To All Family Members

At Gallatin Martial Arts we are all family. We support each other and encourage our students to practice at everything in life and always do their best. While we encourage healthy competition we do not condone comparing each student to others.

Everyone has their own struggles in life. Each person is fighting a personal battle. Some children develop faster than others. All students will hit a level that is more challenging for them emotionally, intellectually, or physically, than for others. For example: I would never compare myself to other masters or students who may be half my age, or are much older, or not have children, or are not chronically ill. A student who excels at one level could hit a road block at another level that may be easier for someone else.

That’s the beauty of martial arts; it’s more than a sport; it’s a lifestyle. It’s a forum where a person can compete with themselves and fight through their own obstacles without judgement in a supportive environment. It’s not about “looking” tougher or having it “easy”, but about self growth and accomplishment. Those who may win easily today, may lose easily tomorrow and vice-versa.

It’s with this in mind that I would ask parents and students to please refrain from comparing one student (or themselves) to another. We have had students in wheelchairs, with cerebral palsy, with autism, with ADHD, who have lost parents, who have been abused; many of these students attained a black belt or higher, not with natural athleticism, but with hard work and perseverance.

Thank you for understanding
Master Joanne Spillmann
California State University, Fullerton – Child Development Degree