Thursday, August 14, 2014

Karate Gus

Gus has been going to karate for a while now. It'll be a month tomorrow. We've had a few ups and downs along the way and went so far as to be totally unsure if karate was the right choice for him.

The first couple of classes were hit or miss. However, the one constant thing was Mr. Burns. A few weeks ago, we decided to take Gus to the Saturday class since we had a Build and Grow clinic that same morning, we figured, we'd do karate from 9-9:30 and just head over to Lowe's after for the 10am clinic. The class was a huge mistake.

Not only was Gus not cooperating, but the instructors did not know how to deal with him. Mr. Burns was not there, and Mr. Yu and Mr. Park were the two that ran the class. Their style is so different from Mr. Burns. We left the class feeling unsure if karate was going to work for Gus, and embarrassed by Gus's behavior. They were working on stranger-danger and it was clear that neither instructor wanted to work with Gus one-on-one. :-(

That next Tuesday, we came to class with Gus and Mr. Yu asked to speak to Steve to find out if we had decided to sign him up or not. We had discussed it over the weekend and said we were not comfortable with paying a lot of money for something that we weren't sure was a good fit. Steve told Mr. Yu that we needed more time to decide if Karate Atlanta was the right place for Gus.

After class, Mr. Burns approached us and asked us if he could speak to us in his office. I immediately felt a sense of dread... like he was going to say, "thanks, but no thanks." He had us sit down and asked how we felt Gus was doing in karate. He then said that he liked having Gus in the program and felt that he could handle Gus's needs. We openly discussed how we felt that weekend and like no one wanted to work with Gus. He said that not everyone is capable of dealing with preschoolers, much less preschoolers like Gus. He was saying without saying it, to not bring him when he couldn't be there to teach the class.

He then asked about how we felt about things. We were very honest and said that we think it'd be a great thing for Gus, but it takes time and a lot of patience for them to work with him. We said we felt embarrassed and sad for Gus on Saturday when no one wanted to work with him. Mr. Burns said to never feel embarrassed by what Gus does-- they can handle him and the last thing we should worry about is being embarrassed by who Gus is. He said that he hopes we'll keep Gus coming because he's learning from Gus and Gus is making him a better instructor. Made me like him even more than I already did.

So we decided to sign him up for classes. The week before school started he was having some issues. Last Tuesday (not this past Tuesday) he decided he didn't want to go at all. He threw a fit and then at karate he refused to wear his belt and was crawling under the chairs. It was horrible. Mr. Burns took away Gus's belt. He didn't participate at all and sat out the entire class. Then last Thursday, he crawled around under the chairs for a bit, but eventually came out and participated.

This past week, he started school and I told Steve that we might have to miss this week. He gets up at 5:45am and by 4pm, he's exhausted. Thankfully, on Tuesday he had an okay class. He started off not wanting to take his shoes or socks off, but was able to turn it around and go out and participate. He earned a black stripe for his belt for completing his turtle picture, and he turned in five "High Five Awards" and got another black stripe. However, he didn't have his belt, so couldn't put it on anything. He asked Mr. Burns for his belt back and Mr. Burns said no. Not until a full class was completed.

Then today, I was fully expecting the worse. It's Thursday of the first week back, and the "fun" of going back to school has worn off. I thought for sure that today would be difficult and he'd refuse to go to karate. Hugh had just fallen asleep at 3pm and when Gus came in from school, I asked him about karate. He wanted to go.

So at 3:30 I got Hugh up and we headed to karate. Gus didn't fight at all, went out and sat and waited for the class to begin, and had the best class ever. He was doing such a great job that he got to break a board... TWICE!!

And of course, I have two videos of the boards being broken. (Email subscribers-- there are videos on this post on the actual blog)

I was so happy for Gus today. Not only did he have a great class with full participation, but he earned his belt back, AND got a green stripe for his belt!!! Totally unexpected! He also earned a high-five award!! It was a fantastic class and I hope we've reached the turning point where he'll be enjoying it and wanting to go from now on! He certainly felt good after class and was very proud of himself.

The kids will be testing for their next belts coming up this month. I don't think Gus is ready for his yet. No one has informed us about him testing, so I think he'll be staying right where he is for a bit. I'm okay with going slow... as long as he's having fun and learning each week, we're happy. :-)


Post a Comment