Monday, January 03, 2005

Before I Begin

I asked my son if he had any advice to me for my first lesson as a real Tae Kwon Do student. Not really, he said. Of course, it's not really my first lesson.

Since I signed my kids up for Tae Kwon Do, I've been staying at their lessons on Tuesday and Thursday after school. I sit with the other parents on one of those folding chairs at the back of the gym where they have lessons. But I found myself watching more than working on my crossword puzzle. It intrigued me. It was similar to ballet, which I was taking twice a week, so that had me fascinated. I'll say more about how ballet and Tae Kwon Do compare later.

When my older son asked if I'd like to be his "class buddy" one day (it's a way our dojo has of getting new students to try out a class for free), I said OK. And I joined in. My sons, their classmates (all children), and the teacher were all encouraging. ("Wow, your kicks are really high!")so I found myself becoming hooked. Hooked in an odd way: I'm intrigued by the movements, the Korean language, the way the class is run (warm up kicks, stretching, basic moves. It goes the same every time, just like a ballet class). Yet I'm less enthusiastic about sparring--face-to-face, hand-and-foot "combat" with a partner. And isn't that the point of this discipline? It's not that I'm afraid, or want to run away, I just feel ambivalent. More on that later, too.

But this month I'm going to actually sign up, be a real student, so I can't just pretend it doesn't matter to me. And besides, it seems like a cool thing to write about.

Will I take tests and advance in rank? Don't know. I'm not even sure I'll buy a uniform. But I'm going to try it.

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