Saturday, December 27, 2008
Both of my kids today earned their brown belts in karate. Yay! It's a great accomplishment. They started taking karate about six years ago and had attained the level of green belt when we abruptly pulled them out because of some major issues with their then instructor. We were overjoyed earlier this summer when we heard that a former assistant teacher of theirs (and former high-school classmate of mine) had opened his own dojo (karate school). He took both of the kids back at the rank they had attained and after attending about three classes a week for the past five months, they were ready to be tested for their brown belt.
The levels of belt classes are as follows: white, yellow, orange, blue, green, brown, and black. Some styles of karate offer other colors for the ranking. Both of the kids, because they're teens, are in the adult class. It is a wonderful form of exercise. I've seen them become very toned and strengthened during their training. Every class begins with stretching and warm up exercises: jumping jacks, push ups, sit-ups, etc.
This sport requires a lot of focus, control, and discipline. They will begin sparring (fighting) and using weapons in their training soon. These skills need to be mastered in order to obtain their black belts, which may take a couple of years. They also learn a lot about the Japanese culture and the history of the sport of karate. Their instructor has to regularly go to Okinawa himself to be properly trained.
It has also given us (as parents) peace-of-mind that Geoff and Lace have learned valuable self-defense skills.
We highly recommend this sport to other parents of children who want to be actively involved in something but do not really want to be a part of a team sport (such as soccer, baseball, basketball, etc.), or are unable to - such as our situation - because we homeschool.
So, CONGRATULATIONS Geoff and Lace - we're very proud of you!!