Friday, February 21, 2014

Yousef and Omar Enroll in Hapkido

On Monday I finally convinced Mohamed that Omar and Yousef should enroll in Hapkido. We all started back up on Tuesday. At first Mohamed was resistant that it wasn't cheaper (as a discount for two kids-- he thought half off the second kid would be good, but the instructor insisted that he gives 20,000 off for two kids making it  a 10% discount or 180,000 instead of 200,000 for two kids but that includes monthly test fees) but after the last 4 days, I think it should be more expensive. It's not easy teaching young boys who kind of want to goof off, don't understand the language of instruction, have obviously a limited athletic background, and are culturally out of step with Korea.

However, it's also been very fun/cute.

The boys are in seventh heaven to have padded floor, padded walls, trampoline, balls of various sizes and other kids to run around with. The lack of common language was easily defeated by the enthusiasm of everyone and the sweetness of a couple of the Korean kids (as well as Yousef and Omar being pretty darn sweet!). When class started it was hard for them to follow along at all, and from the first day we had issues with them wanting to just stop, rest, drink water, etc. during class. None of which is okay. You need to get permission to do anything other than continue to follow directions.

The boys follow along a tiny amount better, and I get to experience news things, like making sure they stand up to bow to the instructor. Yousef declares "tomorrow let's go 50 minutes earlier."

This week has made me closer to the kids in the studio than I ever was before, as they suddenly have a reason to talk to me. They ask about the boys or ask me to translate, all except one middle school boy who adorably speaks broken English to Yousef and Omar and slips them candy. The boys found out they're getting their own 도복 (dobok- martial arts uniform), Yousef declares "I will wear it all day, and then go home, and then wear my PJs, and then wake up and put it on again."

The boys get their uniforms, and I message a photo to their dad who responds with "my heroes!" It is obvious that the boys are in the right place, as they rough and tumble with everyone like mad, no hard feelings. However because there is a test on Saturday and only the boys and I are not taking it, again I end up spending most of class teaching them, and not getting to do any of my own practice. I am not the most patient teacher for boys who cannot cartwheel, cannot jump rope, and are generally not able to easily see the difference between their motion and mine. Omar spends the whole time we're practicing falls (rolls) falling wrong, but then posing at the end perfectly and waiting for me to compliment him before he gets back up. On the bright side, both boys are doing well with "get up" "again" "ready" start" etc.

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