04 March, 2013

Karate: a surprise

My two younger sons started Karate for the first time last week. This isn't something I saw coming! It is a culmination of a number of different things, including urging from one of my son's teachers.

Probably the biggest reason is that, after watching their big brother wrestle, they were keen to get into wrestling themselves. This was particularly the case with our extroverted, somewhat impulsive youngest. He was so keen to wrestle, but has no one his size to wrestle here. He's banned from wrestling at school in the classroom and in the playground (understandably), and was therefore a little frustrated.

One of a key discussion point among sporty kids at CAJ, especially as students go into middle school is, "What sport are you 'going out' for in the fall/winter/spring?"

The choices are limited. For middle school boys "fall" is cross country or soccer. Winter is wrestling or basketball. Spring is track (Australians call it athletics). Tennis fits in there somewhere or other, but I don't think it is an interschool competition during middle school.

Our eldest is a cross country/wrestling/track guy. So of course, younger siblings, being dragged along to watch their older brother will think about what they'll do when they get there.

Our youngest is quite verbal in his desire to wrestle in middle school, but that is still three and a half years away. And yes, I've counted that a few times, in only three years our youngest will be in grade 6 and in middle school! When you're seven and dead keen on something, three and a half years is like a lifetime of waiting.

Our middle son was less obvious in his desire to wrestle, but that is typical. He is a cautious soul. He thinks about things for quite some time, usually, before he commits himself. But he's been pondering wrestling.

So when a teacher suggested Karate, I jumped at the idea. And started planting seeds. I borrowed a book from the library about it and also showed the boys The Karate Kid, the original movie. This is how we work with new ideas in our house, especially with our two older boys -— give them lots of information and time to process it. Well, it seems that it worked.

We found out about a local Karate school that an American friend had had a good experience with and contacted them about checking it out. Last Wednesday afternoon my husband received a phone call saying, "Could you come this evening to watch?"

As I rushed to get dinner made, so my husband and our youngest could go and observe, our middle son piped up and said, "I want to go too!" I didn't even think of asking him. He nearly pulled out as they were walking out the door, but then decided to go anyway.

When they arrived home at 7.30, they brought the news that they'd both joined up!

I'm not a big fan of having kids, especially younger kids, involved in lots of extra-curricular activities. (I have a different opinion about older kids, by the way.) The younger ones need free time to just play, grow, and be imaginative. If not get homework down and enough sleep too. But now, it seems, we have our two younger boys doing swimming, and karate plus our youngest learning piano. Phew. I'm not sure I'm ready for all of this.

I asked our 7 y.o. over the weekend, if karate would help him wait to join the CAJ wrestling team and he answered, "Yes." Surprising me, though, his brother also said "Yes," even though the question wasn't directed at him.

1 comment:

Judie said...

When you're seven, three and a half years IS half a lifetime. And it's probably all his remembered life.
You'll have to weigh up the advantages of the activities against disadvantages of having to get them there. I assume you'd stay (Usually, anyway), & miss out on time working at home.