Character Chats

What is friendship?

Every month, we have a word of the month. It’s our social and emotional learning program here at True Balance Karate called True Character.

This month’s word of the month is friendship.

Friendship means we care, share, and work together. For our older kids, we say friendship is a relationship we choose based on mutual interest, care, respect, and trust.

What is a friend? How do we define that?

A friend is somebody that we can always stick by, somebody that we trust, somebody that we care about, somebody that we choose to be with and somebody who chooses to be with us.

How do friends act?

Now, in order to have a good friend, we have to be a good friend.

We ask some questions. Sometimes this is the best way to define things to our kids: ask them some questions where the answers seem a little obvious.

Do good friends care about each other? Yeah.

Do good friends work together to get their jobs done? Yeah.

Do good friends steal from each other? No.

Do good friends push and shove each other? Well, no, not when they’re playing, but I guess here in karate, sometimes good friends punch and kick at each other.

Do good friends lie to each other? No.

Do good friends ask each other how are you? Yeah.

Do good friends always stick by each other no matter what? Yeah.

Do good friends give up on each other when times are hard? No.

A good friend is somebody that’s always there for you no matter what, and somebody you’re always there for.

Friendship is a two-way street

Remember, we always have to be a good friend in order to have a good friend. Being a good friend is a two way street. It’s something that we both do with each other.

We don’t tell somebody we don’t have time to listen to them and then turn around and want to tell them our own troubles.

We don’t tell them, “no, I never want to play with you” and then ask them to play with us.

We don’t say as a good friend that we have to always play my game and never play yours, because having a good friend means being a good friend. We want to be that same person to them that we want them to be to us.

Be friendly

Now, a big part of starting a friendship is being friendly. It’s important that we’re friendly to everyone around us.

When it comes to having a good friend, really, it’s great to have a couple of really good friends in life. You can’t be real good friends with everyone. Only a couple of people are really going to be those really close, good friends you would tell anything too, but we can be friendly to everybody.

That starts with our powerful greeting. When we meet somebody new, we want to start out in a very friendly way. We want to say to them, “Hey, my name is __________, what’s your name?”

We practice this in class quite often, actually, when we do partner drills in our beginner class.

Be interested

Another way we want to have our powerful greeting is to not only ask them their name, but also ask them something about themselves. “Hey, what’s your favorite ice cream?”

Here at True Balance Karate, we have the students ask each other what school they go to. There are, I think, close to 20 different schools that our students go to. Quite often, the student they’re paired up with doesn’t go to their school.

That’s a great way to remember each other and it’s a great way to show that you care about each other.

Give compliments

The final thing you can do is pay a compliment. Who doesn’t like to receive a compliment?

You meet somebody new and say “Hey, my name is ________. Hey, what school do you go to? I really like that shirt you’re wearing, especially since it’s a karate uniform and I’m wearing the same one. I really like your hairdo.”

I always say that to other kids that have similar hairdos to me. “Hey, I like your style, dude.” You always want to make sure you give those compliments and you’re very friendly to everybody around.

In order to have a good friend, you have to be a good friend. In order to make a good friend, you have to start off being friendly.

That’s our word of the month and we will see everybody on the mat.
– Master Helsdon