Wax on, Wax off. The Karate kids….
Some times chance encounters lead you to learn great things and remind you of the massive variety of interests, skills, hobbies and general craziness of our fellow humans. Recently we were fortunate enough to meet a new friend to the world of MRG Jamie Clarke. Jamie was the (blessed) winner of our MRG hat competition and during the afternoon we spent talking, drinking coffee, climbing and handing over his noggin cover we learned that not only is Jamie a true advocate of the MRG spirit he’s also got a pretty cool family story to tell. Lucky for us he was happy to share it, and we hope will become a regular to the world of MRG with his and the girls ongoing adventures.
By Jamie Clarke. (Cheers bloke!):
Feeling inspired and compelled to try my very first (I mean it you will probably tell by the end!) attempt at a blog. A little summary of how MRG began for me…….not out doors and not even 2 wheels in sight (shock horror I hear you wince) but please bear with……..
My story starts with my eldest daughter (Ellie) exploring various options for an interest at an age of about 5 or 6. We looked at plenty, bikes, skating, trampolining, gymnastics, swimming, batton twirling amongst others before she made a decision – Karate.
Classes at her then attending Primary School where our journey began, once a week for about 2 years, an hour a week either Claire (my significant other half), my youngest daughter (Katie) then 3yrs and/or myself watching the embrio Karate kid wax on/wax off and begin to grow….. Then Katie started, Ninja number 2 was born.
The girls continued and progressed, outgrowing the original club, we were introduced to the new family……… Dee Tee Soot Karate Academy. A new family and a new regime – twice a week, which as parents pleased us no end, especially with Ellie being invited to attend the adults sessions as well 2.5 hrs as opposed to just the hour.
This is where my REALITY started to become GREAT, not only were my two girls learning valuable self-defence skills and keeping fit, but I was somehow cajoled into donning a pair of trackie bottoms and a t-shirt to “have a go”. It nearly killed me! But what great fun, back next week? I think so! Well a few weeks in it had taken a hold, after a short space of time the weight was beginning to shift, the fitness was improving, flexibility, new skills being learnt and some great new friendships in the making. Stress management – you really can’t beat the feeling of punching and kickin the absolute stuffin out of a pad with everything you got….
That was a few years ago now, Ellie being the first one in the family to achieve black belt status in 2014 at the tender age of 12, me to follow in 2015, at a not so tender 43, and the newest addition to black belt status (junior), Katie still only 9 – what an absolute achievement! As any parents know seeing your kids excel, have fun and achieve is so rewarding, we are both so proud of our girls.
So with 3 black belts in the family, best you not mess with us! (that includes Claire, whilst she doesn’t participate in the physical activity of Karate, what she has watched and learn’t over the many years of ferrying the girls back and forth she wound certainly be a force to be reckoned with – and if you’re a bloke and ever cross her I strongly warn you to cover your nuts!). So you’re thinking what now after making the grade, well it’s the kind of thing that you never stop learning, always room to improve and hone those basics – coz that’s what a black belt really means – you are competent at the basic moves within your syllabus not an expert by any means.
We all help out and teach with both the adults and kids classes, it’s a great club, and the feeling you get when you see them all improving and achieving their grades, words just can’t describe.
So you see it’s not all about 2 wheels and pedal power and the great outdoors, you can do whatever you like, life is short and free time is something we all struggle with in the busy world we live in, but take time, take stock and do something…however small it maybe, and whatever age you are, make it a challenge, make it fun and really enjoy it MAKEyourREALITYGREAT.