Monday, February 04, 2008

Liam's New Belt

A couple of weeks ago, Liam tested for his Brown Belt, in TKD. He was supposed to go to the award ceremony last Thursday. Bbut we had tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms in the area. So we stayed home.

Today marked his first class, as a Brown Belt. And he officially received his rank. It wasn't the same as being among all his peers and accepting it in front of everything. But we still enjoyed it. The assistant instructor, Mr. Eric, did the deed and strapped him up. (Eric and I work at the same property down here. He's also great with the kids and very encouraging with them.)

After a year in karate, Liam is back to being low man on the ladder. His new class is just Brown Belts (2 of them tonight,) Red Belts (8) and Black Belts (4.) He's also one of the youngest kids. Inversely, the highest ranking kid in the class is Liam's age, in his grade, going to his school. With some patience and a lot of practice, this time next year, Liam will be on the top of the ladder with that other kid.

Oddly enough, but eventually exciting, they started with sparring tonight. Liam, it must be said, loves to spar. And as a father and a man, it is a joy to watch my boy rush across the mat and try to put his fist in another kid's face. Tonight, he fought three matches. He won three matches. One of them was against a black belt. His opponent was more than a foot taller. Two of the matches were flawless. His opponents didn't score a single point during the round. Only the Black Belt touched him.

Then they went on to start their new pattern. Seventh Degree Black Belt and Senior Master Calhoun showed them the form they'd need to learn in order to progress to Red Belt. Maybe 30 moves. Liam could learn it in two days, if he needed to. But testing won't be until March. So he'll take his time.

Afterwards, Master Calhoun posed with Liam. My boy and his first Sensei.

I'll save this one to show at his wedding.
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