I am in Tae Kwon Do with the girls, I am a 1st degree black belt, they are orange belts. I spar as it is required at my level, the girls, well I kept them away because M1 is lazy at best and M2 is afraid. Unfortunately, the girls will test next for green and the first requirement for sparring comes to play. Now I could object and over rule at least for M2 on the grounds of a disability BUT that is against every fiber of my being. She could spar, she is able but she is afraid; not really a reason to invoke the old parental permission thing.
So I go to get the girls their gear and they are both excited. M1 starts going on about how awesome she is at sparring and how great she is. Initially I say nothing whatever bravado at best I figure and let it go. Well then Little Ms Thang decides she will go to the Master of the school, the 4th degree black belt and she says “I can’t wait to spar you” She then went to another 1st (soon to be 2d) degree black belt and said the same thing to her. BUT before the shock of the two wore off she started to run her mouth about challenging the 6 foot member of our class.
I pulled her aside and said in my quietest voice “Do you have any concept of how disrespectful you are being right now? Do you get that you are actually insulting the other ADULTS in here by challenging them to spar?” She rolled her eye and threw back her head and said LOUDLY “You don’t think I can do anything. You ALWAYS put me down” The challenged adults shook their heads and walked away. I replied very quietly “M1 right now you are not appearing confident, you are appearing arrogant. You have never sparred before and you need a lesson or two before you have a concept of how good you actually are” She put hands over her eyes and sighed VERY LOUDLY.
Umm Momma is about to lose her cool here. Momma is NOT having a proud parenting moment with all the nasty angry thoughts going through my head. I back away I need to cool off before the class starts so I go off to talk to the 6 foot dude who has brought his daughter to class. Class starts and we are off I focus on my crap because hey I know I need it. We line up for line drills and per usual M1, M2 and I are in a line. The Master looks at me and says “Ma’am you need to be at your level. Please go to the other line with the black belts.” He then moves the lower belt that was in that line to where I was. I shrug, that was weird he doesn’t usually put all the black belts in one line. The black belt that M1 challenged looks at me and says “Don’t be mad, the Master is teaching your daughter what you were telling her.” I look over and M1 is fuming, and it dawns on me “Holy crap she honestly does believe she is better than us”
We do our drills and again no time to focus on her as I am working on making me better. Then he says it “Everyone stop. Get on your gear” The girls walk off with me to help me get it on. I look at the anger on her face and say “You still think that you are at least equal to someone who has studied TKD for 4 years?” She doesn’t even bother to answer. I shut my mouth, no point the look on her face screams she is not listening. She ties my chest guard and I thank her as I go off. We (students with gear) are paired and spar, break, paired and spar again. Third round and I am beat I just sparred 2 black belts now who? Then I hear it “C go with M2, ANYM go with M1…”
M1 smirks from ear to ear as we go to our corner. We hear the command “Face your partner. Cha ryuht (attention), Kyung nae (bow)” M1 does not bow. she rolls her eyes instead. I say nothing I am too stunned to say a word. I am stunned and embarrassed for her and it only lasts a split second before I hear the Master instructor say “M1 you WILL bow to your partner” She replies out loud “Whatever it’s my Mom” and complies. I can’t even find words for the shame I feel right now what did I raise here? What in the h-e double hockey sticks have I done? Holy crud I screwed up bad!!!! The Master comes over (mind you the other pairs have started sparring) looks at me and says “You have permission to teach her a lesson. Same rules (translate no actual contact)”
I go to the ready position and tell M1 to do so. She rolls her eyes so I throw the first kick and the match begins. She spends a lot of time running from me. I hear the 6 foot dude say “M1 you are suppose to fight back. You should be TRYING to hit her not running from her non-stop. Come on its your Mom you know you want to kick her without getting in trouble ” M1 snaps “I am trying but I am not wearing gear!!!” I stop dead and say “M1 you are suppose to be hitting me FULL FORCE as I have gear. You can kick me as hard as you want to you will not hurt me. You are supposed to be kicking me not running from me” Full anger burns her eyes and hatred pour from them as she YELLS at me “I am not an idiot I know what to do” I simply reply “Then do it” The round continues and she attempts several kicks that I block or move from. The round ends and I am a sweaty mess, M1 is furious and storms away.
We go to the back of the room and I steer clear of the overly moody teen who doesn’t even come close to wanting to be in the same universe with me. M2 looks at me and says “You did good Momma” I smile that is my girl. As I focus on the two on ones I hear the 6 foot dude say “Look your Mom taught me sparring basics if you took a minute and listened to her I bet she would teach you too” I don’t even dare to look her way. I am not sure what is going on but I am sure that learning from Mom is the farthest from her mind.
We go to leave and the hate glares have ceased but the ice remains. I tell her I need to get a drink so we go next store to the mini market and as I get money she brings me my favorite ice tea in the biggest size. I smile at her and say “Thank you honey I appreciate that. Look babe you can do it. You just need to train. I have trained for four years. I would teach you when you are done being angry but I get it right now you are angry. Now go get a drink yourself if you want” She walked away but did not storm or glare. Oh thank goodness.
Now please don’t get me wrong I am not all that awesome. There are plenty of better students than I am who will teach her to be better than I am. But for tonight I am just hoping she learned that she needs practice to get better. Oh and respect I hope like heck she learned a bit of respect.