Many people intuitively know that Sports provide an excellent opportunity for children and youth to learn important life skills such as collaboration, team dynamics and leadership. This is supported by research. However, research also shows that it is not enough to just participate in sports in order to learn these skills; they must be explicitly taught (Gould & Voelker, 2012). That is our goal at the Leadership Development through Kohai Foundation (LDK Foundation): Teach children and youth valuable life skills such as leadership through the pursuit of the time-honoured martial art of Karate.
Leadership has always been a fundamental part of every Karate lesson at the LDK Foundation, but we believe it is time to increase the focus on those lessons for leadership. Our goal is to ensure that leadership skills development form a part of every Karate class we teach so students can learn how to be both a good leader and a good follower. Our mission is to incorporate the latest in leadership research to help students build leadership skills for use in every area of their lives; leadership skills that apply in every aspect of the student's life from home, to school, to work. As a result, LDK Karate programs are designed and built out of years of extensive practical experience and academic research. LDK instructors have over 60 years combined teaching experience teaching Karate, leadership, and life skills to children, youth and adults.
We are parents ourselves and we know that everyone wants the best for their children. This includes protecting them. We believe that one of the best ways to protect our children is to help them learn to protect themselves. To that end, we believe that children should develop thinking skills suitable for today's complex world, be creative, curious and appropriately independent and, learn how to learn; in short, learn how to lead themselves. To help enable this, every Karate class at LDK Foundation has a minimum of two instructors consisting of at least one senior instructor and one student leader (Kohai). Involving members of the Kohai program allow both the students, and student leaders, to learn from each other as they each build, practice and develop their Karate and leadership skills.