It’s a Kick

It’s a Kick
December 8, 2011 Lainie Liberti

The master securing Miro’s padding

Tae Kwon Do

For the past 3 months Miro has been practicing Tae Kwon Do. He goes (almost) every morning, 5 days a week. Usually 2 days a week, his training practice is one on one with the instructor. I have watched my son’s confidence grow as his strength and skill improve. And it’s apparent, with each class, he’s skill is improving and I am so proud of him.

Every class is different. The classes start with stretching and warming up. Some classes they practice sequences.. Other classes they are focused on repetition. All classes utilize the practice of kicking as I’ve discovered this is the foundation of Tae Kwon Do. There are names of each of the steps, usually referred to in  Korean. I also love the respect integral within the sport. Before anyone contacts another student or the teacher, they bow. They also bow at each other when they finish. Also, all student must ask permission to enter the practice space. It’s fascinating for me to experience as someone who has zero knowledge of martial arts.


The class practicing their kicks

The class practicing their kicks

If you must know,  I had a difficult time with his desire to learn (and practice) this sport. This is going to sound silly, but I had pings of those mother-like emotions that reminded me he’s growing up. My son is just shy of adolescents at 12 ½, and I’ve certainly empowered him to make his own decisions. But watching my son spar, yikes! PEOPLE ARE HITTING AND KICKING MY BABY! My cries only exist in my head as I begrudgingly let go, little by little. I am grateful no one can read my mind as I sit there, but I’m certain, my face is a little more transparent.

Miro practicing his kicks at sunset, looking very ninja like!

During Miro’s last class before our December break, everyone participated in full body sparring. All four students were geared up with body, arm and leg pads. Martin, their wonderful black belt teacher stood close by and coached the spar. All four of the students are beginners, but their age and body weight were all different. I worried because Miro is the smallest, even smaller than the 10 year old boy in his class. But he definitely the most agile and has been practicing about 1 month longer than most of the others. Watching them spar, even with pads on was difficult. They  Nothing could have prepared me for that. It was another lesson of letting go. Miro got hit and kicked. Miro kicked and hit. And afterwards they bowed.

Perfect form, Miro practicing his kicks with the master

When we return to Mancora in January, he will practice for another month. Then he’ll be tested for his yellow belt. I’ll promise to keep you posted! If you are interested in learning more about Martin, Miro’s teacher, you visit his site here.

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