As I write this, we have just recently finished our May Belt Graduation. I must say I have been blown away! Although there are a few things we have learned and need to fix for the next Belt Graduation, overall I couldn’t be happier! Specifically, months ago we were trying to figure out how to get families even more involved in graduation. It was our hope to encourage families to show their support to an even higher degree than previously seen. I’ve always thought it was funny the way some people treat their kids. I’ve seen dads dress up in sports paraphernalia and paint their faces for their favorite team, but be quite reserved when it comes to encouraging their own child. For that matter I remember one mom being adamant that she would only take her BMW to one particular (very expensive) dealer/shop, but she was only interested in finding the cheapest martial arts training she could find for her daughter. (I guess she felt confidence is not as important as a well maintained leather interior!) Obviously I had always seen those priorities as being somewhat screwed up. So honestly, I wanted to figure out a way that parents and families would dress up and get wild in cheering on the students graduating. We thought of pennants, streamers, noisemakers, and others things. But not being certain how anything would work, we guessed. So we tried the color contest. What we got absolutely blew us away. Families everywhere were dressing up and showing their support for their students, enthusiastically proud of their graduates, and I was excited by everyone’s creativity and enthusiasm! We even had some paint their faces! I love it when parents have no reservations when it comes to encouraging their children, and everyone was great. In short, families were shameless, and it was awesome!! And of course I have to mention the graduating students, especially those graduating to black belt and beyond, put on some exceptional performances! I watched so many people I had trained go beyond anything I had taught them and impress even me! I’m so proud of them. If you missed it, well you really missed something, but I’m confident this is just a taste of things to come. So I look forward to seeing you, being shameless, at the next one.