Wednesday, October 19, 2011

thank you, sir

which is what you must say after your karate teacher (called Shihan, for his rank) orders you to do 20 pushups.  The idea being that the pushups make you stronger, and you're grateful for the opportunity.  The pushups are the first activity in the ceremony to advance in rank.  The higher the rank, the more rigorous the physical requirement at the advancement ceremony -- on the day a person gets their black belt they run 5 miles and then do 100 pushups and 100 situps at the beginning of the ceremony.  Wimps not invited.

We found the greatest karate school!  After a few years of being asked if they could take karate, the boys saw their cousin Gabe do some of his karate moves and that was it.  That was the final straw.  There was no more asking.  It had to happen.

Does anyone know how much money it costs to have one kid do karate, let alone 3?  It's mind boggling.  I started searching because I was finally convinced that the boys REALLY wanted this.  But I wanted a good studio and good instruction.  We have found the perfect place.  Matt and I call it the Mr. Miagi studio.  It's not flashy and doesn't hand out advancements in rank according to a schedule or even very frequently, for that matter.  The students really earn them.  They are taught by instructors who love what they're doing, are experts at it many times over, and worked really hard themselves to get to where they are.

I love it because this school doesn't just tow the karate line that the kids have to keep up their good behavior outside of school, they actually check to make sure it's happening.  When a student is ready to advance, the school schedules a meeting with the parents where the parent has the opportunity to rat their kid out.  Whoa!  I see opportunities with this.

I am so happy to see how happy the boys are.  Each one loves it and they're good at it.  Really, they've been halfway trained in karate their whole lives with natural boy wrestling and the lightsaber fighting they were raised on from infancy.

This week Zach, Spence, and Jake each got their first advancement.  Gold belt is next and weapons training.  I can't help it, I get excited for them!

(I can't load the pictures!  Ugh, I'm working on it.)