Online Curriculum, Process, and Community
I have always been intrigued with the world of martial arts. I remember as a kid watching Hong Kong Phooey and dreaming of being a super hero when I grew up, kicking away the bad guys and fighting for justice with my trusty sidekick! Needless to say, the family cat did not always enjoy practicing this with me (sorry TIG).
Thanks to the influence of Paula Abdul, I spent my childhood in tap dance class and in junior high, my shot at super herodome finally presented itself! During a slumber party, my best friend in the whole world secretly confided in me that she had been hinting to her parents about getting to take martial arts. It seemed their mother was all gong-ho for girl power, but her conservative Texan father was not so keen on the idea of his little girl kicking and punching and sweating up a storm. We hatched a plan to get the okay from my parents in hopes that her parents would then agree.
Our plan was a sucess and before I knew it I was wearing a crisp white uniform sitting in the "New Student Line." As I looked around dreaming of being that super hero again, I noticed a large, scary, Korean man had walked onto the floor and the room filled with tension. He shouted about being disappointed and working hard, everyone in the room responded "Yes! Master! Sir!" and as if on some sort of secret signal jumped up and ran to one side of the floor.
I spent the next three weeks shouting, "Yes! Master! Sir!" pretending I knew the kicks I saw others doing, memorizing a list of Korean phrases that were spelled out phonetically, but not explained, and sparring green and up belt level adults. I felt like a human punching bag. By the end of the three weeks I had a white belt tied around my waist and was told to work harder. The experience left me feeling less like a super hero and more stressed out. I was extremely let down.
It would be more than ten years later before I set foot into another dojang. A friend had recommended I try MIMA, I was really nervous. Kyo Sa Nim Vlcek taught my first class I took at Mercer Island Martial Arts. By the end of the class I felt energetically charged and completely enchanted. I started to go to more classes and might have been caught a time or two punching and kicking couch cushions and pillows at home. It has become my favorite part of the day. And maybe, just maybe I have a new side kick named Jem ( my chihuahua, pekingnese mix).