Sunday, May 1, 2011

Brian's Other Children

Aren't they the cutest girls?  Especially since they always oogle over Esme.  Brian has been teaching them since he started his school 3 1/2 years ago. They are his first generation of students to test for their Dan (black belt), which happened yesterday.  The semi-annual test that rotates cities also happened to take place here in Salt Lake.  They did so well!  They range from shy and quiet to feisty and sassy and are best friends.  He's known one of them since she was Eli's age.  Now she's almost taller than him!

The highlight for me was when the most timid girl didn't break her required or creative board breaks and the regional examiners gave her one more chance.  It didn't seem like she was even trying,her foot flopping off the board, so I figured nothing would happen when the testing board gave her the another try.  Brian was the proctor, so he told her she had another try.

Afterword I talked to her mom who said she had just turned off the video camera when her daughter forcefully and precisely smashed through the two boards with a side kick. Later some parents overheard her telling the other girls that it's Brian's voice that calms her and gives her confidence and he hadn't spoken to her before the other two break attempts.

It's a big event. Takes place over 3 days with people traveling from Montana, Idaho, and Colorado.  People come to test for black belts and teaching certifications, a pre-evaluation if they're testing next time, and to participate in clinics taught by the masters.  Salt Lake is right in the middle and the biggest city, so there's always a big crowd.  This Fall the test will be in White Fish Montana, practically on the Canadian border.

Brian had to figure out the schedule for classes, where they could be held, hotel, restaurants, maps and directions.  The best thing he did was book Tucano's for the final banquet after the test.  Most of the people are from small towns and were amazed at the food.  At the banquet lots of people were thanking me for my sacrifice.  I really didn't do much but wait patiently while he was out until 11 pm for a few nights and make some treats for the visiting masters and parents who helped behind the scenes.

Brian sure loves his martial arts.  It's something he needs to do to feel complete and happy. He especially loves teaching.  He's just the right combination strict and friendly, maintaining respect while letting the kids have fun.  His classes flow with the perfect amount of philosophy/culture, theory, and application.  And he loves the kids.  If money is tight, he doesn't send them an invoice.  If they need extra practice he stays after.  Parents even tell him about hard things going on at home so he can keep that in mind and help.  Some need more confidence.  Others need to be reined in.

He's out helping kids and even making some spare money as a hobby while other men blow the whole day watching football, playing video games, or golfing.  I have to say, I do pretty well being patient and understanding on those long nights. I'm so proud of him.


cirila said...

Go Brian!

Kim said...

Yay! I'm so glad the test went well. SOunds like it was quite the event and lots of work to organize. That's so cool that you have students who tested for their black belts already. :)

Grandma Corrales said...

wow! what a crowd....a far cry from Brian's days in Challis ;). You've had quite the journey, all of you, to get to this point. I too add my thanks to you Helena for being so supportive of Brian's Soo Bahk. He couldn't do this without you! By the way, I hear my brother and family had a great time too.