Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TKD trial

You all know that we have been looking for activities for Luke that he will feel some success and confidence in. Something that will be fun but also help him strengthen his left foot and ankle. I decided to take running into that family at the grocery store - the one with the 4 year old boy in a taekwondo outfit - as a sign. So at the next opportunity, I looked up the local taekwondo school and emailed the owner.
He responded quickly to my questions and indicated that they had students with all kinds of abilities, and that he had experience with children with special needs. What the heck, we went to check it out last week.There were only a couple of little boys in the class, and three instructors - pretty good ratios - but also totally necessary when you're trying to get young, easily distractable and unpredictable 4-5 year old boys to listen, follow instructions, and make some martial art.They had numbers on the floor on which the boys were to stand and stay - a pretty good system for keeping the kids apart and right where you want them... if they listen and follow directions. They put Luke on the 4, right in front of the instructor. Good move?Luke: Hi!
Instructor: Hi! Please stand on your number.
Luke: But I don't like number 4. My favorite number is 10. What is yours?
Instructor: 4
Luke: Oh. (then he decided that standing on 4 wasn't so bad)
Instructor: Luke, can we begin?
Luke: No, I don't have the right clothes on (grabbing his camo pants and t-shirt and looking around at his comrads in crisp white doboks)
Instructor: Luke, it is time to listen and have some fun! And begin...The instructor then took the boys through some warm ups. Jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, various taekwondo punching and yelling combinations. The boys liked the yelling part. It took Luke a couple of minutes to catch on, but he seemed to have fun. This was not without a lot of patient correction on the part of the instructors, mostly aimed at Luke. During this time, I chuckled to watch him figure out how to behave, and the other mothers clucked to me that their sons had been in the same boat in the not-too-distant past. I wasn't concerned.They moved from warm ups to a obstacle course. They worked on punching while stepping on numbers 1 through 8. Then they worked on their left high kicks. Then they moved on to sit ups, and on to right high kicks. After that, they went to an army crawl station, followed up by jumping 30 times on a small fitness trampoline. Thankfully there were reminders of what to do next at each step of the way.All I had to take pictures was my camera phone, and I wasn't right up on the action because I didn't want to distract Luke. So my photo quality isn't up to par, but you can definitely get a handle on how much fun Luke was having even with all the grainy images.With the holidays coming up, we don't want to start the taekwondo right away, and I still want Luke to try the dance class and maybe the ice hockey league that Stara mentioned. We'll let him be the gauge of what he likes the best. We're off to a good start with the taekwondo - Luke told me that he wants to go back soon.

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