By Manny Cabrera III, Chief Instructor
This past weekend, Master Cabrera and I spent time with the Chinese Karate Federation at their VIP Florida Kenpo Camp down in Palm Beach County. Even though we don’t practice American Kenpo, these guys (and gals) have adopted us into their family because of Master Cabrera’s friendship with the organizations founder and president, Sr. Professor Sean Kelley. Mr. Kelley has spent the last 27 years down in the Palm Beach/Lake Worth area training people in Kenpo as well as putting his feet to the pavement to keep people safe and clean up the streets as part of the worldwide organization, Guardian Angels Safety Patrol.
The theme of the weekend, as with all other times we’ve been with the CKF, centered around family. Taking care of your family, family values, and motherhood and fatherhood are topics that have always been important to me and they’re all the more real to me now that I have children of my own. This trip was the first time Mrs. Cabrera and I had gone on a trip with our children, Manny and Jonas. On the last day of the camp after all the kenpoists had left, Master Cabrera sat down with Mr. Kelley and Grandmaster Michael Robert Pick to talk about a variety of ideas and topics. Mike Pick is one of the original students that trained under and earned their black belts from Sr. Grandmaster Ed Parker, the founder of their system. When it comes to dedication, GM Pick certainly has shown it, both to the martial arts and to our country as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps during Vietnam. Grandmaster Pick has practiced martial arts now for more than 50 years.
During their conversation with Master Cabrera they spoke of many things philosophical about the role of a warrior and a teacher of warriors (read martial arts instructor) in society, eventually coming back to the theme of family. GM Pick told a story about when his children, now grown, were younger he would ask them every day when he came home, “What was your good deed today?” This simple question was part of a culture in his own home (and by extension his career as a kenpoist has been one of service. I think that this is a good example to follow. One that I will ask of myself daily from now on and when my boys are old enough, I will ask it of them as well.
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then actions must be worth a thousand pictures.”
What can you do in your own home, today, to encourage your children and yourself to have a servants’ heart? Make a list and do two of those things today!