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Where the belt test is slain

by John on April 9th, 2015

One could argue that I’m moderately fond of my children.

My life is far from perfect. I’m not the world’s most perfect father. Or husband. I’m not a perfect musician or writer or runner. I am not perfect. Nothing I produce is perfect. Nothing I attempt yields perfect results.

Probably the only “perfect” thing in my life is my love for my children. It is innocent and all-encompassing. It fuels me when life is a bit . . . overbearing. Why am I doing this? Why am I putting up with *whatever my brain has decided is bullshit right at that moment*? Why? Because I love my kids. And they’re worth any amount of any given bullshit activity.

So yesterday just cemented that fact.

I picked up my son from my mother-in-law’s, allowing him to eat a little candy on the way to the Dojo — a little sugar energy never hurt anyone. We got to the school, changed into our uniforms, and started stretching & practicing.

Before we knew it, the test started.

We recited the tenets of the school. We bowed. We did push-ups and sit-ups and jumping jacks. We stretched. We punched and kicked. CJ was focused like I had never, ever seen him. After each step, not only was he eager to move onto the next item, he wanted to know how he could do better. I love my son, but my pride for him was growing.

Normally, testing is a two day process — the basics are done with the local school, and then several schools pull together for a second day, where the form and breaking are evaluated. However, as previously explained, in excruciating detail, this Friday, the second day of testing, happens to be Good Friday for me & CJ. Testing wasn’t a possibility . . . so, we did our entire test yesterday.

CJ was ready for this. However, as many of the students were being dismissed & CJ wasn’t, he started to get excited for his new belt & nunchuks. I explained to him that, while he tested today, he won’t get the new belt or nunchuks until after the test has been completed & the testing results verified. It’ll likely be a class or two.

The lack of instant reward, for a five year old, is difficult. He broke down. There were big tears.

And this is where my pride for him grew even deeper.

I told him that he needed to finish the test, if he were to get those things. He sat down, wiped his eyes, breathed deeply, and got himself under control.

Next in the test, we demonstrated our forms. CJ was asked to do the first form, first . . . between the abundance of emotion and not immediately starting with the second form (the main form he had been practicing), he was flustered. He did quite poorly. He was asked to do it again, and he did markedly better. He was asked to demonstrate the second form, and did so, nearly flawlessly.

When it was time to break a board, he didn’t perform it on his first try. He breathed deeply, focused, and tried again. The board snapped when his elbow hit it.

I am so incredibly proud of that little boy. Heck, the “young man” seems more apt, now, than when I use it when I’m frustrated with him.

  1. I could tell from the video he wanted it. I am so proud of him too. I am so glad we got him into this activity. I hope it lasts.

    • Most every class, as we put our uniforms on, he asks about what he needs to do, to get to black belt . . . so I don’t see interest waning at any point. And now that Ben is in class, he’s showing an increased eagerness.

      Heck, I think, within the next year or two, he’s actually going to surpass me in the time he “gets” something new.

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