Passing Along Gifts to Children

Many years ago, I worked in the field of mental health. It was brutally difficult but a great learning experience. One of the issues that stayed with me forever involved counseling a father whose son committed suicide. It was tragic obviously, yet it was also very strange. The father suffered from depression and often talked about ending his life. In fact, he had an exact, set-by-set method which, of course, he told no one. Not his wife. Not his priest. Never spoke the words out loud at all. Ever.

His son killed himself in the identical manner which the father had always thought about. Very sad and very eerie. How could the son know?

Even in tragedy, lessons can be learned. Be careful what you think. Be cautious of how you act. Your children are always watching, listening and absorbing even in ways we may not understand.

There are a number of students at Central FL Systema who are proud parents. Chris, RJ, Tom, Carlos and others have children of various ages. Through Systema, they are providing their children many gifts and probably are not even aware of them.

Chris, for example, has 2 daughters. For starters, he is a dedicated martial artist – talented, trustworthy respectful. There are times when he cannot make it to class because his daughters have an event that conflicts. So being the great father that he is, Chris drives them to said event.

His daughters are young but even at this age, you can see the strengthening of character starting to build. Bet the house that when they become adults, they too will be trustworthy, respectful, strong adults. Like dad. These are the gifts that get passed along via consistent action. Want to know how your children will handle a given situation? How did you? That will be a pretty good indicator. Through Systema, we get to practice major topics such as overcoming fear, building courage, respecting others etc. These are the gifts we pass along, intentionally or otherwise.

Systema goes well beyond martial arts and self-defense. Once understood, it is a way of life. Once applied, it is a gift that can be passed along for generations.