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Excellence -- Learning From A Hotel

Last weekend, my wife and I went to the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort which is on the beach in the Poipu area of Kauai. My wife owns a travel agency and needed to inspect properties in the area. I got to be her escort.

The Hyatt on Kauai is a beautiful property, one of the very best in Hawaii. I was thinking about what made it so good. My family and I have stayed there several times, and we always look forward to going back. Here is what I came up with.

  • An excellent product.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Courteous service.
  • Knowing what you are and projecting it.
The first three are fairly straightforward. Any great hotel will satisfy these.

It is the final factor that made this interesting. There are many fine hotels and resorts in Hawaii. My wife and I have been fortunate to stay in many of them (thanks to her travel career). You'd be surprised at the ways different hotels position themselves. Remember, we live in Hawaii.

Some hotels try to feature every sort of Asian art, usually not quite the best but good ones or nice reproductions. In these hotels, you feel like you are in China, or Thailand, or somewhere in Asia.

Others try to look like European hotels. There are ornate marble columns, tapestries, and artwork from many parts of Europe. Again, many of the pieces of art are reproductions.

Still other hotels try to look like different parts of the United States mainland. I saw one not long ago that seemed to have a Santa Fe motif.

Again, we are in Hawaii. What I like about the Hyatt is that it features Hawaiian artwork and design. More importantly, it features its natural setting -- the beautiful ocean, the rocky coast, the sandy beach, palm trees, etc. You know where you are -- Hawaii (Kauai). At the Hyatt, the setting is the artwork.

How does this appy to Karate? Well, the same excellence analysis applies:
  • An excellent product.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Courteous service.
  • Knowing what you are and projecting it.
Any excellent Karate instructor will satisfy the first three. It is the last one that distinguishes some great instructors, and makes them stand out from the rest.

You have to know who you are, where you came from, and then project that image. In the case of Okinawan Karate, that means knowing about the culture and traditions of Okinawa, and including these as part of what you teach and the image that you project.

An Okinawan Karate instructor should not be like a hotel in Hawaii that is trying to be something else.

I enjoy the Hyatt on Kauai because it is an excellent property and projects an image that is consistent with what and where it is. That is something we all can learn from.


Charles C. Goodin