Claire has been a member of the American Taekwondo Association since she was three. I had always said to Matt that when we had kids, and they were three, we would sign them up for taekwondo.
I’m not sure if it was more because of how cute they are in their little uniforms or because I always felt it was an honorable way to learn self defense, respect and confidence.
For a short while, Luca, too, was a member, but like all things can be, it wasn’t for him yet.
Claire loves taekwondo. She loves the forms, the practice, the stretching, the yelling, the fact she gets to break a board every class; but most of all she loves her instructors.
One of the reasons I chose ATA Oakmont was because it is run mostly by a female instructor. I don’t know about you, but every other store front I’ve passed for marital arts has the name of some sort of brothers and company. I wanted Claire to see a strong, confident female. What she got was Miss Karyn who is not only strong and confident, but probably one of the kindest women I know. She’s tough, ridiculously flexible and passionate about the craft. Most of all, she loves what she does and takes pride in her teaching.
When I told her about Claire’s ARL fundraiser, she excitedly told us she’d have a flyer up, and said she would love to spin – even only a few weeks post op from knee surgery.
Claire’s other main instructor, Mr. Weston, also signed up. Scott is another prime example of someone who loves what he does, and is a fantastic leader to the kids. It’s not an easy job, teaching kids how to remain calm, yet use their strength in a controlled manner – especially when these kids are between the ages of 3 and 6 and are mostly boys.
Scott is calm, collected and extremely patient. I honestly envy that about both him and Karyn. In turn, it’s teaching my kid those same things and is making an awesome impression.
Claire was on the shy side at first. She didn’t so much lack coordination, but has so much natural ability and athleticism with no idea what to do with it. They have helped to take what awkward quirks she has and use it to her advantage. What I’ve gotten out of them from ATA is priceless. She’s confident, skilled and excited about something. She’s learning life skills, how to be more patient and how to spread kindness. While I realize a lot of those qualities in Claire were inherent, Karyn and Scott taught Claire that its ok to be all of those things.
The most amazing thing about those two is that they are quiet and gentle, yet have more strength than I could ever possess with the ability to be louder than a lion. When you meet them you think, really? Black belts? Cool stuff. Then you see videos of them at training or testing and think, amazing.
I love that I have amazing teaching my kid. And I love how they support my kid in everything she does. That is what family is about and I think it would be safe to say that ATA is an extended family.
Thanks for that, guys.