Tiff and I have talked before that we don't want to sign our kids up for so many things that we spend all of our free time running from practice to games to whatever. Luckily enough since Asher is only 2 there isn't too much we can sign her up for.
First at bat.
First hit, great camera work by Tiff.
Heading into home. As you can tell he beat the throw.
After the T-ball game was done we headed home for a quick stop for snacks, bathroom breaks, and a change of clothes. Aidan's first Karate Tournament was at 11:30 and we wanted to be a little early in the hopes that he could watch matches between other kids and adults. We watched one match between 2 adults and he paid attention, but he was ready to get this started.
A couple of quick notes about Aidan. Any of you that really know him know that he can be pretty overwhelmed by lots of attention. He can also become upset from a change in routine or being made to do something that he just isn't comfortable with or doesn't want to do.
With that said, Tiff and I were a little... no very nervous as to how he might react to this tournament. It was in a gym at a middle school here in town. There were 8 rings for the various levels and age groups. The bleachers, as well as most standing room, were packed with people watching. One of the things that we stressed to Aidan was that there was going to be a lot of people there but that they are not watching him. Which 99 percent of them weren't.
So Aidan lined up with the other 2-4 year olds at Ring 1. He had his mouth guard in, which he was not excited about, and was sitting patiently for his turn. There were several looks at us from Aidan which expressed his nervousness on the situation. I don't know about Tiff, but I was really nervous that he wasn't going to be able to do it, especially after the first match was between 2 girls that were both crying. I wasn't worried that he couldn't do it, but that his issues with attention and the unknown would cause him to shut down. It didn't.
Aidan putting on his pads. His opponent is standing next to him doing the same.
When it was his time to get ready he put on the chest pad, gloves, and helmet. This again could have been an issue since he had never worn the chest pad before and the helmet was a different kind with a plastic shield over the face. As he waited all dressed up with no place to go he seemed calm and collected. He didn't show any of those fussy signs of slouched shoulders or stomping feet. He stepped out onto the mat and stood on his square. At first he went a little early since Tiff had been telling him not wait for his opponent but to strike first. When the judges said go, he went straight towards the other kid and struck him right in the chest. The other kid, about half a head shorter than Aidan, looked to be having issues of the unknown himself. Start after start Aidan stepped forward and delivered a blow. The score was 5 to 0. You get 1 point for strikes and 2 points for kicks. At this time the 2 judges made an effort to help the other kid and led him forward and placed a strike on Aidan's chest. They did this twice which made it 5 to 2. I understand the purpose for them doing it and don't blame them. They wanted to help build the confidence of this other kid that was showing no desire to be there or do anything. For a moment I thought "surely they won't let this other kid win the match?" They didn't. Aidan must have been thinking the same thing because through the mask of his helmet I saw him look up at the judge that was helping the other kid. The look on his face was "how in the world is that fair."
So back to 5 to 2... just before they started the kids up again I yelled to Aidan "go for the kick!" I knew full well that a kick would push him to 7 points and the win. Sure enough he took one step forward, lifted his leg, and placed a kick right on the kids chest. 2 points, red wins.
Man I can not tell you how excited I was for him. He bowed and stepped over to the side, took off his protective gear, and got his trophy that says '1st Place.' And that trophy did not leave his hand until we got home after a stop at Pizza Hut to get him a pizza that he was asking for.
I think this is just before the kick to end it all.
Tiff and I are amazed as to how well Aidan did today. Was the match a little one sided? Yes. Do I care since the greater battle was between my son and his apprehension to the unknown? No.
A little later in the day I said to Aidan
Daddy: "Aidan, if you like karate you can keep doing it."
Aidan: "yeah Daddy, I want to get more trophies."