Saturday, October 27, 2007


Sam is a wonderful child. Sam is a willful child. Sam's will is not always the most peaceful or disciplined will.

Therefore, I'm going to teach him to fight.

Well, sort of. We're thinking of enrolling him in a karate program, not only for the exercise, but also for the philosophy of restraint, discipline, blah, blah, blah. (I'm such a good example.)

With this in mind, we headed over to Buddy Day at a friend's karate studio. At first Sam was really excited. And then, when he found out he didn't have a uniform, he was really bummed out and didn't want to go. And then, when I laid down the law and told him we were going no matter what, he caved and started asking lots (and lots and lots) of questions. And although the real answer to almost all of these questions was, "I don't know," I made up plausible replies for most of them.

The karate studio was really cool. Our buddy wasn't there when we got there, so we were just hanging out when Master L came by to introduce himself. He was incredibly nice. In fact, everyone there was. I'm not sure what I expected, but every employee that spoke to Sam asked him if he was ready to have fun. Not if he was ready to learn. Not if he thought karate was cool. Not if he wanted to know some cool moves. But if he wanted to have fun.

I totally approve.

The class itself was really fast-paced and fun. Sam was able to follow along with everything, and the teacher remembered his name after hearing it once. In a class of 19.

After class he watched a bigger kid class for the longest time. He was absolutely fascinated. He had more questions. Chief among them: When do I get my white belt?

I think I'm going to have to sell one of my children in order to be able to afford to enroll Sam. But it might be worth it. He's in love.

Watching the class, I couldn't help but think that it might be really good for Jack. They have classes for younger kids, and I'm thinking that it might give him a really positive way to learn to follow directions. I talked to Master L about it and he told me that they're a little easier on the younger class because they're, you know, three. And four.

And when I told him that Jack had some developmental delays so I wasn't sure that he'd be able to hack it in the class, Master L didn't even blink. He just told me that they treat everyone the same and that we were welcome to bring him in to let him try it out. Now I don't just want to sign Jack up, I want to marry Master L.

Of course if I did sign Jack up, I would not only have to sell Quinn, but we'd have to have another kid and sell him too. Karate ain't cheap.

And Sam? The first thing he did upon coming home was try to beat the shit out of Alex, but the next thing he did was a fancy move he'd picked up by watching the older kid class.

Anybody want to buy a 2-year-old?


  1. Definitely not in the market for a 2 year old - but I hope the Karate works out. The discipline alone has to be good for any kid!

  2. It sounds great. And after Quinn has taken the class and is a black belt and then reads this blog you better watch out. Y.M.

  3. I read a book written by a boy with Asperger's, and one of the things he emphasized was how much he had benefited from martial arts - he described it as the perfect fit for someone with autism (the discipline, the rules, the learning style).

    Bub has benefited enormously from his gymnastics class - but the first few classes were a total disaster, and I was really impressed by the willingness of the staff to work with him instead of viewing him as a disruption.

  4. Tae kwon do has changed Ben's life. He is more centered, more disciplined, more mature.

    Believe it or not. I think it's been fabulous for him.

    It is, however, alarmingly expensive.

  5. I'll trade your 2-year-old for my two 3-1/2-year-olds. Even Steven.

  6. Uh, no thanks. Maybe you could just do "favors" for Master L to pay off the karate? ;-)(TOTALLY KIDDING! OMG, REALLY!)

    Who knew martial arts was (are?) so expensive?? I hope that one day I can get Nik doing something like that...or gymnastics. He *totally* needs some major energy release each day!

  7. I'll take the two-year-old! Are we having an auction? Highest bidder?

  8. I am so happy by all your comments. I'm encouraged that you have all had or heard of good things coming out of karate.

    Becky and Joeymom: I'm not sure what the cash value of 3 1/2 year old twins is, but I'll alert you once I figure out who won the auction for Quinn.

    YM: It never occured to me about retaliation from Quinn. Maybe I should sell him to someone in another country so he won't be able to find me.

    Niksmom: Favors, eh? Not such a bad idea. :) My oldest did gymnastics and loved it. I know what you mean about getting energy out. My kids are never going to get lessons like piano because they can't run while they do it.

  9. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

    But no. As far as the toddler-selling, you're on your own.

  10. We tried Karate for Bubba. He's of the "If I think I am going to fail I will have a bloody meltdown" camp. The coordination was too much for him. I think in retrospect we should of tried a much smaller class...but with Bubba, it's "one strike and you're out" for a long long time. Everyone tells me still how much he would benefit from it though! ;)We moved on to a small gymnastics class, which both boys love.

  11. I can't speak enough for what Tae Kwon Do has done for my son. It's given him a structured playdate, dscipline, goal setting, leadership, confidence and so much more. We can really make TKD relate to the outside world in school and social situations. It has given him a sensory outlet too.

    The key is finding a studio/master that you feel comfortable with and emphasis fun - and it sounds like you did.

    2 months after my Son started TKD, my husband started and they both got their black belts together - that is a moment neither of them will forget.

    It has been worth every penny (and the way we look at it, it's probably less expensive than private therapies to address each subtopic of Aspergers - martial arts really touches base on all issues)


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