We fell into Tae Kwon Do by accident. A.P. was signed up for a track class at the Y in January, but it was cancelled so we quick stuck him in TKD instead. What the heck, it was the same time slot. Within two weeks we knew the kid was hooked. He practiced all the time, but not how you would think a six year old boy would practice. He is constantly kicking and punching, but surprisingly, not on his sister.
The “Belt Test” was last night. This is a way bigger deal than I remembered it being. I took Tae Kwon Do in high school, but only made it up a few belts before I got punched in the face during a test and promptly quit. I felt that a black eye was not becoming of a Pom Pon girl, and no amount of foundation was going to cover up that mess.
It was an incredibly long event and remarkably, all of the little ones sat and watched for the entire three hours. Quietly. Not one child got out of line. Not one child pitched a fit. Not one child whined about being hungry or bored or even spoke unless it was time to speak.
Normally, even the promise of moving to a higher belt or getting to break a board at the end of the test would not be enough to keep a group of kids this size quiet for that long. If A.P. continues on this track he will be a black belt in about four years. The panel of judges were supportive, but tough. This is not one of those “everyone goes home with a prize” deals. You either do it, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you double down and attack it next time.
You want to see something impressive? Here is the list of “Home Rules for Children“. It’s so old school; I love it:
1.Must show respect to their parents and family members at all times.
2.Shall greet their parents when they enter the house and tell them goodbye when they leave.
3.Will be truthful at all times.
4.Will maintain a good relationship with their brothers and sisters.
5.Must help with household chores.
6.Will keep their own rooms neat and clean.
7.Must keep their body, hair, and teeth clean at all times, every day.
8.Will not interrupt adult conversations.
9.Will study their schoolwork at school and at home.
10.Must show respect for teachers and peers at all times.
Children who do not obey their parents may be reduced in rank.
These are the lessons I want A.P. to learn. Respect, leadership, discipline. Maybelle also wants to begin classes in the fall. Her motives are different; she would like to know how to “beat down bears”. Fast forward 10 years, and I will make certain that all the boys in her high school know that she and her brother are both black belts. I love this ancient martial art, and what it can teach to my very modern kids.
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