Isaac started taking Tae kwon do a little over 2 years ago (I looked back at that picture of him when he started…*sniff, sniff* where is my baby?) and I had pretty mixed emotions about the whole deal. I mean, taking your kid to a class where they learn how to fight, and I mean seriously fight…it just sort of seems messed up to me…or at least it did. Isaac took his black belt test today and passed beautifully. He has mastered his forms and knows many good kicks. He had to break a number of boards and spar with several other students. He really demonstrated that his skills are well defined and that his training has paid off. As I watched him spar the other students, I saw Isaac take some hits and land some hits. In both cases though, he handled it. He’s not just a little kid any more. He handled a challenge, he overcame a little pain and he fought hard and with determination. He’s become such a different (and better) young man than when he started TKD.
I think the thing that made me most proud today was how he handled himself and his nerves. Of course it is a big deal to test for the black belt. What he didn’t fully know is the degree to which he was to be quizzed on everything. The instructors asked him all sorts of questions on all sorts of topics and he really made me proud. He answered with thoughtful, complete answers that were more mature than I ever expected.
Teaching a kid to fight is one way to look at learning TKD. I think the more important view is that TKD teaches a young man how to handle himself in many situations. I think this whole process taught me something too. My son is growing up and I am learning just how exciting it is to watch my little boy grow into a young man. *sniff sniff*