Renshi Lennis Darby - 2017 Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Nominee
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Our kai, or family, greatly admires the dedication and compassion of Renshi (Mr. Darby). What makes Renshi so great is not just the fact that he is willing to spend every day bettering his students, but the way in which he chooses to better his students. He emphasizes the importance of virtues such as: honor, integrity, respect, and humility.
Being a student of Renshi's, I have had many opportunities to represent MojuKai Karate in competition for trophies and medals in the South-Eastern United States. Although I am very appreciative for these opportunities, I have learned, by Renshi's teaching, that it's not the trophies that have meaning. The number of trophies that a person wins has no correlation with how good of a martial artist, or person, they are.
A martial artist should reflect discipline, respect, and honor, just as our Renshi does. Renshi teaches that the number one rule of karate is to become a better person. So, if a person wins first place at every tournament they go to, but they have a bad attitude, then the person is not an ideal martial artist.
Although Renshi teaches the importance of American values, he also focuses on fundamental, Japanese karate. He has a way of breaking down the techniques so that they are easy to understand. He also makes sure that his students understand the bunkai of katas.
Many students that I've met from other schools simply learn the movements, but are not taught what the movements are used for. This is greatly beneficial, because it helps to deeply understand the movements so that students can apply these techniques in real-life scenarios.
Renshi's teaching method includes that every strike is not simply a strike, but also a block. For example, the first block/strike that Renshi teaches is the upper block. He explains that this is not only an upper block, but should also be imagined as a snappy elbow upward into an attacker's chin or face. This is just one example of extraordinary breaking-down of techniques and their application in the real world.
Under Renshi we train point-style fighting, full-contact fighting, semi-full-contact fighting, but more importantly, we train applicable, traditional Japanese karate. This training mostly consists of elbow strikes, knee strikes, and maintaining control of the fight. Renshi teaches that the most valuable, useful, and dangerous weapons on the human body are the elbows and knees.
Renshi is at the dojo every day of the week, and sincerely enjoys this work. Renshi truly goes beyond the line of duty in and outside of the dojo. We are extremely grateful for everything that he offers us, and think that he is very deserving of the honor of Instructor of the Year.
Learn more about the Greatmats National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award or the 3rd Annual Greatmats National Award Series.
Renshi Lennis Darby
Enterprise AL 36330
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