The Time Has Come
I have started teaching my son karate. Cole is 14 years old, I never wanted to force him to train in karate, but in light of recent events the time has come.
As father and son we have always wrestled or punched each other for fun. Months ago, I don’t know which of us started it but the punches started getting harder, then he would sneak up behind me and hit me when I wasn’t looking, which always has its complications. A couple weeks ago, I punched him pretty hard in the arm; he looked at me in shock and quietly went to his room. I felt really bad, I know it hurt. I apologized a number of times. Afterwards I thought, he is at that age, Cole needs to learn karate; he starts high school this fall and everything the teen years will bring, knowing self-defense will be a plus in his life.
Cole has been to many of my classes and watched what I do and knows the basics of the art but know it’s time to learn more details. The boy has power; he just does not know how to channel the power into techniques.
Cole is a great student; he listens to what you want and does his best. I have had classes where the students have asked too many questions and you have to get them focused on the technique. He reminds me of when I took classes; the students listened, watched and did not ask questions. A few of those classes had Okinawan teachers, who did not speak much English so a discussion would not have been easy. Plus old school karate was more “Do and do not ask questions.”
We train at home on a patio the two of us built together over a year ago. Our dojo is eight feet wide and 15 feet long. We have a privacy fence around the dojo so katas have to be performed out in the yard. Training at home with my son has spurred my interest in more traditional training. I have introduced him to arm training which after only couple lessons he has picked up the routine. Arm training can be painful hitting forearms together to strengthen muscles and to desensitize the arm to pain.
As a father this is one of my most exciting experiences, passing down the martial art to my son. While most of our peers homes are filled with sporting goods, basketballs, mitts etc. Ours is filled with martial arts equipment, swords, and nunchaku.