Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Karate Kid

This summer we started something new with Austin.  Since he continues to be disengaged with any sort of sport, and since we continue to think there are positive benefits to participating in something regularly, Rob and I signed him up for Karate.  I was sold on it once I met with his instructor.  He pulled us into his office for 15 minutes and discussed why we were thinking karate, why Austin was interested in it, why we were interested in it, what we wanted him to gain from his experience, etc.  We explained that Austin was a sensitive lad who was easily brought to tears when he was frustrated with not being able to do something.  The instructor, Jake, said he was like that as a child too and he explained why he thought karate would help.  It will give him self-confidence, more coordination, and his progression is all up to him.  He will progress as fast as he is willing to work at it.  All in all, it sounded like a good option.

He started in June.  Karate is 2 times per week for a half hour each time.  Austin was very intimidated at first with any bigger kids in his class but after about 3 weeks he earned his first belt.


He was VERY excited about this.  With each belt you need to earn certain color stripes for various accomplishments.  Forms, Stances, and Self-defense (I think).  It works out well (and I’m sure they do it this way for a reason) because it seems every time Austin starts to get reluctant about going to karate he earns a stripe and that motivates him to the next stripe. 

We went through a small patch within the first few weeks where he was acting goofy in class with another student or two and not listening to the instructor.  This was cleared up rather quickly.  The instructor is pretty no-nonsense and does a great job of commanding respect (they have to answer him with “Yes Sir” or “No Sir”) while also being fun and positive.  He has even called Austin out on his “groaning” about something that was hard.  After he heard Austin’s groan he said “What was that Austin?  Did you say ‘Yes Sir?’  There’s no groaning or moaning in this class”.  Since then if Austin groans about something at home I usually just have to say “excuse me?” and he says “Okay mom” to whatever I’ve requested.

Last Wednesday he had his first belt graduation!  It was about a 45 minute ordeal.  We watched him do what he learned, and then watched all the various belts do what they learned.  Most of it was very impressive!  Especially the red belts and their bo skills!  Then there was a little audience participation.  Austin pulled Rob up to be his partner and got a chance to punch and kick his dad.


But, in return, Rob also got to put Austin in a head lock so Austin could show him his self-defense for it (which maybe needs a little work).

In the end, we had one happy karate kid!


1 comment:

Carol said...

Way to go, Austin. We are very proud of your accomplishments!