fairness, giving people the benefit of the doubt and being accountable for your actions that have violated the dignity of others. 

When we treat others with dignity, they gain a sense of well being that allows them to reach their potential. This is important in families as well as in schools, 
work places and communities.

We want everyone to grow, flourish and succeed. Aside from learning how to 
recognize the dignity in others and treat others like they matter, children need to learn how to recognize the value in themselves. Internally, they must learn how to refrain from shaming themselves and externally they must learn to get out of toxic 
friendships and relationships that make them feel inferior, unsafe or 
misunderstood.

There are many parts of dignity and we’ll be discussing the many compelling issues of acknowledgement, recognition, inclusion, fairness and more. Relationships, connection, worth and bullying will also be part of the conversation. It will be a very 
powerful month!

Thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world. 

          Best Regards,
                        Your Motivated and Dedicated
                                        Instructors

WHAT IF COMPLAINING WERE ILLEGAL? OH, WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD IT WOULD BE!
We all know a person in our lives that cannot stop talking about their problems, challenges, injuries, health concerns, relationship troubles, and much more. They come in and immediately put the focus on them and their tale of woe.
Be honest…do you like being around these people? I’m sure some of them are good friends and you want to help them out. You want to be a good person and listen to them, be a shoulder to cry on, and possibly even offer suggestions.
Does that ever help? More than likely, the answer is no! In my experience, this gives them the green light to complain more, sulk more, and put all their troubles on your lap.
The reality is complaining is a way of getting attention. They have something to say and they want you to agree that they have it so much rougher than the rest of the world.
What if that person accepted 100% responsibility for the position they are in. What if they accepted they are in a tough spot, whether it was their fault or not, and decided they are going to make the best of it with a great attitude.
Mike Smith was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2008 to 2014. In his book, “You Win in the Locker Room First”, he talks about installing a NO COMPLAINING POLICY.
Smith says people that complain are energy vampires and will drag a team down. Be careful who you surround yourself with because they may influence your attitude in a bad way and make it difficult for you to achieve your goals.
Nelson Mandela was arrested and put in prison for 27 years. Did you ever hear him complain while serving his sentence or after he got out? The answer is NO! When asked what he was doing while serving out his sentence, he said he was preparing. WOW! Now that is a great attitude!
The Swahili term “hakuna matata”, means no worries. What if, instead of complaining, your knee jerk reaction was, “No worries!”?
You think to yourself, “I’ve got this. Yeah, it’s a minor inconvenience, but I will make it through. No worries!”
Tony Robbins says your life will completely change when you trade your expectations for appreciation. So instead of thinking everything should go smoothly for you and there should be no trouble in your life. Focus on everything you have to appreciate and be thankful for.
Think about it. I have a wonderful family, great wife, awesome little girl, and I work with an incredible team. I have said it again and again. The best people in all of South Florida train at Elite Force Martial Arts. And lucky me…I get to see them 6 days per week!
So first I challenge you to go one week with no complaining. Discipline yourself. Sure, it will be tough. Writing this reminds me not to complain!
Put an alarm reminder in your phone that says, “trade expectations for appreciation” and have it go off 3 times per day. This will serve as a gentle reminder to focus on gratitude and eliminate complaining.
Complaining drains energy. Appreciation enhances energy and puts you in a great mood.
Train hard, be your best, and make someone feel great today!
The Elephant Rope
 
As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them.
As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
We see this a lot in our martial arts training don’t we. Students that struggle with a particular technique or requirements to advance to the next rank start coming up with reasons why they can’t do it or won’t be able to do it instead of trying to find the solution to overcome the obstacle. “I’m too old, I’m not flexible enough, my work schedule makes it impossible, my child has ADHD and so on and so on.”
If everyone would just understand that the obstacles, the struggle and the failures along the way are actually the necessary ingredients to becoming a black belt champion it would be much easier to accept and even embrace them!
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