One look at that is enough to make a mama faint. He could have had his eye taken out by that black belt. He came home from karate one night and said, “cool, look at that, it’s black”. I began to protest that they should be more careful with my little boy and he rolled his eyes at me, “Mom, that’s going to happen some times.” That doesn’t mean I have to like it.
When we moved here two years ago we got Donny and Jordan into a karate class within days of arriving. Jordan had been taking karate already in AZ but moving here the school for his belt system was too far away. Donny wanted to get out of organized sports so karate was his new activity. They began together as white belts. They’ve been doing it steadily and moving up in rank. It’s nice time for them to have together during the week. They get to spar together in class, and not get in trouble for fighting! I like it because they have confidence that they can defend themselves no matter what. A bully won’t pick on a guy who takes karate. Also, they can protect me when we are out at night! I have body guards. This semester has been difficult for Donny to manage with his AP classes and college applications, and as he’s been feeling overwhelmed he wanted to drop karate. I refused to let him quit. I’m a stubborn mama, and I wouldn’t budge on this one. I assured him that he could go once a week til life calmed down, but giving up was absurd when he’s come so far. We really ‘sparred” over it. Then, finally, my burden was lifted when he was invited to test for his red belt. Suddenly, he was enthusiastic about karate again. I’m no longer over bearing and mean. Sometimes being mom means holding my ground when I can see with a wider angle on his life. I don’t want to be controlling, I just want him to plug away towards his goals and not get discouraged. Thank goodness we got through this rough spot.
Next is brown, then black! This January we finally have Kevin thinking about taking up karate, which thrills Jack because he’s been waiting for two years to be able to start. I am not a fan of little pee wee karate, I want them to start with the regular belt system so I made him wait. I think they are both ready. It will be so good for these guys to gain the confidence that comes with being able to protect themselves, especially since these two aren’t as big for their age as Don and Jordan are. It’s not always so nice out there for kids any more. Maybe I’ll take lessons too…I’ve always wanted to do it, but with a baby coming I think I’ll be needed in other ways. I’ll have to rely on my body guards for a little longer.
One more reason to welcome the activity of karate into a modern family life, in my opinion from a mom trying to schedule four boys, is that I am in control of the schedule, not some sport crazed coach who takes over our life with practices and games. I believe we have all the benefits of a sport but not the unbalanced family life because of it. The boys are trained in discipline by respectful guys who don’t swear at them to get them to perform better…which was our experience with the football days… so for our family, Karate is a good solution to keeping them fit and focused without missing every family meal on the calendar. Also, for our moving life style, we can pick up where we left off and not have to fit into an already established system where it’s who you know and who knows you. Next month Jordan will be able to test for his red belt too, he’s a bit behind now because last year he had an injury in his ankle that set him back. He’ll miss Donny next year when he has to go to his advanced classes alone. When Jordan is a senior he will be a black belt!