“Hajime!” Sensei Gayle Fillman bellowed in Japanese, clapping two wooden blocks together. On cue, the knot of children crept forward on the mats hoping to outwit their teacher in a game of Aikido-style “greenlight-redlight.”
“Yame!” The children froze at the Japanese command for “stop.” For just a moment, the air was thick with the temptation to sneak in a few extra steps while the teacher was distracted. But no one so much as wiggled a toe.
“We don’t move even if sensei can’t see us,” said 13-year-old Grey Ghergetta. “Because we use our integrity,” said Timberlake, who excels in Aikido and mentors the younger children. “Integrity is kinda like trust kinda like our conscience,” he said. “It’s actually a pretty good skill to use in life I think.”
Integrity. Honor. Self respect. Harmony. This is the language of Aikido and what anchors the foster children participating in Tapestry Family Services’ after school treatment program.”
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