Sunday, May 13, 2007


A man I didn't know was hanging out at the dojang Saturday. He wasn't one of the dads, and he wasn't a student. He must have come in sometime after class started, because at some point, I saw him watching our class from the hallway.

I was teaching (Justin had asked me to take over because he wasn't feeling well), so during a break, I went over and introduced myself.

(As the teacher, and as a black belt, did this for two reasons: to extend hospitality, and also to find out who he was--for the safety of our students and our school.)

He told me his name--Ron--and said he was just there "working out" in our weight room. "We were here a couple of weeks ago, too," he said, and I remembered seeing two men working out then, too.

As I organized the small group of students into a rousing game of noodle hockey, Ron came into the gym itself and worked out with the heavy bag--punching it, and then kicking it with some nice side kicks. He also swung some num-chuks. He was good!

After he worked out for a bit, he sat on the floor by the wall and watched. By that time, I was having the students work on combination kicking.

When class was over, we talked again.

"You're obviously a martial artist!" I said.

"I trained with Mr. Hughes back a long time ago," he told me.

"You're not doing martial arts now?"

"I've been doing some boxing," he said. "But I might get my grandson to some classes. He's six."

I gave Ron a newsletter and encouraged him to bring his grandson.

"And feel free to come in and work out with us if you want," I said.

"Maybe I will. Or I can help out anytime, if you want."

I think I understand a bit of where he's coming from. He needs to watch and see what it's like before he commits to coming back (or not coming back). He obviously used to be good at TKD--so it might be difficult to come back. Even though he knows the basics, and his muscles remember the important moves, he's probably forgotten some things. So he needs to think about it.

I remember when I started TKD. I started out as a watcher, too, watching my kids do it, when I'd always been intrigued by martial arts and part of me wanted to join in. It took a while before I let myself take the plunge! I didn't know if I wanted to make that kind of committment, or if I maybe wanted to channel my energies elsewhere.

Watching for a while helped me decide.


Kenneth Gibbons LLC said...

TKD is great. Loved reading your blog.

Kenneth said...

TKD is a way of life not just a martial art. So many other benefits besides self defense. Regards, Kenneth Gibbons LLC