Tag: Combined Kempo Karate

A Sad Moment for Me

Mim's Karate Belt rack, white, yellow, orange, and purple.Yesterday, two boys in Mim’s karate class moved up to the next level (Fish’s class). I had a moment of sadness as I watched two boys advance who were lower ranks than my son and younger (albeit only by a few months).

By the time we got in the car, I was over it. I have faith in the instructors. This is a family run program and I think they genuinely care about the children they teach. I also had time to recognize that my son, is who he is. He has issues beyond his vision. We’re working with the school and some specialists to determine the best course of action to help him overcome some of the challenges and manage those that can’t be overcome. He is immature, and unfocused. He is undisciplined and has the attention span of a gnat. When I really pondered on it, I realized that what made me sad was that his deficits are holding him back. As parents we want to see our children soar, but as humans, we all have strengths and weaknesses. His weaknesses happen to be focus and sitting still.

One the way home, he told me about how boys who were younger, and lower ranks than he had been moved up. I was glad I’d had a chance to gather my thoughts a little before we talked about it. With his sister’s help, we talked about how the next level up is less playful and more focused.{As an aside I was very proud of how she didn’t rub it in that he didn’t advance and instead offered constructive criticism for him} We discussed how there is even less tolerance for tom foolery at the higher level.

I reminded him that he has made excellent progress. In the last year he has advanced four ranks. Then we talked about whether the advanced level is something he’d be interested in. It is disrespectful in karate to ask your instructor when you will be advanced (either to a new rank or a new level). I have faith in the program and I don’t believe in advancement without merit. So, I coached him to talk about his own skill set and ask the instructors for suggestions on how he could improve to be considered for promotion to the next level.

He’s young to understand the implications of putting his destiny of his own hands, but I feel good about taking that tact. We’ll be working with him to help him manage and conquer his other issues and I believe he’s good at karate and so long as he enjoys it and rises to the challenge, we’ll keep going with it. He’ll complain again, I’m sure of it, but I’ll just remind him that in karate as in life, it is up to him how far he progresses.



Mim started taking Karate in the spring.  A few weeks ago, he participated in his first tournament. He earned a competitors trophy (which is a nice way of saying he came in fourth out of four), but more importantly, he had fun and can’t WAIT to try it again next year.