By Kim Mandy
As a parent myself and an instructor at Seitou Ryu Karate, I would like to say that I am fortunate enough to see the club from 2 perspectives. Many parents sign their children up to karate for one or more of the following reasons: discipline, fitness, friendship, help with self-defence or self-confidence or a number of other reasons!
The easiest way to support and help our children with their karate is to just continually give them praise and encouragement; however, other ways of getting involved and supporting are to help at competitions, tournaments, club events & of course watching them progress in classes and at gradings.
2 parents especially come to mind with regards to this is Jules Spencer and Jarrod Green; as they are always at tournaments helping in various ways. Jules has now even started training herself and is doing very well! Her 2 children are very proud of their mum and as well as her training supports them, it is the knowledge that their mother is taking an active interest in their activities.
Jarrod has been an active part of the tournament scene for many years and is constantly there to support his daughters, Jade and Jamillah He probably knows the rules better than some of us. Other parents take an interest in different ways. Just by bringing your child to training shows that little bit of interest. By watching your child’s training week in and week out will probably give you as parents the knowledge of basic techniques too.
My training started about 3 years before Tatum and she started due to my involvement with the sport. She is progressing very well and as well as being an instructor for her I also try being there as a spectator too but sometimes it becomes a bit blurred and the parent/teacher line can be crossed.
Most parents start training after initially getting their children started or they join up together, as was the case with 2 of my own students, Louise & George. They both inspire and push each other to do their best.
I would like to think that my involvement as both a parent & instructor inspires both children and parents alike. Many, if not all of the parents within our club help out and support in many different ways, and every little bit is appreciated and will make our children better, stronger people.