Monday, March 17, 2008

9th Kyu - Is Third Time the Charm?

Last Monday while I was working with the black belt class my daughter walked in the dojo. She motioned to me and whispered, "Is it o.k if I ask one of the black belts to work on my kata?" She worked on her material until class was over and then proceeded to show me her kata. She did really well. I could see that she was using more deliberate techniques and was paying attention to her form. I think this is the third time that she passed her test for 9th kyu.

I must be honest. I really want my daughter to study karate. I promised myself that I would never force her to take karate lessons. I have seen parents practically drag their kids to class. I want karate to be something she wants to be a part of ... not something she has to do. She has participated in soccer, cheerleading, tambourine dance and theater. She occasionally decides that she wants to start taking karate. This usually lasts for a few months and then her interest wanes. Last April, she asked me if she could start taking karate classes again. After some discussion, we decided to take her to the Honbu for class. Class went well but that was the same day that I tore my ACL. Needless to say, her karate training was put on hold ...until last week.

She has been around karate her entire life. When I was pregnant, I taught karate well into my seventh month. I have pictures of her sitting in her bouncy seat in the dojo. I even came across photos that were taken at a karate training seminar. At three months old, she had her picture taken with Hanshi Patrick McCarthy and Hanshi Chuck Merriman. She has traveled with us to tournaments and training camps. She knows many of my instructors and karate friends. She has been part of the dojo family since birth but has not steadily attended class. I always believed that she would start taking class when she was older ... when the time was right. She will turn nine at the end of April.

Maybe, just maybe, the third time at 9th kyu will be the charm.

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