Wednesday, March 05, 2008

old school

Last night was the third stripe test for the twins. This is when they have to show everything they've learned for Sifu and he watches for mistakes. If they make less than three, they earn the stripe and are clear to belt test in a few weeks. Both of the girls were nervous, but that good butterfly nervous, not the terrified nervous. They both made it through the squat sets, forms, and self-defense moves without any mistakes, which is so great. And it really boosted Bebe's confidence. She had to test twice for her second stripe and was feeling a little down. But we stressed that it just meant she had to work harder and practice. And? It is always sweet when your kid says, "You were right, Mama!"

There was a little boy who made a lot of mistakes. Sifu singled him out and asked, "Was it because you haven't practiced enough or because you were nervous?" The kid shrugged and Sifu asked his mom, "Does he practice enough or is he nervous, Mom?" She said, "It's Guitar Hero."

Sifu said, "Oh, no. No, no, no. You bring Guitar Hero to me and I keep it until you get your third stripe."

This is becoming a trend at the dojo. When kids are slacking -- too much time spent with video games, not doing their best in school, misbehaving outside of the dojo -- Sifu steps up and enforces a consequence. And it seems to work every time because the kids generally want to do well and make him proud. I have used the, "Well, I'll talk to Sifu about this!" threat and just the threat works for us to put an end to contentious behavior. It is my trump card, though.

The funny thing is watching Lou when she does forms and self-defense. She already has the "warrior face" and really puts energy into her moves and groundwork. She seems so angry! Which is the point, of course. And she sticks her tongue out which is hilarious. Also sweet, because she had a tied tongue as a baby and we were thinking she might never be able to stick her tongue out at all. So, I love seeing it peek out when she's concentrating so hard.

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