Generosity 2: Students’ Generosity

This is a continuation of my last blog citing our students’ generosity. I constantly and consistently learn from my trainees about many aspects of the human condition. That is in addition to the deeper understanding of martial arts when studied from the prospective of the instructor as well as the learner. Here you will find more examples of the generosity of more students.


Some families and individuals find occasions to be generous. I particularly see this in people who like to bake. When the season calls for it (and sometimes for no occasion at all) they bake many batches and joyfully share their delicious goodies. I myself, as well as many other instructors, have been on the receiving end of this at the dojo.

Being a no-nonsense person, I had a bonus lesson in a practical reason for this type of seasonal students’ generosity. One person had made an off-the-cuff comment to me that stung. It didn’t take into account the value of my experience and knowledge as a karate instructor. I chalked it up to his unawareness and inexperience. I am sure he meant no harm in his comment. The next time I saw him, he arrived at the dojo with packages of Easter buns in hand, each personalized with the name of us instructors who worked most closely with him. This sweetened my attitude toward him after our previous stinging encounter. I didn’t take the buns as a specific apology. Because he regularly shared home-baked goods for holidays.  

I am sure that we all say things to others at times which they take the wrong way. Or maybe we don’t notice or properly acknowledge the nice things they did for us. If we share small, inexpensive, especially hand-crafted gifts, this can turn the playing field back into a more even ground. (FYI: Here’s a link for gift ideas that I would consider if I weren’t a baker and wanted to make something.) (No, I am not hinting for presents here. Just sharing my observation. [Remember, the greatest gift you can give your karate instructor is your presence: here’s my short blog on that from years ago.])


I first witnessed this next type of bigheartedness during a Spring Camp many years ago. Students who trained in a church karate program joined us for camp, and a couple of them shined in generosity when they paid for Spring Camp tuition for several of the other students in their karate program. These dojo mates were of no relation to them. These students happened to attend the kids program and the benefactors believed the children could benefit from attending camp and wanted to sponsor them in doing so. Maybe they also wanted to relieve the financial investment for the kids’ families. It warmed my heart to see these students’ generosity.


We once had a dojo ninja. To this day, I don’t know if he wanted to remain anonymous or to receive accolades for his thoughtfulness. Either way, we appreciated him and this student’s generosity with all our hearts and we miss him at the dojo now that he moved away. Our dojo ninja would stock up the refrigerator with water and sports drinks. He supplied the first aid kit with band-aids and ibuprofen. He also made sure we didn’t run out of sun screen during Spring Camp. We call him our ninja because he didn’t say he was going to do these things, he didn’t point out that he had done them. He just did them, in an inconspicuous manner. He generally lent a hand at the dojo and contributed greatly to our family environment.   Dojo ninja gave in many ways, showing students' generosity.


In my dojo experiences over the last 19 years, I have seen multitudes of examples of students’ generosity given to dojo mates, to instructors, to the community, to myself and to the dojo as a whole. I have probably forgotten a whole lot of the instances too. Here and in my prior blog, I simply acknowledge the tip of the iceberg of our students’ generosity, and the fact that I have learned much from their kindness.

Jenifer Tull-Gauger

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