Hana! Duel! Set! Net! It’s go time, because the boys are learning the art of Tae Kwon Do with Master Woo, and they are up for the challenge!
Tae Kwon Do (or Taekwondo according to Wikipedia, lol) is a Korean martial art, popular in our area of Long Island. My sons asked to learn karate (they still mix them up) and I was so impressed with the Master at the do jang, and his ability to both train and discipline the kids, that I wanted to sign them up for continuous lessons. His emphasis on respect (in particular for their parents) won me over, and he has really worked with my younger son to get him to focus. He tends to check himself out in the mirror at the do jang while he kicks and punches, instead of paying attention of making sure he is doing it right, and Mater Woo has been scolding him to “Stop looking in the mirror! Stop laughing! Stop falling on the floor! Focus! Discipline! Or I will take your white belt away!” and well, it works. He listens and focuses.
It works at home too. Master Woo let the boys know if they don’t behave, and if they don’t come right to me and answer me with a “Yes, mama?” when I call them, to let him know to take their white belts away and make them beginners again. Respect, discipline. I love it. (i’m too easy on them, I punish them with kisses, and it’s just not that effective- their dad and their Tae Kwon Do Master definitely are better in the discipline department).
The tenets of Tae Kwon Do are respect, humility, perseverance, self-control, and honesty. Those are very good virtues for a man to have, so my little men in training are on the right track with a great dad and by learning the martial art of Tae Kwon Do.
For their first few lessons, they had no belt. The white belt had to be earned. On their first day, they introduced themselves to the class, and were given homework after- to learn the philosophy and tenets of Tae Kwon Do, and how to count to ten in Korean.
After, the real training began. Sit ups, routines, kicks, back leaps from one side of the do jang to the other as they raced against teams.
And finally, the day of the test for the white belt. I really regret not taping my older son break through two pieces of ply wood, because he was soo excited to have been able to do it, he yelled out “Woah ho!” in utter shock and amazement at himself (making the rest of the students burst out in good-natured laughing and cheering). I have iphone photos only (I didn’t know the test for white belt would be that day), and so quickly turned on the video to capture my younger son as he broke through his single piece and earn his white belt as well.
In the end, all I can say it I’m so glad we live in an area where so much is available locally for children that is so awesome for them- both fun and educational and wonderful for their development. In addition to taking Tae Kwon Do, they are taking swimming lessons locally, piano lessons, being tutored in a second language, and ice skating at a local rink. The local schools and instructors are all amazing, my sons have so much fun, and my son’s ice skating teacher said he is ready to graduate on to hockey lessons (the reason we started ice skating in the first place- he expressed interest in playing hockey). I just wish the time would slow down- the summer is passing too quickly!