Aiden Santana 7-2009

Written by on July 20, 2009

Moments of Fear Become Magical Success

Aidan Santana

It’s a sparring week!  As Aidan’s class time draws near, mom, Leslie, remembers all too well: the crying, the arguments, the genuine fear!  Sometimes it’s a combination of things-it’s the gear (“It’s too hot”).  Or the mouthpiece (“It feels weird”).  Or what the truth really was for Aidan, just plain scary!

Leslie says “Aidan is a gentle child and did not adapt quickly to sparring, even in the Tiny Tiger Program”.  Senior Master Babin remembers those days well, “Sometimes we had him just kick a target instead of working with a partner and we always were careful about who his partner was.  We knew he would learn nothing if we allowed him to avoid the challenge, but we also wanted him to know that we were there to protect and encourage him in facing this challenge.”

We asked his mom why she kept coming.  Her response was quick and clear.  “We teach our children that once you start something, you should follow through with it.  Children do not see the (bigger) benefits in anything they do.  Therefore, we—his parents—supported him in facing those moments of fear.  And we always saw gradual progress, baby steps with each belt graduation.  And we also could see that life long skills were being taught at Karate for Kids.”

Aidan got started in classes three years ago when one of his preschool friends, Sam Seylar, who is still training, invited Senior Master Babin to do a “show & tell” at his grade school.  After the demonstration, Aidan wanted to do “Karate” too.

We asked Aidan’s mom if there was anything unexpected that has happened in his training.  “The biggest surprise”, she explained, “occurred when Aidan graduated to the K4K class.  And this was a good surprise.  I was expecting a difficult transition and tears galore.  Instead, Mrs. Babin toughened him in a gentle way.  He knows she is there for him.  She has protected him from a distance (by the way she manages the class) and at the same time, she has expected him to step up to the plate.”

The result has been a “magical, smooth” transition into K4K and huge success in sparring.  You’ll have to watch him spar to see the details, but suffice it to say, this gentle child has added physical and emotional strength to his list of impressive skills at the ripe age of  7.

Aidan’s mom explains further:  “His success is a combination of what his parents expect and what the Karate for Kids instructors expect.  All of the instructors are so conscientious about recognizing him and all students.  When he does something good, he is recognized either right on the spot, or after class, or even by getting a card in the mail!  Aidan comes in and everyone says hello to him and he lights up.”

She continues: “Mrs. Babin has so much foresight regarding advancement and seeing the future for a student.  The key to a great teacher is pointing out BOTH the good and the bad, and Mrs. Babin does both.”

Leslie sums it up by saying, “Absolutely all the things you want for your child are being taught at Karate for Kids in Mesa.  Every skill you want them to have and become.  It is all there: discipline, courage, confidence, respect, communication skills”.

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