Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The newly minted yellow belt, featured here with his Shihan and Sensei ("Master of Teachers" and "Teacher")
2 1/2 hours and 200 push ups later, Aidan earned his first belt in karate - his yellow belt. It was a proud day! Shihan, as he is called by students and parents alike, runs an impressive karate dojo. He demands excellence and respect - and through his own excellence and respect, he earns it. And so I loved what happened on the day of Aidan's belt test. As the dozen or so white belts were preparing to do their kata, the main part of the test, Shihan challenged them to do the kata one time only - no mistakes - perform the kata perfectly on the first try. Poised and ready, with parents looking on in eager anticipation, the tension was broken for a moment when Shihan added, "It's never been done. I don't want to dash your hopes here, but it's never been done in just one try." A chuckle rippled through the parents, and then silence resumed before the white belts began their kata. Once finished, they froze into their final position. There was silence, as Shihan stared at them all. Sensei Joey came over and whispered in his ear. More silence. Finally - Shihan said, "This kills me to say this. It kills me. But that was perfect. You are the first ones ever to do the kata in just one try."
Wax on, my karate kid!!