Friday, July 24, 2009

A Thank You to Non-Martial Artist Family and Friends

A group of us were talking about karate after class in the dojo one night. My ten year old daughter wanted to be included in the conversation. She shared her view of karate... "Karate is time spent away from me".


I know I spend a lot of time with my daughter but it made me pause. From her perspective, it is time that could have been spent playing a game, talking, watching a movie or going shopping. This made me think of all the family and friends of karate practitioners and the sacrifices they make for our art. I was a karate practitioner's girlfriend before I was a karateka. This post is for all the parents, girlfriends, spouses, children and friends of martial artists.

Here is my personal list:
  • Thank you for your acceptance of the time I devote to martial arts.
  • Thank you for spending time and money accompanying us to the dojo, a tournament or an awards banquet.
  • Thank you for washing those heavy uniforms.
  • Thank you for listening as we enthusiastically describe in detail...a technique, a seminar event, a movie, a book or a conversation about martial arts.
  • Thank you for not giving strange looks from across the restaurant table when we use our butter knife to illustrate a bo technique.
  • Thank you for lending us an arm or a leg when we want to "try out" a technique we learned in class.
  • Thank you for understanding that karate practice can happen at unexpected a restaurant parking lot, at a picnic, at a community walk-a-thon, etc.
  • Thank you for your patience when Mommy or Daddy needs to teach class.
  • Thank you for your flexibility because sometimes diner is at 5:30 and sometimes at 8:30.
  • Thank you for not blinking an eye when we buy yet another custom made martial art weapon. (I have at least five bo.)

Thank you!


Rick Matz said...

I put my own organized training largely on hold when my kids came along. Mostly I worked on on my own, with brief forays with local groups.

I began training more seriously again when the youngest one got her driver's license, and especially now that she's graduated high school and will be moving off to college.

For what I'm training for, I haven't lost any ground; in fact, I may be way ahead.

Ice said...

I never quite realized how much time my Instructors actually give to the club.

Since I work out of a Non-Profit Club, the instructors are there on their own free time for the love of the sport.

Although I've met 3 generations long judo family where everybody has practiced the sport at one time or another.

I like your post, very insightful.

Michele said...

Rick: Thank you for your comments. My husband and I try not to be in the dojo at the same time. One of us teaches while the other is with our daughter. My husband had several operations over the last few years which has limited his time in the dojo and increased mine. This coincided with my return to full-time employment. I need to be mindful of this...

Ice: Thank you for your kind words regarding my post.

Kickin' McGrath said...

I have had to take time away from my martial training lately for family. Balance is so important in so many ways. Though martial arts training and family are both important and rewarding.So which ever you choose at the time will be well worth it.