Monday, November 07, 2005

Conversation with former TKD friends

On Sunday, I decided I was going to look for the family who used to do TKD at our dojang, but who left a while ago when a new school was started. They go to our church, and I haven't talked with them for a while.

I wanted to hear more about the new TKD school whose creation caused so much division. I wanted to see another perspective on it.

I posted myself where I could see them as they left the service (they usually go to the earlier service) and sure enough, they came out and smiled to see me.

"It's nice to see you all!" I said. "I've been meaning to find you because I want to hear about how your new Tae Kwon Do school is working out."

"Oh, you've heard we left Hughes," said Curt, the dad. Curt is a lean but solidly built guy with a beard and a genial smile.

"Yes, and I also heard that you're with a new school," I said.

All of them gathered round.

"Yes, we decided we wanted something that was more competitive. We also like to have more of a cardio workout, too," said Maggie. She's the mom in the family, about my age or a little older, and she's small like I am.

"We're a US TKD school now," said Curt.

"We like it, but we miss our friends at Hughes," said Maggie.

"How are your boys doing?" asked Curt. He'd helped my boys at a couple of classes last year.

"Well, they quit," I told him. "But believe it or not, I'm taking now."

"Oh, so am I," said Maggie. "I'm a blue belt now."

"I am too," I said, smiling.

"Maybe we'll fight each other in a tournament sometime!" she said.

"You know, I was thinking about you all this week because I was talking to Justin over at Hughes," I told them. "I think he misses you all."

At Justin's name, eveyone's face lit up, including Katrina, the middle-school daughter, and Sean, the high school son.

"Oh, Justin!" said Curt. "Yeah, he's a great guy. I think it was hard for him when we left. He was a black belt, so he could have left, too. Hey, tell him hello for us!"

"Yes, say hi to him for us," echoed Maggie.

"You know, we don't really have any hard feelings toward Hughes," said Maggie, as we walked back toward the Sunday school rooms (she teaches the middle schoolers, I teach elementary school music). "In fact, we really appreciate what we learned there. We especially liked Ms. Pryor and the way she sees each person as an individual."

I nodded. That's certainly one of Ms. Pryor's strengths.

"It's just that we wanted something a little different," continued Maggie. "So we felt we needed to start something new."

"Yeah," I said. "I really wish there weren't hard feelings. It seems like it would be good if some of the dojangs could work together a bit."

"Well, it was nice to visit with you," said Maggie. "Maybe I'll see you at a tournament sometime."

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