Superwife - Camo belt - D

My wife of 8 years and mother of our three kids. She started TKD after the birth of Odie, our third child.

Princess - Camo Belt - D

Our seven-year-old daughter. She was originally supposed to be a spectator to Cowboy, but jumped in and has proven to have an incredible talent for the martial arts.

Cowboy - Camo Belt - D

Our six-year-old son. He is small for his age, so starting him in TKD is what got us into this mess. He is very close to our Chief Instructor, and his spirit is twice as big as he is.


Our youngest son, born in April of 2006. By the time he is old enough to start, we should all be Black Belts.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Changing of the Guard

This weekend marks the last time I'm going to learn from my first instructor.

I'm filled with mixed emotions--sadness, optimism, some anger. I'm very optimistic of our new instructor--he has more energy than any of the Tiny Tigers, teaches things very quickly and runs us into the ground in our workouts. But there's no chemistry yet--none of that which we've developed over the last year with our instructor.

It's been interesting to watch, the dynamic between not only the students and instructor--but also between the students themselves, and the instructors themselves. I still hold a feeling inside that there is something more to our teacher leaving on his own journey. Things that he's said or done seem to make me feel that it is not 100% what he wants to do. Still--he has been teaching us this week, and remaining true to his ways rather than changing to accommodate the new instrcutor's style of teaching.

I wish there were a happy medium--somewhere between what our new instructor is and what our old is. The intensity of the new guy with the care of the old. If only we could have them both...

And then there's Cowboy. He absolutely idolizes the old instructor, and SW and I are worried about what his reaction will be. He seems to think that anyone not with us would be "alone" and that's what bothers him the most. And the old instructor, who at the beginning was cold and distant to the students, has come to show real affection for Cowboy. I could not pick a better person or teacher for him, and I fear losing that.

As part of the changes that have been instituted with this changing of the guard, all of the adults have been invited into Leadership. All, that is, except for SW and I. I'm not sure why--if it is because of us leaving, our attitude, or something else. We are extremely loyal to the school, all objections included. But it didn't surprise me when we weren't invited. I can't exactly explain why. One of the other adults has been hired on as part-time help, presumably to fill the void that the old 3rd Degree assistant left when she abruptly departed. We don't have time to do that, nor the expertise, so maybe that has something to do with it. But then again neither do any of the other adults.

Part of being a leader is caring for your people. Part of caring is letting them know where their shortfalls are and how to fix them. I think this area, more than any other, has been the biggest issue with our Songahm experience so far.

My attitude has dramatically improved. I think the majority of the issues I was facing are past me now, and can be directly or indirectly pointed at the things outside of TKD that were weighing on me. We still haven't sold the house, but TKD is quickly becoming the escape it once was for our lives. Our goals at this point are to learn as much as we can over the next two months from our school--and then press on to whatever the next leg of this journey holds for us.

Farewell, Mr. N. You have been an inspiration to us and a spirit that we will never forget. When we get our Black Belts, one of my first thoughts will be to thank you--wherever you are.

Comments on "Changing of the Guard"


Blogger Windsornot said ... (5:33 PM) : 

I know what you mean. It took a while for people to get used to the fact that the owner of our school was not around as much for many months, and the new chief instructor was in charge. Even though he was doing most of the instruction anyway before the changes were made, there was an attitude change, and we are still trying to recover it now that the owner can spend some more time at our school instead of her other one. It happens.

But it's good if Cowboy and the rest of the family can learn to adapt to a new teaching style. Once you move, you will have to learn yet another teaching style anyway, so while it's great to find someone to connect to, part of life is about change and learning to adapt. Hey, for all you know, given some time, you'll learn some new stuff and have a closer connection to the new instructor.


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