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Where the belt test looms

by John on April 7th, 2015

Last weekend, I ran a half marathon. This coming weekend, I have a full marathon. I’m Daddy Runs a Lot. You’d think my thoughts would be focused on the running.

But they aren’t.

That first word is Daddy — and that’s a big word. The meat in the running sandwich, this week, is a karate belt test. CJ started taking Tang Soo Do over the summer. And, when it was time for us to determine whether we were going to have him continue or finding something else to try to burn off endless child energy focus his attentions, I asked him if he’d like karate better if I did it with him. CJ was pretty emphatic that karate would be “more better” if I did it with him. So I signed up.

Being an adult among the kids is kind of fun. I’m someone who takes his fitness very seriously – I end up being a combination instructor/authority figure/student in class. I can’t really do much in the ways of explaining how to do a specific move/form (because I’m still learning them all, myself), but basic exercises? Well, I’m a helpful coach for push-ups, sit-ups, suicide runs, etc.

Anyway, tomorrow, CJ & I are looking at our second belt test (we tested, and received, our yellow belts a few months ago, assuming we pass, we’ll have orange belts). This is a pretty significant hurdle for CJ – because it means that he’ll be allowed to start his weapons training (to receive the next belt after orange, you need to demonstrate a nunchuk form). I’m still coming to grips with the fact that we’ll be giving my son nunchuks (though, to be fair, he’s held my old wooden nunchucks from my Kung-Fu days).

Anyway, martial arts schools don’t necessarily do well in not allowing their students achieve what they set out for — the fact that CJ has been invited to test means that his instructor has seen enough from him that he’s confident that CJ will pass the test. But CJ doesn’t know that. As far as CJ is concerned, tomorrow will be a “get it or not get it” moment. And he has been FOCUSED. He wants to start training with nunchuks. Heck, the other day, he started talking about how he really wants a black belt — and the focus has me super excited.

But, before we get to getting nunchuks. Before we get to black belt planning, we have to get through the next belt test. And the “biggie” is the second high form. CJ knows it . . . he knows it down cold. But when he does it in a group setting? He second-guesses himself. He watches what others are doing and, sometimes, overthinks himself. My mission? To get CJ to have confidence in his abilities.

CJ – if you mess up, do it confidently. Be strong. Be proud. If you hit a wall? Make sure there is a CJ-shaped hole in your wake.

  1. I miss taking our son to Karate. He loved it…and was VERY good at sword form…but to think that someday he would have a REAL Samurai sword in his hands??

    Good luck to both of you.
    I know CJ will test well and be proud of honoring the orange at the next belt ceremony! 🙂

    • CJ rocked the test . . . it’s funny. Karate is a little bit of a chore sometimes — it requires that I get out of work early, juggle schedules between 3-4 people in order to ensure that I get him there. I’m ALWAYS hungry/tired at the start of class.

      But? Seeing CJ get something. Watching him try, fail, try, fail, try, and then get it? Yeah, it’s really cool — I’m quite happy to be doing this alongside him.

      Yesterday, he got his new belt 🙂

      And the nunchucks. I worry about the breakable stuff in the house, now.

  2. Rachel was dying to take TKD, so Christian decided to do it with her. I could tell that earning the stripes on her white belt was giving her a sense of accomplishment, but I’m not sure she’ll continue after two 6 week sessions. She’s disappointed that she’s not learning ninja moves right off the bat. Kinda like how Claire insisted to her ballet teacher that the technical moves they were learning wasn’t ballet. Those two kill me.

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