Isaac is taking tae kwon do lessons and is doing really well. We take him 3 nights per week and he has made a bunch of great progress. We had mainly hoped that the exercise and discipline would be a big benefit for him. I had a lot of mixed feelings in his taking lessons though. I am certainly not a pacificist, but encouraging your kid to fight seems like a whole different level of crazy. I know tae kwon do and most martial arts are intended to be used for defense, but I have to tell you, if you have ever seen tae kwon do practitioners in action, you’ll quickly see that it is not a passive defensive art. If you tangle with someone who is well versed in tae kwon do, and if you don’t know when to stop, you may not wake up from a fight.
Ok, that sounds dramatic but its methods are comprised of violent and aggressive actions that could easily be misused. Tae kwon do uses a tremendous amount of kicking and specialized punches meant to deliver ultimate force so misuse could easily result in serious injury. So, a big part of class is discipline and respect and knowing when to use the art. Another part of class, however, is practical. Each night, the students spar. The older people (i.e. not 6 year olds) and the black belts really go at it and hit hard. Isaac is not a black belt or an older kid but he is getting bigger and his age is starting to “play” hard. Imagine my nerves when Isaac volunteered to fight last night.
I was a bundle of nerves hoping he didn’t get hurt and that he didn’t hurt someone else. Isaac and the other student walked to the ring, bowed all around and took their fighting stances. The instructor called, “fight” and the boy went to town. He fought and fought well. He is nimble and fast and was -now get this – a lot of fun to watch in a fight. Isn’t it weird how I went from fear to pride instantly? Anyhow, he delivered a bunch of punches and kicks and took a lot too.
The best part of the fight was that we made eye contact as he walked out of the ring after the fight. We both smiled and nodded our heads in understanding. He’ll be just fine.