The boys have been asking for some time to join Karate. They love watching Kung Fu Panda and Karate Kid. Beyond that they were thrilled at the prospect of learning to fight.
Eli received a Valentine at school that allowed for a month of free Karate at a locally owned place. We decided to check it out.
We spent some time before our visit letting the boys know that Karate is not about fighting. We talked about respect and self-defense.
The day arrived for us to take a tour. This place is amazing! The sensei wanted the boys to come at a time when no other children were there so that he could talk to them about Karate and actually have a short lesson with them. Only after that were we to decide if we wanted them to take the lessons. AND, they decided to give both boys lessons for free off the one Valentine. We were truly impressed.
The boys were excited to do Karate with the sensei on their first visit. We were excited to hear him talk to them about why they were there and what Karate meant. We were also excited to hear them tell him that they knew Karate wasn’t for fighting. They do listen to some things!
Official lessons started this week.
It has been fun to watch them learn moves with all of the other children. It’s fun to watch them listen and follow directions. It’s been fun to see Eli’s progress.
Eli, and all of the other children, is confined to a small piece of tape on the mat. By small, I’m talking 2″ by 1″. A little piece of red tape. The color of the tape alone is a challenge for him as he is red/green color deficient. But, he knows where the tape is. He stays on that piece of tape, looks at the sensei and follows the directions.
Class is 30 minutes long. He listens and follows directions for 30 minutes. He participates in a group of about 16 children and does well with it. He properly mimics the moves that the sensei is doing (guess all that Just Dance on the Wii is paying off!).
Just watching all of this almost brought me to tears. I was so proud of both of my boys. I could see the progress that Eli has made since he started OT and school and cognitive therapy. If Karate was one thing Eli wanted to stick with I would hunt down the money if I didn’t have it. He’s good at it. It seems to center him. It seems to be the thing he was seeking.
Tonight I watched my little boy and recalled how he was overwhelmed being on a soccer field with 10 other children and had to just sit because he didn’t know what else to do. How he enjoyed playing t-ball because he didn’t have to be near other children but couldn’t focus for the time requirements of the game. How he was anxious to start anything new but somehow found nothing but joy in starting this new activity.
My little boys is growing and changing. He continues to struggle in those areas that are hardest for him. But he is beginning to find happiness and a sense of peace in his daily life.