I was reading the newspaper and an advertisement caught my eye. A floor covering company was announcing their new Interior Designer. A photo of the designer was included in the advertisement along with her name and company contact information. I did not recognize her from the picture (it has been fifteen years!) but I did remember her name. I immediately thought….
“I know her. She was in my karate class when I was a kyu rank. She had a sister and they both took karate. They hated karate.”
The sisters were young teenagers when they started karate. Their father signed a one-year contract for karate classes. The sisters started out mildly interested in learning karate. It did not take long before they hated karate classes. The sisters told me how they wanted to quit but their father forced them to attend class. Their father was paying for a year of karate and they were going to take a year of karate.
They would complain to my husband and I all the time. They knew the exact day their contract expired. They attended class but they were not “in” class. The sisters would walk through the material but their minds were on other things. I am not sure what they learned during that year. The class instructors knew they were just putting in their time but still tried to encourage them. They were nice kids but they did not want learn karate.
As a parent, I feel strongly about my daughter finishing what she started. Three weeks into a five week play rehearsal schedule she wanted to quit. I told her “Absolutely…NO”. I explained that it was her decision to audition for the play. I reminded her that people were counting on her and it would be difficult for the entire cast if she quit. I told her that she did not have to audition for the next play.
Should it be the same for karate? I am not sure. I think back to the two sisters and I know they were miserable. They hated everything about karate. The class instructors spent extra time working with the girls hoping to generate a spark of enthusiasm.
The sisters continued to grumble and roll their eyes through class. They quit as soon as they were able.
What do you think…as a parent, as a karate instructor or as a fellow classmate? How do you feel about the sisters being forced to attend class? Do you think they should have been allowed to quit?