I tried twice to get this typed up ...and each time I would almost have it done and it disappeared, and so am trying it again!
We started Karate a few years ago, for we go to a very small country school, and the kids were getting tired of school, and then hours of homework routine. The classes are small and one class for each grade, and stay the same each year so I thought that perhaps doing something new and meeting new people might be fun for them. So in town (about 30 minutes from us) there was a karate class in the evenings and it is very reasonable also.(different area so different elementary school so new faces) It has been so good for them and though they are tired on karate days and the next day too, it has been great for them. DD(4) can't wait until she is 5 so she can start too. Though the younger kids have to participate in the tournaments with the 1st graders.
I got up at 4 am to get the breakfast in the car, obentos, and supper in the car ready. I had some of it all ready to go and just needed to put some things together, put the sandwiches together, cut the fruit, make the rice balls etc. The kids had already gotten their change of clothes ready and so just needed to get their karate gear on and make sure they had all the protectors and gear all ready to go.
We got out of the house by 6 am and on our way to Morioka. The last 1/2 of the trip we were traveling alongside another member of our Sumita team.
We arrived and the kids went down to the floor to practice while the parents found seats in the gallery, and got all the gear sorted out.
I had talked to the kids in the car, and again told them that it was really not important to me if they came home with medals or not...
though they are nice to get...with hundreds of kids (400-500), not many can get them. I just said that they should do their very best and then they can hold their heads up high and they can be happy no matter what the outcome!! This pep talk was especially important for ds who gets intimidated by all the people who are so much better than he is.
Normally dd (10) comes home with some medals, and has gotten them each time,(though gold has been elusive for her) but this time she didnt get any, though she did fantastically and won quite a few matches and the ones that she lost, she lost by very little. She did really well. She doesn't have as many people in her age group as the girls tend to have less than the boys. She is my fearless one and is going to be a force to watched ,I think, in the future.
Dd (7) got 2 bronze medals last year, but this year she came home with 3 silver medals! She knew they were a different color than the ones she got last year, but she didnt know what that meant...was so cute! I was extremely pleased to see how much she has improved and how well she did , but even more than that, her face after she won bouts was just precious!!! I am hoping that this will motivate her to work even harder!!!
DS (11) has the most participants of any age in his age bracket, and ever since he started, almost everyone else was a black belt and they started karate when they were 4 yrs old. So he has had the odds stacked against him and has to win many more matches. He did really well and did win some and he has improved also! It is hard for him to have everyone be so much better than he is, but he was a trooper and just did his best and even won some too!
I was busy limping from one side of the stadium to the other to see all their matches. Our kids would often have matches at the same time, so I had to calculate to try and get there in time to see our kids. All 8 courts were going at the same time, I only missed one (the team one) that dd and ds were on...I was waiting at the wrong court...it had been changed from the written schedule but I didn't know that.
DD 4 was pretty good about staying near me this time...she did run off a few times, but managed to find her way back. We are pretty well-known there and most of the parents are the same each and every time, so it was fun to talk to many of them who I see at each tournament and since our kids stand out just a little bit, they like to comment on how they are doing etc. I recognize many of the parents faces now too!
DD (7) and dd(10) have very long hair below their waists, and actually that really helped to see who was who. When they get on their helmets and gloves, and they all have on the same white uniforms, those long ponytails that were light brown helped me a lot!!! Most girls here in elementary school have short, boy-like hair cuts. My kids are taller than most which helps some...but this year the long ponytails were GREAT! (We had finally found a hairdresser a few years ago, that had trained in U.K. and was used to our hair which is much different than Japanese hair, but the salon was washed away in the tsunami, and we yet to find anyone else who knows how to cut our hair properly. Thus the super long ponytails)
I had to take pain meds partway though the day, but I made it ok, and after resting it for the last few days, I am feeling better!
Dh told dd, who won the medals, that he would take them shopping, so off we went to go shoe shopping to buy better quality running shoes for the children.
Took about an hour to get there, and so we ate the supper I had packed on the way. We shopped and then dd(4) really wanted to go to our favorite sushi place, and so we went out for sushi too!
We got back home about 9pm, had bathes and went to bed. (That is all except for dd 7, she went directly to bed and I couldnt wake her, though I tried) They were all tired Monday morning and tried to convince me that they were sick, but Mommy told them that being tired wasn't the same as being sick and that they were ok to go to school.
I am so pleased that we have karate in our lives. It has been so good for the kids and learning discipline and getting exercise as well as self-control. They are learning individual as well as team dynamics. I have learned a lot about karate, and the parents from other cities have been great in answering my questions as we are watching matches etc. I pretty much had no clue about any of it!!
The kids are planning on starting to teach DD (4) karate now so that when she actually starts she will have a headstart!!!