Four years ago my oldest son started tae kwon do.  He joined the Little Dragon program and loved every minute of it.  After about a year he decided to join the black belt club.   Enrolling in the black belt club meant that he was making a  3 year committment to tae kwon do.  If he kept up with classes and worked hard he would be eligible to test for his black belt.  When he signed up he was only 5 years old.  Part of me was unsure if he really understand the committment he was making.  He attend class 3-4 times a week.  Once a month he participated in seminars.  He attended karate camps during the summer to help master skills in order to advance to the next belt.  He never seemed to get tired of karate.

Over the  years I noticed how much karate helped him grow.  It was amazing to me how focused he became.  He started setting goals and working hard.  He gained so much confidence.  He began assisting in the lower ranking belt classes.  He tried out for the school talent show.  He scored high on this oral book report at school. I truly believe that he was able to do all of these things because of the discipline he learned in karate.

At the end of March we found out that he was in fact eligible to test for black belt.  This is where the hard part really begins.  All black belt candidates are required to spend 6 weeks conditioning.  This is where they weed out the people who are not serious.  In addition to the black belt curriculum they are required to do running , sit-ups, and push-ups.  Each week the instructors are expecting to see improvements.  The first conditioning session my son actually threw up he worked so hard.   But my son politely asked to be excused, then got sick in the restroom.  He  came right back out and told the instructors he was good to go.  He picked up right where he left off.  Quitting was not an option for him.  At the end of class several parents came up to me and mentioned how impressed they were with my son.  He wasn’t the faster runner that day and he made a few mistakes on the forms but they were impressed with his determination.  I have to admit I was inspired by him too.  He earned my respect that morning and in the following weeks as we have found out that he passed his conditioning training and is invited to test this Saturday.

My son just turned 8.  He will be one of the youngest from our studio to test for black belt.  He is already encouraging his younger brothers.  I can only hope that they will be determined to follow in his footsteps.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Elizabeth
    May 10, 2012 @ 17:20:04

    I love this! I love that Ethan has that kind of drive and personality! I wonder where he gets it? 😉 Keep us posted on his test!


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