About a month ago, I was with two friends talking about karate classes. Both have their boys (about a year older than Gus) in karate and were telling me about how much they love it for their boys. I had been looking around online for classes for Gus, but every place that I looked, requires you to come in for a free class before they'll give you the costs involved. Always a bad sign when you can't get the cost before going in.
So I had just figured that it was something we wouldn't ever do because of the cost. Well, they told me that there was a Groupon for $30 and you get a uniform and 18 classes. It's an unbeatable price. However, there's a catch (there always is). When you get to the fourth class, they'll offer to let you sign on with their dojo and waive the $250 registration fee, but you have to let go of the remaining 14 classes that you have coming for free. In exchange for waiving the $250 registration fee, you pay $100+ a month (something like that) for twice a week classes. If you choose to keep doing the Groupon and all 18 classes, at the end, if you want to sign up to continue classes, you have to pay the $250 registration fee.
The other option is to pay $99 for 6 weeks at a time. I am not sure what we'll do, since we haven't started official classes yet, and I don't have anything in writing yet, but it's something to consider.
So a few days after this conversation, my friend Heather called me to say that her son's class was having a "Bring a Friend" promotion and she asked if Gus wanted to come and try a class with her son Garner. We were excited! Not only had I already bought the Groupon, but I needed to go to a class eventually anyway, so we decided to give it a try.
Gus was very excited to see Garner and was excited to see what it was all about. When the kids enter the floor, they're supposed to bow (for respect) and then gather at the back. Gus followed Garner through this process.
When the class began, the master came over and each child was called and they said, "Yes, Sir!" and headed to the floor.
Gus and Garner
Once in their spots, they did a few warm-ups and then as each child listened to what the masters were saying, the masters were watching for exceptional listeners. The kids that did everything perfectly were given a high-five sheet that they took to their parent. Heather said that they collect these sheets and then when they get five, they get a stripe on their belt. Very awesome.
They got into lines and practiced kicking and punching and then the masters (there were three) took small groups aside, and Gus was able to work one-on-one with one of the masters. It was really neat.
Warming-up (Gus was facing the wrong way)
In line doing kicks
The thing that I liked the most was the respect that was demanded. They had to say, "Yes, sir" or "No, sir" after each question they were asked. I think it'll be a great thing for Gus and a great way to harness some of his energy.
We were told that our first class would be July 1st, but they moved it back to July 15th. So this coming Tuesday will be Gus's first class and he'll go Tuesdays and Thursdays. The third class is when he earns his belt, and I can't wait to see him earn it. Because of the summer schedule, they had to move the time back from 4:00-4:30 to 5:15-5:45 on the 22nd and 24th. I'm excited because these will be the 3rd and 4th classes for Gus, and Steve will be able to come with us to watch Gus earn his belt. It'll be so special.
I'll be sure to post pictures after his first class next week!!