To the Unrecognized

Just last night I was at the dojo wrapping up an adult class. One of the members came up to me and jokingly accused me of only talking about the karate kids. Every one was getting shoes on and wrangling the last few children who always seemed to be wandering around.

“We aren’t all kids!” She exclaimed, as she ushered a child toward his shoes and gave me a smirk.

I laughed, and didn’t really have a good answer. I was a bit stuck. It was at this point my imagination took off and she turned into a dragon and I ran away only to discover the entire dojo had turned onto an incredibly bad 80’s fantasy movie.

The 80's
This would be the monster, in stop animation

Random segue aside. I DO talk about the kiddos a lot. I actually have a tag on this post called “Kiddos.” This manages to just barely miss a pretty major point (sarcasm).

Not all karate students are kids.

So, why the assumption?

A while ago, I started doing this job teaching karate and general martial arts to a fitness center. The class, due the rules of the club, was geared towards adults. Throughout the 6 or so months I ran the thing, I had about 3 regular students.

For six whole months.

One summer, after discussing the whole “no kids” thing with the owner of the club,  I ran a martial arts course aimed specifically at children. It was a 30 minute class a few times a week, for a few weeks. Nothing too special or exciting.

I had something like 25 kids show up, and they absolutely loved it.

Right there I realized something was a little different with the perspectives of adults and children in regards to martial arts.

Often, parents give their children the best opportunities they can. I mean, that’s kind of how it works. So, they start them in karate because it will help with discipline, because the kids want to, and maybe because the parents wanted to do karate at one time.

But, they spend so much time pushing it for their children, they either forget about themselves, or are just too damn tired.

For the adults without children, it’s a pretty similar situation. They’re so wrapped up in making it in the world they tend to forget about themselves, and focus on everything else. They can’t take karate because there’s a job coming up. Because there’s a class. Because there is something pressing that will always be in the way. Or, sadly. Because they don’t think they’ll be good enough.

So, they never start, or they tell themselves they will start later. Just like with any dream, there is always an excellent reason to dissuade you from doing it.

Dream Killers
Usually this one.


I have seen more and more parents get out on that floor. I’ve had the pleasure of watching entire families start something, and move forward in a new adventure. Together.

I’ve watched adults come through the door with some hesitation, but also a palpable determination to do something new, and different, and a little intimidating.

I have watched grown men and women, for reasons known only to themselves, challenge themselves with the goal of becoming a martial artist.

And that’s the coolest part of all.

So, I apologize for sometimes forgetting. For occasionally focusing more on the kiddos, than the adults. The truth is you’re all completely awesome. And I’m glad I was reminded about it.


Also, kinda bummed there was no stop-motion dinosaur.





3 thoughts on “To the Unrecognized

  1. Mary Beth shaw

    Very nice mr HC! Yep we also love karate kata and even sparring ( well maybe like somewhat) but often we need more encouragement than the young cause we are living a dream we had from youth (well at least I am) that life got in the way . So at 55 now 57 I am trying to fulfill that dream it often it’s hard to get my body to cooperate with my mind! Sat am in the sixties when other kids watched cartoons I watched Tarzan and old low budget karate movies with flying Ninjas and John Wayne sounding voices dubbed in. My parents were always struggling financially but got me twirling lessons and Dan ce for just about free as my dad volunteered to help with parades Etc. I was great at it truly and practiced for hours on end but always wanted to do karate. At 19 I was teaching dancing as one of three jobs and in walked a black belt . He was renting the school I worked at for several hours to teach. Well I signed up after he convinced me that with my agility I’d be great! So I worked hard got a yellow belt but alas I discovered I was pregnant. So at eight months I decided to stop as I couldn’t afford it as I was soon to be a single unsupported mom. Then of course life kept happening and as a parent I came last . So I really Thank u for helping me relive my dream from so many years ago that I hope to fulfill. But yes as an adult I have the fear that youth doesn’t have and the insecurities that at my age what the hell was I thinking and let’s not get into health and other issues. But. Most of all that lil voice that women of my generation were taught it’s odd to behave in such a way at our age. That we should be all grown up! Well guess what I don’t ever wanna grow up! Thanks again for your support!


    1. Sorry it took me so long to reply! Thank you!! I’m happy you’re with us and I truly appreciate the work your doing to stay active, and a part of our little community. You’re an inspiration for a lot of people, and I always enjoy your positive attitude, and especially the sass! Thanks again for your comment, Mary Beth! And keep up the good work! 🙂


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