Saturday, February 28, 2009

Karate Kid

Four years ago, my cousin (who is like a brother to me and my kids call Uncle Mark), came to visit us and brought a copy of the Karate Kid. DD11 really enjoyed it. Soon after, she started begging me for karate lessons. As much as I tried to tell her taking karate would not be like getting lessons from Mr. Miagi, she persisted. I found a studio less than a mile from our home that offered two weeks free. I told her she could try it out for 2 weeks and then we would make a decision. I thought for sure she would hate it, but she went every day that two weeks.

About one year later, she had the option to commit to earning her black belt. In parent terms, this meant a 2-year contract with the studio and $$$$$. We talked it over with her and the seriousness of such a commitment. At the time, she was 8 years old. We explained that she would have to follow through, but after the 2 years, she could go on and try something else. So last year she earned her black belt. Family drove in from out of town and we had a big party with her friends to celebrate her accomplishment.

At that point, her commitment was fulfilled and she could go on and try something else if she wanted. She wouldn't hear of it. I really couldn't argue because I felt what she was learning at the studio coincided nicely with our family values and it is great exercise that counts as PE for us.

Fast forward one year -

Last night, she had another belt test. It's a black belt with a green stripe. I thought it was her 2nd degree black belt, but she has another year before she earns that.

As I watched her kicking, blocking, rolling and sparring I was in awe of how much she had grown. She was so coordinated and her movements were smooth and direct.

Here are some pictures from her test last night.

In this picture, she has to use techniques she's learned to fight off two "opponents". Her daddy especially liked this part.

I thought this was just a good action shot.

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