Sunday, April 1, 2007

Karate Tournament

Two years ago in May, Brent, Grant and Caitlin began taking Karate at Oak Grove Baptist Church. It is a Christian dojo and we really love how it is such a godly focus on all they do. Jake joined recently.
Well, yesterday, everyone competed in their first tournament. Quinn and I came out to watch (FOR 8 HOURS!- He did soooo good!). What a proud momma day! First they did Katas, then sparring, one step sparring and grappling.
This was a big deal especially for Cait. She really balked at the idea of standing up in front of everyone and performing. But, God is so good. Through many different circumstances, and talks with momma and daddy, she is learning to quell the fear of man rising in her heart! She did a complete 180! Not only was she agreeing to participate, but she was excited and even signed up for 4 events!
Grant, of course, had no reservations about being a part of it. He really worked hard practicing and working his moves at home with Daddy. He is very motivated to do his best.
Back in the fall, Jacob started Karate, but promptly quit after just a few lessons. We didn't push him since we thought it just wasn't his "thing". Yet, out of all of them, he "practices" at home the most. I think he was just a little immature in being able to find his place in line and follow instructions. Then just recently, when he found out about the tournament, he decided he wanted to start back up again. We were pretty sure it was just for the fact that he wanted to be a part of the tournament. But, that's ok. I'm just glad he was learning to push himself through a situation that he was previously fearful about. (He's my kid who started hysterically crying while on stage having to recite a Bible verse!) He didn't have a lot of classes to perfect his techniques, so we didn't expect a lot for the tournament.
As to awards, Caitlin won 2nd and 3rd place in 4 of the events. It was so funny to keep hearing her name get called over and over!
Grant did receive 1st place in one step sparring and 3rd in continuous sparring. Not to downplay his award, but there were only 2 participants in his level of one step- him and Jake! LOL!
Jake was so thrilled when his name was called to receive second place in one step!
The one step sparring was so comical. Jake would act like he was doing a technique on Grant but he would barely touch him. Grant- who should be an actor- would flip and roll and fall as if a 200lb man was tossing him! The crowd was roaring with laughter! Of course, that only egged him on and he hammed it up even more! Jake couldn't keep a smile off his face and neither could the judges!

It was an exhausting day but so rewarding. They all gave their best effort, which is what the sensais really drill into their heads.
Karate is not something that I would have ever imagined our family being involved in. We aren't a sports minded family at all! Yet, God has used this in such HUGE ways for all of us- even me. (I really have learned to trust HIM when Brent sparrs- especially after his broken arm from a year ago due to sparring!) The Lord has used it to teach diligence, excellence, respect, friendship building, having encouraging words, how to lose gracefully, how to battle against the fear of man, humility, wisdom, and submission to authority, and more! We have been able to have so many conversations about spiritual maturity due to it. It has provided real life examples that I don't think they would have had otherwise. (Otherwise, it would have always been hypothetical situations.)
Well, just a little more bragging on the kiddies. But, mostly, bragging on my Lord. He is so faithful to bring growth out of every little situation.

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