People Just as Crazy as Me

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Karate Moms... So much better than Dance Moms

Emry has been taking Goshin Ryu since January 2013. 
In 8 months he has gone up 5 belts. These are junior belts, he won't be able to achieve an adult ranking black belt until hits 16.. so, these junior belts are amazing.

He is...good. I am being as unbiased as any mom can be... But, at six years old... He is good. 
He's been asked to move up to an older class... The kids in this class have at least 4-6 years on him (some even more). Half the class are Junior Black Belts, and the others are higher ranking belts, and there is one older girl who is a white belt. 

Emry got to teach her Katas (read: forms) his first day in that class...

Something about the extra responsibility has really turned on a light in him... To teach an older kid... It was an epic transformation for him and martial arts.

He tested for his Orange Blue Striped Belt last night. 

He tested along with a friend of his, one of the "group" we hang out with... We are the "Karate Moms"... More on us later. 

Well.... the normally excited duo of Emry and his friend... Was not there on testing. Which, is a little rare. Emry got on the floor, and began to practice... over and over and over again... A junior black belt came in... asked him if he wanted help... Emry thanked him.. and they continued to practice... Very disciplined... Very slowly... Epic. Just EPIC.

The other boy... practiced once, said he "got it" and then proceeded to sit on his mother's lap, then both of his grandparents... No big deal... You got it? I guess we'll see during testing. 

But, as someone who was very active in Martial Arts as a kid, I know that a major part of testing... is the prep work you put in CLASS and Right Before the test. It's your demeanor, your dedication, your respect to the style you are training in. The man that owns our school, is the Grand Master of this particular style... No one out ranks him in this country. (Please read: HE IS OLD SCHOOL.) 

So... When testing begins, parents are asked to leave... so 2 "Karate Moms" and myself went outside and chatted...

45 minutes later, we realize that testing is running a little longer than it should...
But we keep chatting, making plans for Friday night, and the dinner date that will be at my home (yup, I'm becoming SUPER domestic and shit.)

1 hour 30 minutes later... Both Emry and his friend exit... Emry is of normal composure, and the other one isn't. He's white as a ghost. At that moment, I knew why testing had taken double the time. 

He says to his mother, "They want me to do it again.. on Wednesday." 
(Please read: I did not pass... and they are giving me one more chance.. because they are kind.)

In starts "Karate Mom" drama... Whispers of the $45 testing fees are exchanged... Not with me, they know that I don't really get involved in that... I have a different perspective as to what that money is used for... You are not BUYING the belt... You are paying the instructors and the grand master to sit, and test your child... to see if they have earned a higher rank. The other moms... think they are buying the belt... You want that? I know a few "Buy a Belt" dojos in our area.... Your kid can be a black belt in 12 months, and not know what style he has trained in... Be my guest.

The receptionist saw the mini chaos occurring between the Mom, Emry's friend, and the other mother... who was waiting for her son (a higher rank) to finish testing. 
She sent out a Jr. Sensei... He's calming... You really can't "freak out on him."

I looked at Emry, "Are you good? Do you need to retest?" 
"No mama, I did good... They said I did good."  then he whispers "They yelled at him Mama, he was fooling around."

I nodded, I understood.

I heard the Jr. Sensei trying to calm the mother... explaining that this ONE time, they would let her son retest on Wednesday... he knew the form, he just wasn't respecting the dojo or the testing process.

I nodded again... And Emry and I got in the car.

Emry proceeded to tell me, how they made this other little boy do push ups on his knuckles.. That's how much he wasn't listening. 

I was instantly proud of my son.. usually, he is quite impressionable.. and will fall in line when something looks like "fun"... He didn't, He understood what this was.... And stayed focus.

That's a big deal in our book.

Now... Why are Karate Moms better than Dance Moms...

First off, if you've never seen an episode of Dance Moms (on Lifetime network), I suggest you do. To see the truly vindictive and cut throat worlds of a group of mothers in a competition squad for Abby Lee Miller's Dance Academy. It is an experiment in the human condition, and those women are failing... HORRIBLY.

Karate Moms... are different. We are... More laid back... To a point. 
We aren't overly caddy (as of yet) and we don't try to pin our kids against each other (once again, as of yet.)

But, we are very competitive. And when one kid gets invited to an older class (read: my son was invited to an older class)... They ask if they can come too. And I tell them that isn't my decision, it's an older class, and you have to be ASKED to go... or even ASKED to try it. From there... It's up to the school.

"But, if you come with us." 

Yup, they tried to do that... I kind of just shook my head, and said it wasn't my place. But, I was hopeful that their sons could join... as long as it was acceptable to the dojo. 

In our "group" there are 4 of us... There are 3 sons and 1 daughter between us. They are all only children. They all get along, pretty well... There are a few things I have noticed... Self Entitlement and Spoiled tendencies (from the boy who didn't pass)... But, over all... the kids all love each other.

I get along better with the mother of the little girl. Her and Emry have a great bond... And she really keeps him in check. Which is awesome.

The other two moms (Higher Ranking Belt Boy and Goofing off during Testing Boy)... Seem to have clicked better...

But, I try... The kids love each other... They will be with each other, in some fashion.. until one of them quits... or someone moves... So.. You got to keep the peace (even though you know that you are not the favorite...)

Reason why the boys are all doing a play date (god I hate that word pairing) on Friday night... We will do pizza and chicken nuggets and fries... and hopefully the weather will be good enough for a little fire pit/marshmallow action. *Fingers Crossed* And the moms, well, we can have some wine... 

I'm just a karate mom, trying to keep the peace... Letting my son do something he loves, and hopefully making friendships that will last a lifetime.

If I can stay out of the politics.. and Try hard to smile through the obvious disdain. I think it will be okay... I hope.

What about you?
Your kids play a sport? Is there crazy moms/dads that come along with that?
Are you a crazy sports mom/dad? Don't be afraid, I won't judge you!

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