/** Increase PHP memory limit */ define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' ); Alexis Campbell-July 2011 - Mesa Karate, Mesa Martial Arts, Gilbert Karate, Gilbert Martial Arts for Kids and Adults - Mesa Karate, Mesa Martial Arts, Gilbert Karate, Gilbert Martial Arts for Kids and Adults

Alexis Campbell-July 2011

QUALITIES OF A LEADER–Enthusiasm, Self Control, Ambition

A few years ago, we went to Porter Elementary and conducted a “safety night” for the entire school.  We used the same material you hear in our classes about “saying no” and “safe side adults.”   After that class, more than twenty-five children came to our academy.   Alexis Campbell was one of them and now, two and half years later, Alexis has earned her 1st degree black belt and is working toward her instructor certification!! (More on that later) To say she is excited about KARATE FOR KIDS is an understatement.

Lexi was just nine when parents, Mike and Sara brought her in, hoping that she would build confidence and learn some self defense.    Lexi didn’t even make it through the 30-day trial period before she insisted her Mom and Dad enroll her. She’s been smiling every since.

Within a short time, it became clear that Lexi was going to get more than confidence and self defense at Babin’s Karate for Kids.  Dad explains: “Lexi grew tall very fast. And we were concerned that she had never really been very good at fitness, especially upper body strength.  She was never able to do a pushup.  To our surprise, after being in KARATE FOR KIDS, she has become so strong she passed her first FIT TEST (a requirement for all black belts), and has set a goal to increase the number of pushups she does at the next fit test.”

But having only one goal is not enough for Lexi.   A few weeks back, she got her Junior Training Instructor workbook, and will need to complete it before moving to the adult leadership program. (around age thirteen)   She now, has also started attending the MONTHLY LEADERSHIP SEMINARS for ADVANCED Junior Leaders.   It was not long after that she expressed her next big goal to Mom and Dad:  “I want to be an instructor.” Mike said:  “It was very unexpected.   In the beginning we weren’t sure how long her excitement would last.  And now, just a short time later, at age eleven, she’s telling us she wants to be an instructor.   For the last few months, she has been assisting in classes with enthusiasm, and she has even taught sections of the beginner class.” K4K comment: Our leadership program teaches students, of all ages, to develop their communications skills, public speaking skills and much more before they assist in lower rank classes.  These skills also prepare them for success at school and in the community.

And what about competition?  Here as well, Lexi is an example of enthusiasm and commitment.  Mom explained, “Our first event was overwhelming because we just didn’t know what to expect.  But Lexi had a great time anyway.  She was a white belt and had no tournament experience.   She went anyway, and came home with a “victory award” and a big smile on her face.   Even though she didn’t place 1st 2nd or 3rd, she had fun, and couldn’t wait to go to the next event.” Dad adds, “Recently Lexi was nervous doing COMBAT BAHNG EE at the in school tournament in April, but Mr. Gutierrez really encouraged her to try it.    She lost, but left the event smiling from ear to ear because she scored three points against a more experienced opponent.” K4K comment:  There is only one way to achieve success—get out there and do it!!  It’s not important how many matches you win or loose, it’s more important to learn from each experience and develop winning strategies to get better, not just in tournaments, but in life.


Lexi has been to about 17 events to date, and earned an impressive record:

1-1st in forms, 3-2nd in sparring, 3-3rd in sparring, and 1-3rd in Combat  Bahng Mahng Ee.    And in typical “Lexi fashion,”   this record has inspired her to set a new goal:  state champ in sparring for the 2011-2012 tournament year!

Dad explains that because of her tournament experiences: “I find that now Lexi has the confidence to do things elsewhere, even if it’s difficult, she faces the challenge and tries her best anyway.”

Mom explains how this confidence AND skill has been helpful at school:  “Earlier this year, this one boy just kept picking on her, pushing her buttons.   Actually he did this to everyone.     One day, he crossed the line, Lexi defended herself, and he ended up on the ground.   She was able to protect herself without really hurting him.   I’m impressed with her self control.    And she’s now confident enough to have very mature conferences with her teachers, like discussing her grades and completed work assignments. She wants to take the responsibility for speaking up and standing up for herself.   I like that! And later in the year, she actually stepped in and helped another child being abused by the same bully.”

Mom said:  “Lexi has always been a social butterfly.   Everyone at school knows she does KARATE FOR KIDS because she is so excited to talk about it.  All of her teachers, our family, and our friends, all know when tournaments are coming, and they get a report on how she did if they can’t attend.  And she also shares the other stuff she is learning, like the life skills, especially enthusiasm and respect.  She is definitely now more willing and open to talk to adults, especially about her KARATE FOR KIDS experiences.”


Dad adds:  “She has become more of a leader.   She really looks at the choices in front of her and makes her own decisions.   Her teacher told us she gets her work done, and then likes to help others who are still working on the task.”


I asked Lexi what she likes about KARATE FOR KIDS:  “Sparring is the best!!!!   Combat Bahng Mahng Ee!!!!!  Forms and weapons!   Getting my black belt has been a great accomplishment!   I worked hard for two years, learning everything and broke my boards.   It’s really fun! And you learn self control, enthusiasm, confidence, and self defense.” K4K comment:  How many 12 years olds do you know that than get excited about working toward and accomplishing a 2 YEARS goal?  Most children think 2 months is an eternity.  How accomplished can our children be if they learn to set long term goals early in life?

What would Mike and Sara say to others about getting started?

Mike says: It’s a huge boost of confidence and self esteem.  It’s also been really good for Lexi to learn to deal with disappointment.   If you don’t succeed, keep going. And we’ve met some great people and learned a lot.   We (the parents) learn something new every day we come and watch her class.  And it’s great fun talking to other parents about getting involved in tournaments.”

Sara says:  “The kids have fun!  You meet a lot of good people.  We’ve met other parents and do things with our karate friends.  Lexi now has a good friend from Utah which she met at tournaments.” K4K comment:  Having your child involved with other children and families with similar values and goals is a great way to guarantee that they will not be subject to negative peer pressure and will make good personal choices.

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