Pete Gilbert">

Welcome to Karate Class

Over the summer our youngest turned three, finally. Why is three so important? It’s the age where you can sign your kids up for a sport or activity and you don’t have to participate too. Mommy and me swimming, parent/toddler gymnastics… nope, not anymore. Those days are over. From here on out it’s observing from the sidelines or even better yet, dropping off and picking up later.

A few weeks before the Blonde Bomber’s third birthday, I flipped through the community center summer activity booklet looking for something/anything I could sign her up for. Not much was catching my attention until I saw the following description:

Fun and dynamic. Designed to accelerate your child’s growth in a number of critical areas:

Attitude

Personal Discipline

Focus

Self-control

KARATE CLASS!

At first I thought this would be a perfect class for the Blonde Bomber. Then I almost started to feel sorry for the instructor that would be in charge of trying to teach her personal discipline, focus, self-control, and an improved attitude.

After some consideration (and juggling of schedules) I signed up my two littlest kids for karate.

Since my recently turned three-year-old would be with five-year-olds in her class, and I knew that would be pushing her a bit, but also figured it was worth a shot.

The class sensei was the nicest teacher I’ve ever met at a kid class like this. He introduced himself, talked a bit about why he liked working with kids, then turned to the Bomber and asked her if she liked kids too. Her response was, “I really hate kids.” Class was off to a great start.

Growing up I was never exposed to karate, so all the rules were completely new to me. For example, one of the class rules is no hands on ground when getting up or sitting down. Another rule- don’t turn your back on the sensei and answer all commands with “Yes, sir!” I think I like this guy.

The sensei does a great job teaching discipline to 3, 4, and 5 year olds. He was up front about his expectations form the beginning, he said he would be tough on the five-year-olds and make them do pushups for misbehaving while having younger kids sit with their parents if they are having trouble listening in class.

The kids have now been in karate for a few months and they really enjoy it. How could you not enjoy breaking boards, sparring, and flying jump kicks? They’ve earned a couple of their stripes for blocks and getting out of holds. They also recently each got a gi (karate uniform) which they completely love.

The community center activity booklet was correct. Karate class has helped them improve in the areas of attitude, personal discipline, focus and self-control. The sensei has pretty high expectations for these kids and for the most part all the kids are living up to them.

-Pete

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