Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jane: From student to teacher

I was looking through my old blog, Taekwondomom, yesterday, looking for a post to share with Robbie. I found the post, one about the way martial artists' feet get all blistered and torn up in summer.
After I found the post, I spent some time reading the blog and I noticed that it's practically electrified with the excitement of learning something new. Reading it made me remember how I felt being a colored belt in TKD and having lots of good teachers--both Ms. Prior and Master Hughes, plus all the adult colored and black belts who were around me.

I loved it!

I think that between teaching and learning, I love learning best. I love that feeling of trying something new and working to make it mine. I don't mind being corrected, especially when someone's correction can help me get better at doing what I want to do. I like being able to see my own progress.

Today in TKD, I'm not a student so much anymore. My friends who were the adult black belts with and above me are all gone. Ms. Prior, who pays special attention to the upper-level belts, hasn't been to class in more than 6 months . Master Hughes is often busy with the younger kids (he is awesome with those kids). Justin hasn't worked out with us in ages.

I've been teaching a lot, too.

And so TKD has become much less exciting for me. Compared to the way I thought of it back when I was writing that blog, now I think of it primarily as exercise.


And as training for Robbie.

I guess that's probably when my attitude towared TKD started to morph: when Robbie joined again back in the spring of 2007. With him there, my focus shifted away from my own progress--which was fine, as that was about the time my friends stopped coming and I had to teach more often anyway.

I don't want to be a pushy mom who "makes" her son get a black belt (it's his belt, not mine), but I do want to help create an environment at the dojang in which he can train for that level. OK, and I have MOSTLY been the one to grab him and make him practice his forms.

This weekend, Robbie gets to show whether he's trained hard enough to be a black belt. He tests on Saturday at 11 a.m. It's a pretty huge deal, so if you know Robbie, send him an encouraging note or e-note!

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