I wanna tell you guys about one of my students, Josh.
I've had a lot of different students ranging from the age of 4 to the age of 17 recently and most of them are pretty awesome. Some of them are really hard workers, some of them are lazy, some are really funny, some are obnoxious and some are just annoying and frankly I have to fight the urge to just punt them through a window. But there's one student I have who comes like once a week who is hilarious. His name is Josh.
Josh is a pod. This kid... he's gotta be the weirdest kid in the whole school. But he is awesome. This is a short collection of my interactions with this kid. Josh is 10 years old. He's kind of awkward and socially, he sticks out. He's about 5' tall and weighs 120lbs. He's big for his age. He's got weird insecurities about people being bigger than him, because he's probably the biggest kid in his school. His dad comes to Karate wearing gi pants, which I'm guessing is him dressing for the occasion? He's never taken a class. He's got really short brown hair, missing teeth and one of those charming fat kid smiles. He'll probably end up working a middle class job some day and be very happy with himself.
A few weeks ago, I was having the kids spar and I put him up against a really small girl. She's probably about 60lbs and she's roughly 4' 3" tall. She's really good, but Josh refused to fight with her because she was a "girl." So when I have him fighting her, he says, "Hey, I don't want to fight her. She's a girl."
So I respond, "Well then Josh, you better not lose."
He lost. Bad. She kicked his ass and I laughed at him. At the end of it I said, "Feel pretty dumb for saying that now, huh?"
"Yeah kind of. But I am still sticking to what I said. My dad says I should stick to my word."
Josh is great. He's so weird and it makes me equally amused and annoyed. Today for example, he was an hour early for class. I saw him sitting there fiddling with an Ipod. I walked up and saw one of the student's sister reading a book and I said, "Whatcha reading there little lady?"
She pointed to her book and it read, Miss Fortune. I said, "Oh. Neat."
Josh started laughing and said, "I.. you... I... I..."
"You really like the way I say things?"
"Yes! It's great. If you aren't listening carefully, you can't tell that you're making fun of people."
He says this as the girl in the chair looks up and glares at me. Menacingly.
To change the awkward subject I said, "Hey Josh, you're here really early."
"Yeah, I'm an hour early."
"That's cool. You can just relax then. What are you doing on your Ipod?"
"Oh, I'm listening to my class notes. See I record my notes on my Ipod and I listen to them later because I have trouble learning in class. I get bored. See all I have to do is push this button here and it'll go into record mode. My teacher starts talking and..." He starts talking for like 2 minutes explaining how his Ipod worked.
"Oh, that's neat. Wait. How come you don't just listen to music on it?"
"Well I already listened to all my songs."
"...So why not put new music on it?"
"Because I don't want to buy any more and my dad doesn't want to buy me any more."
"Oh ok... Oh hey, why are you an hour late?"
At this point, I was pretty tired and didn't really want to stick around. To be honest, I was getting annoyed, probably because of my low blood sugar and the fact that I was trying to get back to doing whatever it was I was doing before. And I ABSOLUTELY regretted asking him why he was late because I was sure he was going to go on and on about something ridiculous.
"Oh, because I thought it was daylight savings, but it turns out that it wasn't."
And that was it. Josh is great. I want to punt him through a window.
haha, every time I hear a story about teaching young kids I am reminded why I stopped teaching at my old dojo.
There's a 3 year old named Madaline who gives me diabetes every time she comes to watch her brother. She tries so hard to mimic him and she just falls over everywhere and it's hilarious.
I used to teach a 6 year old girl named Angelina. She loved sparring with the other kids, but after landing a kick she would throw flurries of little downward hammerfists to the chest like a woman from a 1930s film. Once I got her doing good roundhouse kicks and punching with the front of her fist she was a little terror. When her dad came to pick her up, she would flail away at him and usually catch him with a head level roundhouse kick to his groin. I would explain that she can’t go around kicking guys in the groin, especially her dad, and once they were gone I would laugh hysterically.
So what is Josh's Pokemon name?
We had another kid that sounds a lot like Josh. He trained at a good school before he started kung fu, and when he picked up some sticks and was swinging them in a Thai fashion, I guessed correctly that he did some krabi krabong. Cool kid.
Every school will have such a wide range of kids. I've figured out that there are usually two main groups of families that get their young (5-8 yr old) kids in MA's.
The first is the ones I can't stand. They are the parents who don't discipline their kids and assume it is the ADD/ADHD's fault. These kids don't understand the teamwork concept that most sports require and have the attention span of a squirrel. The parents drop them off and expect martial arts to be a cure all. Sometimes it helps but if the parent isn't ready for their kid to receive some actual disciplining then there is usually no hope. You also get the ones who are homeschooled/incredibly socially awkward and can't handle team activites.
The second type is basically everyone else who I consider normal. The parents are nice, always appreciate the work we put in to help their kids learn, and they are the easiest to deal with from a management standpoint. These families are usually involved in lots of other activities outside of the MA school (church, pta, other sports, boy/girl scouts, etc) so the kids don't necessarily need the social-interaction aspect of going to class. They just enjoy kicking the **** out of stuff and learning new things.
Every day at work I see kids that make me go "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU" on the inside and then I get to work with the ones that make my heart melt a little.
I watched one of our youngest students (5) punch her dad in the junk last week, RIGHT after we talked about when and when not to use your punches and kicks! That's what he gets for telling her no ice-cream after class i guess.
There's also the parents who use martial arts as a daycare place. They don't really care if their kid is learning anything. Those parents suck.
Josh has got to be a Metapod and only under Sirc's watchful eye can he truly evolve into a Butterfree.
I was thinking maybe Snorlax.