Character Chats

Courage to do the Right Thing

Using courage to do the right thing.

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social emotional learning program called True Character. I’m Master H, Owner and Chief Instructor here at the studio. And we have developed this curriculum to best meet the needs of our youngest students who are three, and our oldest students who is 85.

Courage Recap

And this month we’re talking about courage. We started off defining what courage meant. We talked about how you can face your fears, you can do the hard things. You can do things even when you are afraid. And we talked about how fear looks for some people, sweaty palms, nervous belly, being frozen. We then talked about how we can use different strategies to help us overcome being afraid. And then we talked about how we have to use our courage to do the tough things. Being able to remind ourselves that we can do it.

Being able to talk to ourselves in a positive way. Knowing that we can speak in front of a large group or play the piano at a recital or apply to college, or decide to take on more responsibilities at work or whatever it might be that is currently making you fearful or anxious. You can do those difficult things. You can ask those questions, you can do your research and you can remind yourself that you can do it.

Standing Up With Courage

And then today we’re talking about using our courage to make sure we’re doing the right thing. The right thing being that if you’re at school and you see somebody drawing on the gym walls or the school walls, do you just let them do it? Or do you walk over and use your courage and say, hey, you know that’s not right. That’s not what we do. You need to stop. Do you use your courage and let a teacher know what you saw? Do you use your courage and find a way to make it better and make it right and make people stop what they’re not supposed to be doing? And when we see things that are wrong, we recognize them as wrong.

Some of us are nervous and scared and fearful of saying something. It’s funny, but if you see something that you know is wrong, sometimes you can be afraid that by saying and pointing out that it’s wrong, you might be in the wrong. And that could cause us some fear and some anxiousness and some nervousness. At which point we need to use our courage and we need to remind ourselves, no, I know this is wrong. This is the way it should be. I need to speak up. I need to say something.

Approaching With Positivity

I need to remind people that we can all do the right thing. We can all be positive. And it could be, let’s take the graffiti question for a moment. It could be as simple as, hey, why are you guys drawing on the wall of the school? Maybe there’s a mural that’s about to go on the wall and that’s what they’re supposed to be doing. You haven’t been accusatory or anything like that, but you’ve asked a question. And they’re like, because it looks like fun. Well, that’s not the right thing. You shouldn’t be doing that. I like my school the way it is. Please stop. If it turns out that it actually is a mural that they’re starting to put on the side of the building, well then at least you haven’t been accusatory, but you’re still doing the right thing because you are asking questions. You are finding out the answers.

You are trying to make sure that everybody else is doing the right thing too. And so we can use our courage to do those right things. And sometimes the right thing is obvious. Just the other day, there was a car accident right outside the studio here. And Master Helsdon and myself went outside to make sure everyone was okay. We used our courage. We looked both ways before crossing the street to make sure everyone was right, because that is the right thing to do.

And other times it’s not as obvious. It’s not as clear as it could be. At which point you need to think about what is the right thing for you? What are you able to do? What courage can you show? How can you stand up for what is the right thing? And so as we’re facing our fears, as we’ve been learning about courage, as we’ve been discussing what it looks like and what strategies we can implement to overcome our fears, we remind ourselves that we can do hard things.

Helping Others

And when we hear our friends saying, well, I can’t do that, I’m too little. You can remind them of their own courage. You can use your words and you can tell them, yes you can. You already are able to do the big jumps. Now it’s just adding in the kick. Or you’re already able to do, and you point out what it is that they are able to do so that they can then face whatever it is that they’re afraid of with confidence and determination and courage, and go forth positively. Because after all, we all need to use our courage at different times in our lives. And remembering that we can face our fears and be brave and show determination when we have challenges, that is showing your courage.

Thanks, and I’ll see you on the mat!


True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here