Do You Kung Fu?

Lately my daughter has shown an interest in learning some type of Martial Arts. We know absolutely nothing about the different types but my husband remembered a man from church that does. He was in hopes that this person could possibly offer her private lessons. He said that he couldn't because he hasn't reached that level yet but referred us to the studio where he studies.

I talked to a nice woman at the studio who didn't teach the youth group but told me about the class and who teaches it. So we decided to give it a try last night. There were probably 8 other young people who are ongoing students at some level or another. Therefore they already know what they're doing.

The owner/Master of the studio came over to greet us and asked us what my daughter was looking for in taking the class. I guess we still weren't sure so I just said 'self-defense'. He asked if I wanted to fill out the enrollment form now or wait until after the class to see what she thinks of it. I opted to wait.

Then the Master called over the instructor and asked him to run my daughter through the 'moves' for lack of a better word, so she would know what they would be doing in class. A few minutes later another little girl came in and it would be her first class too. Her and her mom just sat down for awhile and then the Master yelled at the Instructor, "Hey Nick, do you think you should include the other new student in on what you're doing?" I could see the embarrassment on his face and I felt embarrassed for him. Strike One.

When class started they went through a few warm up exercises then Nick told the other kids to introduce themselves to the two new students. A very nice group of kids came and shook hands with my daughter and the other little girl. Then Master yelled again, "Is this how we get into rows???????" The kids were just doing what they were told by the Instructor. Strike Two.

So now they're going through their paces and doing all the different moves and kicks and my poor daughter is trying to keep up and figure out what in the Hell they are doing. It was fun watching the other little girl because she was cute and not afraid to try anything. I told her mother that I wouldn't want to meet up with her in an alley, ha.

To me it would be like taking a kid to a swimming lesson for the first time, showing them the basic swim strokes on deck and then telling them to jump in the deep and try to keep up. "You'll get the hang of it", they said. "And you won't get yelled at today because you're new." OK, kind of creepy.

At some point, some of the boys up from were not getting their form right or something so Master made them drop and do push-ups. I didn't really enjoy watching the browbeating. I wondered if he treated the adults the same way in their class.Strike Three, you're out.

It was hot in there to begin with and I could see my daughter's face getting redder and redder. When she gets overheated, she feels kind of sick and I could tell she was getting increasingly uncomfortable with the whole regime. I had already made my mind up that I would not be filling out any enrollment form that night, or any night for that matter.

But I wasn't going to let my feelings intrude in what she might want or not want. So when class was over I gave her a hug and whispered in her ear, "So do you want to continue?"

She said "No, I don't."

Crap. Master approaches with big grin, "So, what did she think?"

I stammered a bit and said I really didn't think this is what we were looking for. You should have seen the look on his face. His eyes got all buggy and his face screwed up and if to say "You reject me? No one has ever rejected me."

He then wanted to know if our mutual friend had somehow misconstrued what the class was like and I assured him it was not his fault. I explained that it would be nice to learn the moves from the beginning and know what they are and why they're used. Makes sense to me. But apparently not to him. He made some more faces and asked if we'd like to come back Wednesday to try it again. No thanks I said, more funny faces from him. We scampered out the backdoor as fast as we could.

I realize that Kung Fu or any other Marshall Arts class should be disciplined and respectful of the Master. But I found him to be arrogant and not respectful of his instructor or the students themselves. I just didn't want to put my daughter in a class setting like that. She's pretty self-disciplined enough as it is, I can't see her being forced to doing push-ups if she doesn't hold her fist the right way.

So it will either be back to the drawing board or maybe she isn't all that interested in Martial Arts anymore.


Grumpy said…
My cousin's three kids take judo and love it. If she's still interested, try different studios until you find a fit.
ethelmaepotter! said…
Oh, no way would I have wanted my child in that class! Sounds absolutely MILITARY! Glad to hear she didn't want to continue.

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