"I feel like a little pebble"

Yesterday was an initiation day of sorts. One of my students got bumped up from the kids class to the adult class. This happens for one of three reasons. Either the kid turns thirteen, gets their black belt, or just gets so big physically that they're just too big to be dealing with kids their own age in a physical activity. The kid in question turned thirteen, and as a good teacher, I told the rest of the class in the weeks leading up to his birthday, "Make sure you say good-bye to him... because you'll never... see him... again."

I've talked before about different types of martial arts, and yes I've pulled from many different types, but there is one thing that is certain about being in my Karate class: you're gonna figure out out to fight. Despite having a truly excellent moment in which he was stuck against the wall covered up in a "NOT IN THE FACE! NOT IN THE FACE!" fighting stance, the boy did alright.

At least he didn't hide in the bathroom for forty-five minutes like that one kid who quit.

I found out that after leaving my Dojo the boy who used to do that joined his buddy at ATA Tae Kwon Do Academy and is now a Black Belt. Kind of a shock to the class to discover this since the boy could not even get to green belt with us. The reason being is that he wouldn't try. Oh sure, he'd try really hard in drills and fighting when he was faced with an opponent smaller than him or in a show of class a woman, but faced with an opponent his size or even worse being made to perform a Kata and there was nothing there. It could be he florished in the other school with their instruction. It could be the art inspired him and was more suited to him. Maybe those were the reasons he progressed to Black Belt there in under year. Or it could be that ATA just wanted money and the boy's father wanted him to be a black belt. Such are the mysteries of martial arts.

So will our latest initiate to the House of Pain go the route of that previous kid? I highly doubt it. This kid gets the fact that getting a black belt under me is a years long initiation process which he is already a couple years into. He knows that there are going to be bruises and sweat. Sure he was a little intimidated fighting grown-ups and have to engage them in very physical drills, but he went at it full tilt with every tool that he acquired in the kids class. We only beat him 'cause we love him! Every time he got whacked in the head showed him where he needed to cover up better. Every time he battled back against the guys more than twice his size to the best of his ability his skills got pushed that much harder.

He was better walking out of that class than he was walking in.

He realized quickly that my group ain't right. We're a bunch of guys that enjoy hitting each other WAY too much. Its like we can't get through our weeks unless we have at least one good beating. When it was over and he sat there on a brief break getting his sparring gear off and catching his breath I asked him how he was feeling. He wasn't really sure. He said he felt like he had been beaten into a "little pebble". Kind of appropriate that we train in a church. Heard a rumor about some story that's been floating about them there churches about a pebble being used to take down a giant. May have to look into that.

The kid did good. Now let's see if he shows up on Thursday.


Pastrami said...

Ew, talk about tough love!

Crushling said...

There are days where I really wish I could take your classes.
...and then, on the other hand, there are days I'm really glad I can't.

Either way, sounds like you've got a great student there.

Marty Nozz said...

DJ's a great kid and a great student and will be a hell of a black belt one day.