Me First has been taking karate class once a week for the past two years. At first, I just went along with a friend to a trial class, without putting too much thought into it. My image of karate was the 80s Ralph Macchio version: lots of blood and violence. I wasn’t too sure about that since we seem to have plenty of both around here without actually paying money for it.

But that isn’t what karate is like, not in Japan anyway. The first entire year was a lot of bowing and teaching the kids to answer properly when called, sit up straight, treat each other with respect. Oh yeah, and a little punching and kicking practice thrown in there for good measure.

Needless to say, Brother wasn’t thrilled.

He has been begging to quit from day one, but I felt that he was learning something valuable that I cannot teach as effectively, and getting some exercise, too.

Eventually, he was promoted to a more advanced class where there was more emphasis on kata, or karate moves, and he started to enjoy it more. However, there are many more students and the teacher is no longer able to give the kids as much individual attention. That means there is more room to goof off, and if you give a six-year-old boy an inch before you know it he’s taken a light-year. I’m not sure Brother is getting as much out of it as he was before. The class now starts at 5 pm, which is just hard for me and for Sister.

I also have been concerned that Brother has so little time to play, since he spends most of his day preparing for school, being at school, or doing homework. Of course the prep and homework should really only take thirty minutes combined if he would just do it, but since that is not the case it takes up a substantial part of the day he should be able to spend just being a kid.

So Mommy has been thinking of quitting.

But then yesterday, Me First had a karate test. And he nailed it. In spite of the goofing off during lessons, he was so much better than his test six months ago that I was slightly shocked.

Also, there is a new female teaching assistant who is ridiculously awesome and the beginner kids performed better than I’d ever seen them do before. (This was our third time taking a test.) So now instead of quitting altogether I’m wondering if I can get Me Too into a class with this crazy awesome lady teacher. Apparently her father is a sumo wrestler and her mother is a pro wrestler. Cool, right? She’s stocky and not attractive by Japanese standards, but she oozes self confidence and is feminine and kicks ass at the same time. I’m thinking she’d be a fantastic role model for my meek little girl. But having two kids in two different classes two hours apart would be a logistical nightmare.

And Me Too is much more interested in taking ballet.(~_~;) I can’t even imagine what the mommy mafia there would be like. Like cheerleading on steroids, I imagine.


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