A long, observational post. I don't have a diary so here it is. I attended my boys first Karate grading yesterday - he's 5, but has been learning some cool stuff. I'm a big fan of what I see as the discipline - the outward, leading to inward discipline. The club has a big focus on dealing with adversity - and what I saw yesterday, will create adversity then allow the participant to work through it and triumph - for a greater end point than having not dealt with adversity at all. But I was most impressed with three participants. In reverse order, a perhaps late 20s slight blonde girl sitting for her penultimate before black belt (double black stripe brown... excuse the ignorance). She took and gave a pounding. The grading went for hours to end in round after round (maybe 12?) of sparring with rotating fresh black belt opponents. She was physically destroyed by the end but didn't give up for a second. I can only imagine that resilience, necessary self-confidence and toughness in application in her everyday life. Second, a 10-12 year old boy with a brown belt. (Turns out he is a son of a work colleague). Big boy, in perhaps not the kindest of playground ways. Anyway - he was a machine. Again - gave the black belts a workout. He was physically ready to drop, and I thought vomit - but again kept going and going and going beyond anything I thought him to be capable of. Persistence and determination that I'm not sure I've ever seen. And clearly a consequence of his application to training. Most impressive, and the thought of it hasn't left me since - was a small girl. Perhaps 6-7 years of age, that's it, but a few years of karate behind her and from a karate family. She was out in front solo going for her novice green stripe. Being tested (in japanese), and making errors. Over and over. With the whole crowd watching her and the master gently berating her. The whole crowd just felt for this small girl, and after what we all considered the point of no return and certain tears, pulled it together and nailed her moves. Any other child I've ever met would have crumbled, been in tears, and never come back. I think a few of the adults had tears for her. I was absolutely humbled when she nailed it, stood tall, bowed, and then received adulation from all - with some very age appropriate encouragement that what she had just done was monumental - and it really was. If I can teach my boys and girls to be even half as resilient as this, then they will be unstoppable. I've signed up from tomorrow.