Take Ten Anger Management Program

As a karate student, you learn skills to protect yourself and to make you strong and healthy. We ask that you not only agree to follow the Karate Code of Ethics, committing to use your fighting skills only when they are needed, but also to improve how you deal with feelings of anger and frustration. We want all karate students to be peaceful warriors, capable of using words to solve problems, and never using words or fists to hurt others.

Have you ever heard of “road rage”? That is when people really lose control of their anger and frustrations while driving and become violent to other people on the road. Hopefully you will never do anything like that when you grow up and drive a car!
But just because you don’t know how to drive a car does not mean you can’t have feelings of anger and frustration. Ask yourself this:

• Do I ever yell at someone when they hurt my feelings?
• Have I ever said something really mean to someone, like my brother or sister, when I was angry?
• Have I ever pretended or threatened to hit someone while I was really angry?

We have all made these mistakes, but as karate students we have to improve how we deal with our feelings and take responsibility for our words and actions. The Take Ten system can help you to talk and act respectfully and calmly even when you are angry.

What is Take Ten?

Take Ten is a system of anger management and violence prevention developed by Anne Parry, an educator who has worked with survivors of violence for many years. She currently works in the Chicago Department of Public Health on violence prevention programs for families, schools, and community organizations. In her book, Choosing Non-Violence, she writes:

Most violence happens when people are so angry, frustrated, or afraid that they become out of control…for most of us, talking about our feelings is difficult. It makes us feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed. And when you think about it, your emotions are not good or bad. They just are. You can’t be blamed for how you feel. But what you do with feelings is very important.

Take Ten is simple, and it really works. It puts distance between us and the person who has made us feel angry, sad, frustrated, or disrespected, by:

• taking ten deep breaths … or ten steps backwards
• waiting ten minutes … or doing ten jumping jacks
• remembering ten things we like about the person we’re angry with,

or anything else you can think of to give yourself time to cool off before responding with hurtful words or actions. The idea is — if you can’t express yourself peacefully, then wait it out, talk it out, or walk it out.

Take Ten works best when every member of a group agrees to do it. That way, when things get tense, anyone can call “Take Ten!” We use the system here at the dojo, and we ask you to try it at home and at school.

Staying calm and in control of your feelings when you are upset can also help keep a conflict from building up to a physical fight. This is why we call it a self-defense skill—one of the most important ones you will learn at Sun Dragon and one you will probably use more than any other!

We are grateful to Ms. Parry for developing the Take Ten system. For more information about Take Ten, please write Anne Parry, Director, Office of Violence Prevention, Department of Public Health, 333 S. State St. Room 200, Chicago, IL 60604.