Kaizen Life Skills Junior Warriors Belt Testing Homework (January 2015)
There was a girl who had a problem with anger. Every day she hurt others with her words and sometimes physically.
Her mother one day took her in the back yard and told her, “Every time you get angry and lash out on someone, we are going to come back here and hammer a nail into the fence, so you can see how often you are hurting others. Every day that you do not lose control of yourself, we will come out here and take a nail out.”
Each day they would go out to the back yard, sometimes more than once per day, and hammer a nail into the fence. The girl could see that it was happening a lot.
She finally decided that she would break her anger habit. Most days she was now going out to the yard and taking one nail out. She was very proud of herself.
One day she pulled out the final nail. She told her mom, “Look mom, there are no more nails left, I did it.” Her mom replied, “That’s great, but I want you to notice something. Look at how many holes are still in the fence. Once you hurt someone, it does not heal immediately, and sometimes not for a very long time.”
For a martial arts student, it is really important that anger doesn’t get out of control. If you lost complete control, you could attack someone and hurt them physically.
A famous Karate master Chojun Miyagi said, “If your anger rises, drop your hand. If your hand raises, drop your anger.”
But sometimes hurting someone with your words can be worse than hurting them physically. If a brother and sister are playing a game and the brother gets angry and hits the sister, the sister will cry and after a while she will be okay. If the brother got angry and instead of hitting her said something really cruel that he knew would hurt her bad, then she may remember that for a long time. She might even start to believe what he said is true. It was wrong to hit her, but he did a lot more damage by thinking of the meanest thing he could say to her.
Everybody feels anger at some time. It is not wrong to feel anger, but you must get it under control.
The first rule for controlling anger is not to say or do something that you will regret. That means be quiet. If you are really upset you can even say “I am angry right now and I need to control myself.” Then breathe. Take long, slow, deep breaths (just like we do in the first part of each of our classes). Do this a few times and you will start to calm down.
Sometimes it helps to give yourself a reason to not be angry. Like when people drive sometimes they get very angry when another driver does something wrong. Instead of getting angry, a driver could remind themselves of the last time they did something wrong while driving, and that everyone makes mistakes. Whatever reason you choose, you can say it to yourself several times.
Now it is important that if you are angry, you don’t just control your anger and forget about it. Sometimes someone does something to you that is wrong and you need to tell them that they hurt you. You don’t need to insult them, but when you have calmed down, it can be good to say “It hurt when you said that to me.” If you told them when you were angry and insulted them, they would probably insult you back and not think about what damage they did, because you are attacking them. If you don’t attack them, they are more likely to listen to you. People will almost never be on your side when you attack them.
Having relationships with friends, family, and others is like having bank accounts. If you had $10 in your bank account and every day you went to the bank and took out $1, after 10 days you couldn’t take out any more money. Every time you hurt someone it is like taking money out of the account you have with that person. Every time you do something kind for them, it is like putting money into your relationship account. If every day you are doing kind things, and one day you make a mistake and hurt the other person, they are more likely to forgive you because of all the kindness you have shown to them. If every day you did something selfish, after a while there will be nothing left and that person will not want to be around you and will not value you. The more you have in your accounts with people, the more the relationships are worth. The more you give to others, the deeper the connection you will have with others and the more they will care for you.
Remember anger is a habit. If you don’t control it, it can control you.
What is one thing that you tend to get angry about?
What is one thing you could say to yourself that would help you calm down?
Parents please authorize that your child completed the assignment.
Parent Signature:_______________________ Date_____________