Thursday, November 19, 2009

Judo


I'm not a soccer mom. I'm just not. I think I have known that I won't be a soccer mom for a long time. Not that there is anything wrong with soccer, (or basketball or football or those other sports akin to them) and there is nothing to say that at some time or other my kids will play them if they so desire. In which case I will join the other moms on the sideline and cheer my heart out. I just have never been a fan of young young children in organized sports. TOTALLY a personal opinion formulated for my kids not yours :)
I did have it in my mind that nothing would be participated in until they were at least 6 years old. Well, here the big s.i.x. rolled around and he still seemed so young. But an opportunity came up for something I could get into: martial arts.
I have heard of martial arts being great for kids who a) need discipline and respect or b) need self confidence and drive. Anyone who knows Jake (or has even met him once) will probably know that he falls into the latter category. So a couple of months ago, I took a nervous (read terrified) boy into the dojo to begin his first organized "thing." Now even though the sensei had to literally move Jake whenever he wanted him to do something (not exaggerating and this reminded me of one of those gumby dolls), and even though he would not even so much as look anyone in the eyes or move a muscle to lift his water cup to his mouth after practice, I walked out of the dojo and got into the van with one EXCITED kid. He loved it!
And he continues to love it...looking forward to Tuesdays and Fridays above almost any other day. (He has also learned to move on his own :) )
Practicing front rolls
warm-ups: scissors

More warm-ups: Jake can often be seen smiling and giggling. :)

Sometimes he drags a little. The sensei found a creative way to hurry him along.

Sill more warm-ups...these kids WORK!

Demonstration

trying it out

Practicing their throws on each other

...and falls.
So why do I like martial arts above other sports? Because it is unchanged. ancient. There is a code of honor which holds its purpose together amidst a culture of disrespect, individuality, pride, and entitlement. A soccer coach tells the wrong little boy to run laps for talking back and he may be fired. Talk back to your sensei and you learn that is not acceptable in judo. Respect is held in a higher place than I have seen even in many Christan homes. Indeed, it is teaching ME.
The above picture is of Jake receiving his very first belt. It was explained that the belt holds all the knowledge that you have learned in order to have the honor to wear that color of belt. You may not wash your belt lest the knowledge be washed away. He was given instructions on when to wear his gi and belt (never outside the dojo) and how to fold it and how to treat it. So what throws did he have to perform to attain the white belt? None. What knowledge did he have to demonstrate? Respect. He had to keep his room clean. Do well in school. Honor his parents/authorities and treat his siblings kindly. Yep. This is my kind of sport and this is my kind of teaching.

video

Sorry for the rotation. I couldn't figure out how to change it.

7 comments:

Mainely Me said...

Sounds great! I MUST come watch him when we get home.

Kellie said...

so cute!!!

and jodi, I don't think I would make a very good soccer mom either. at least I wouldn't be the only one ;)

Ana said...

That's awesome for Jake! How neat that you found his niche :)
I'm nervous about sports for Isaac because I know what some physical activities can do to his joints. Poor kid isn't going to play football in high school because I shot one too many knee x-rays on 16/17/18 year olds with injuries that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. I think we're going to encourage swimming at an early age!

The Six of Us said...

Anna...swimming is awesome!

Kellie: here's to a rebellion against soccer.

Just kidding. It is not a horrible sport. I just wish kids still had the time/chance to kick the ball around in their yard for their first many years. Keep the joy alive.

The Six of Us said...

Anna...swimming is awesome!

Kellie: here's to a rebellion against soccer.

Just kidding. It is not a horrible sport. I just wish kids still had the time/chance to kick the ball around in their yard for their first many years. Keep the joy alive.

The Six of Us said...

Anna...swimming is awesome!

Kellie: here's to a rebellion against soccer.

Just kidding. It is not a horrible sport. I just wish kids still had the time/chance to kick the ball around in their yard for their first many years. Keep the joy alive.

Sheri said...

Jake - I am so happy for you and proud of the respect you have learned. What a great video and pictures. Love you so very much and can't wait to see your moves in person. Keep practicing!!!!!