My son and I had just joined karate. He was a “yellow-white” belt. Our Tang Soo Do Master insisted we go ahead and try a tournament. My son did excellent in his forms, but I was worried about his sparring. He was paired with a kid who was two years older and a green belt because there were no other kids my son’s age or size. This was the look he gave me just before going into the match.
I wanted to pull him out, but set my worries aside.
Then, what I was worried might happen… is exactly what happened. That other kid started to pummel my boy! My son tried to kick, but his legs wouldn’t reach. He tried to defend, but kept getting hit. He stayed in… Score 5-0, 12-0, 18-0, 21-0, 28-0, finally after 30 points, the referee called it. The ref raised the other kid’s hand to signal the victor.
My son walked towards me after the big fight. What was I going to say? “Nice try?” “It’s ok?” “Well, that other kid was a lot older…?”
Before I could say anything, he looked up and said “Dad, I did it!” My response? “YES, YOU SURE DID!” He didn’t even know the score, all he knew was that he had “passed through the fire.” I learned not to rescue my kid, he learned an important lesson that day!