April 7, 2016

First competition

Our son started kickboxing in September.  He woke up counting: “8 hours and 30 minutes to the practice!” and would announce before lunch: "Still 3 more hours!".   We thought it will be an excellent way to use some of the boy energy that causes him to run, jump and bounce at all times. 

This spring the long practice hours payed off: he was ready to participate in his first competition. He would fight two other boys that were in his group.  I arrived in the old factory building where the boys practice every afternoon.  I entered the room on the second floor just as two boys in the middle of the room jumped at each other.  They were hitting and kicking each other! 

- Wow. This is real fighting! I don’t know what I had been expecting, but not this.  The hits aimed at the face that made the recipient duck and throw up his arms to protect his face.  The kicks on the side. Wham! The protective gear was shaking under the attacks. 

- Yeah, this is real, said our friend who met me at the door. I'm sure he wanted to add a big Duh! 

But I felt the need to have my summer camp leader personality to take over.  I wanted to run to the boys, hold their hands and start singing songs and play something nice together.  Not fighting.  Not hitting.  Not kicking. Let’s all just be friends, take turns and share our toys.   

Luckily I didn’t embarrass my son and everyone else in the room.  I also noticed that I was the only woman there.  I sat down.  The fight was fascinating.  The coach was right next to the fighters, shouting “Stop!” and “Fight!” in regular intervals.  The boys worked hard to get some good kicks and hits on the opponent’s body.

After getting over the first shock of seeing people fighting (!) I enjoyed the games and cheered as someone got a good kick or a clever boxing move going.  After all, this was not random street fight: there were strict rules and certain moves that the boys were allowed to use.  And the coach was never more than two steps away from the fighters. 

All the competitors were sitting around the rink, waiting for their turn.  The fights of the advanced group were exciting.  I started to plan my son's future in kickboxing.  The youngest guys were adorable: we were all smiling as they flung their skinny arms and little legs around and all my motherly instincts told me to go and hug them right there and then.  I'm sure they wouldn't have liked it so I didn't.  But I hugged them in my heart.     

Our son won both of his fights and we cheered like - proud parents? - when he did his cool looking swing-around-and-kick-move.  

All my previous experience from my offspring's competition was girls rhythmic gymnastics.  Their biggest worry is to look pretty in their sparkly leotards and to have a beautiful routine with catchy music. 

This was different: blood, sweat and tears. 

But somehow very suitable for boys.  Oh, the things I will learn as I parent two sons! 

First in his group!  Well done. 


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