One day, there was a New York businessman who was running late for work. As he rushed to catch the train, he noticed a homeless man selling pencils at a table. In his frenzy, he dropped a dollar into the cup and hurriedly stepped aboard the subway train.
On the second thought, he stepped back off the train, walked over to the homeless man and took several pencils from the cup. Apologetically, he explained that in his haste he had neglected to pick up his pencils, and he hoped the man wouldn’t be upset with him. “After all,” he said. “You are a business man just like myself. You have merchandise to sell, and it’s fairly priced.” He then caught the next train.
At a social convention a few months later, a neatly dressed salesman stepped up to the businessman an introduced himself. “You probably don’t remember me, and I don’t know your name but I will never forget you. You are the man who gave me back my self-respect. I was a ‘beggar’ selling pencils until you came along and told me I was a business person.”
What a great story right! But what does this have to do with martial arts? In my experience I have literally seen the martial arts change lives and have even seen it save lives! Learning how to fight or defend oneself is only one part of our martial arts practice. What makes someone a truly great martial artist is when they demonstrate the principles of black belt in their daily lives; modesty, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. I’m not sure if the businessman was a martial artist or not but let’s all follow his lead and make the effort to build each other up. That’s living the black belt lifestyle!
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Mr. Soares began training in the martial arts at the age of 13 and shortly after graduating High School he earned his Black Belt. Mr. Soares opened a small karate club in 1992. In 1999 he went to serve in the Massachusetts Army National Guard for ten years. During that time Mr. Soares was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as a Flight Medic. While there, in addition to his duties, he also taught self-defense to soldiers in his unit as well as soldiers from other countries. In 2011 he opened Lance Soares’ Family Martial Arts Center in New Bedford and has since served as its director and chief instructor. Mr. Soares is currently an 5th Degree Black Belt in the Parker system of Kenpo Karate.