(I want to express my gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Spicar from Spicar Martial Arts in Southlake, TX for facilitating this journey for Paul Vincent and being allies in his development and growth. You may not know that you play an important role in the life of all the children that you teach. A part of what they are and a part of what they will be has been forged by you!)
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
AT 8 YEARS OLD, MY SON IS A FIRST DEGREE BLACK BELT!
We started my son in karate when he was 4 years old. At first, we just wanted him to play a sport and be with his friends. We also thought karate would be good for his motor skills, to learn discipline and courtesy, to burn off all that energy young children have and to someday be able to defend himself against bullies and potential abusers. When Paul Vincent started as a little tiger, he looked so cute in his uniform! It was too big for him but he looked adorable. As a little tiger, he basically learned the basic form of Tae Kwon Do and played fun games that were geared towards improving his coordination, building those pathways in his brain so that he could focus, learn, and do. I was ecstatic the first time I told him to do something and he responded with a stern and loud “yes, ma’am!” at 4 years of age! I thought “just for this, you are staying in karate!”
Now, a little over four years later, my son is a first degree black belt. He respects the sport and just now “gets it!” He said to me yesterday during a ride in the car: “mommy, I love karate. It is really my thing. Although, I sometimes feel like not going to class because I am tired, I love karate and I know being a black belt is only the beginning. I want to continue”. I was very proud of him for saying those words and for his honesty and commitment to his passion. We have seen him grow in karate and the days as a little tiger are long gone. Now my son is on his path to becoming something greater; something that he doesn’t even realize yet. He is on the path of becoming a man of principle, commitment, and values. Just like the tenets of Tae Kwon Do, my son is on his journey to mastering “courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.” He says those tenets 4 times a week during class but he is doing much more than just saying them: he is becoming them!
I wait excitedly for what the future holds for my son. I certainly don’t have a crystal ball to see into his future (although I would love to!) But I know his experience in Tae Kwon Do will certainly help him to become the best version of himself.