A Great Mentor is Hard to Find

Master JK and CB at the master's going-away party last week.
Master JK and CB at the master’s going-away party last week.
I’ve mentioned before that CootieBoy started taking Taekwondo earlier this year. He has been wanting to do it since 2013 (as evidenced when I was cleaning out my email this week and found my initial inquiry to the school from April 2013), and my deepest regret is that we did NOT sign him up at this school at that time. Because if we had, he’d be a black belt already, AND he’d have had a chance to work under his instructor for almost four years versus only four months.

I never participated in sports as a kid – I was a cheerleader briefly in elementary school (for the Sterling Saints – holla!), and played volleyball for a year in middle school, but that’s it. I’m not a sports girl. So I never had that coach-player mentorship at all (well, I AM still friends with my volleyball coach to this day, so there’s that). But man, oh man, do I wish CB could continue to have the amazing mentor that he has in his TKD master. Because Master JK is amazing. From DAY ONE he has encouraged CB, challenged CB, and basically made CB feel like he could do ANYthing when it comes to TKD. Not only that, but he’s an amazingly skilled teacher in general. He makes the classes fun and makes all the students feel like they can conquer the world by the time the class is finished – whether you are a white belt beginner or a black belt third dan.

The new Master at his school is good. He’s very good, actually. But he is new, and you can tell the kids are naturally a bit concerned that he won’t be as good, or as fun, as Master JK. He has been leading classes occasionally over the past few weeks, and at first he was very stiff and strict, but I can see him loosening up now. I think he was just nervous when he first got to the school, and it played out as being tougher and a bit stern. But CB’s class today was fun – not just for the students, but for me as a parent to watch. And I also participated in a special “Mom and Me” class for Mother’s Day weekend, and Master H was very funny and charming during that class. During both of those classes he joked around more, and smiled, and had them do things that they had not done in previous classes, which was awesome. It was great to watch, so I think in the long-run, Master H is going to be very beneficial for our school’s students, and I’ve encouraged CB to give him a chance AND to try and be welcoming and build a rapport with the instructor, because that will serve him well over the next few years as he pursues his black belt.

But Master JK. My word, that man. What a mentor. I think I have a crush on him because of his incredible abilities as a teacher and mentor. *lol* In this morning’s class he specifically worked with CB during most of the class, challenging him to run a bit faster, kick a bit higher, push a bit higher. And CB did it all, because he really, REALLY admires Master JK, always wants to do his best for him, and will miss him terribly once he leaves for Texas next week. I will, too. Especially since after the Mom & Me class I signed up for a trial to take free classes myself for the next two months. The good news is that Master JK told me a couple weeks ago that he plans on coming back to the area every time one of his SC TKD students tests for his/her black belt, which means we’ll still get to see him a couple times a year when he comes to town to support his former students. That will be so fun, and something for CB to look forward to – having his original mentor and instructor be there on the day that CB earns his black belt. THAT’S an incredible mentor.

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