It’s funny how some things come back to bite you.
When Jason wanted to learn Taekwando when he was six, my condition to him was that he had to keep at it and not give it up halfway. He said ok and started classes. He has kept at it for three years. There were several times over the last few years when his interest waned, sometimes after he missed a few classes because of a flu bug, or after we returned from holidays. But each time I encouraged him to continue lessons. It was after all, the only class he attended outside of school then.
Unlike Shannon who is resistant to outside classes, Jason found it fun because there were sparring sessions, the closest a boy could get to “fighting”. I imagined all the kinds of injuries he could get from sparring but kept quiet, because it was good exercise for him, if nothing else. With a voracious appetite, he needed all the exercise he could get.
He learnt at a Korean school for the first two years, and switched over to lessons in his school in this year, after they started offering it as an enrichment. He was happy to switch because it meant he could have fun with his friends who also took up the enrichment. We were happy for him to switch because it meant paying only one-tenth of the fees we used to pay outside!
Even though the school’s enrichment programme for Taekwando was conducted at night, meaning Thursdays were long days for him, he learnt to cope with his homework. It was a good lesson for him in time management. Somehow, his Chinese teacher would give work on Thursday nights. Initially he would whine and worry about not being able to finish his work on time. By the end of the year, he gamely went for Taekwando at night, and completed his homework on Friday mornings before school. He is in the afternoon session. I will also miss the dinners we have in his school on Thursdays.
After nine belt changes, he is now holding the red belt, one test short of the junior red/black belt. It will be many more months before he reaches the junior black belt. But we have decided to call it a day. So why give it up now?
Even as he kept at the lessons, it became clear he enjoyed the fun he had with his friends more than the sport itself. He has hardly ever practised the strokes at home. Meanwhile, he has picked up many other types of sports on his own. Next year is when he starts CCA in school. He wanted to join soccer, but said he would also continue with Taekwando, since we had always told him to keep at it. From the training schedule he brought home, it looked like each CCA had up to two days of training each week. Four days a week on CCA is far too many, to me. I would rather he has time to play at home, to do nothing, to catch up on anything else he might want to do.
So ironically, my husband and I were the ones who suggested he give up Taekwando. He was reluctant at first, but said it was because he would miss his friends. Well, he will still get to hang out with the same friends either in class or in school, so we reasoned to him he would not miss them that much. So he agreed. He had his last Taekwando lesson earlier this month. Here’s hello to new adventures!