Monday, June 11, 2007

The road to being a BLACK BELT!

(What my niece gets to look forward to when she is a black belt...their own restroom!)

Friday morning I got an email from my older sister saying that my niece was being promoted from yellow belt to orange at her martial arts school. I quickly made arrangements with the girls at work to leave early, so I could make it on time.

I made it to Fullerton with 20 minutes to spare, so I went to the Sprint store and bought my niece a little congratulations/"I'm proud of you"/"Keep up the good work!" gift, a NEW CELL PHONE! Poor kids had gone months with out a phone because the face has come apart. I have gone just a day or two without my phone and felt like I was disconnected from the world. I can't imagine being in high school and not having it. Well.. I guess I technically can, since back in my high school days i didn't have one, but time are different now.
I could decide what color to get, so I called her from the store an asked "grey, pink or red?" She was confused and I didn't want to give away the gift, so I said think clothes or an accessory and she choose red.
When my niece arrived, I asked her if she wanted her gift now or after her promotion. Silly question, huh? Of course she wanted it right then. I don't blame her, I would too!
So I asked her to close her eye's tight and stick out her hands and I place it her deadly, karate hands.

This is a before picture with my niece and her yellow belt.

See the black belts on the wall? This martial arts school has a "black belt" club. You pay a flat fee for your "journey to black belt experience" and no matter how long it takes to get you black belt you will not have any fees there on out. Part of the black belt club is having you future black belt placed on the wall with your name and year you signed up under it. It is then up to you to work hard to get that belt off the wall and around your waist. I thought that was a great motivation factor. To come to class and always see your future black belt up on the wall as a constant reminder what you are working for.

(Here is a picture of all the current "future black belts" on the wall.)

(Here is my niece in action...sparring! I LOVE IT! She takes after ME!)

AND...TAHDA..... Here she is AFTERWARDS!!!! And did you notice something???? She is not wearing here old yellow belt!....AND she is not wearing her orange belt that she was SUPPOSED to get promoted to! She is wearing a PURPLE belt!!!! Her sensei wanted to recognize her for all her hard work and bumped her up a belt!



Anonymous said...

How exciting!! I love to see girls like her achieve goals that build self-esteem and confidence.

Anonymous said...

I think the "Journey to Black Belt Excellence" (what the sign said on the wall) is an amazing idea. A lot of people drop out cuz they lose sight of the goal. This puts the goal in your face, literally. And it holds you accountable cuz people who see your belt up there know you haven't gotten there yet. And it's competitive because you want to get yours down in less time than other people, since they post the date you join the journey!

So...I was waiting to read the result of your neice's reaction after she opened her eyes and saw her present. You built it up and didn't give us the pay-off! Did she like it? Did she like the color?

Jane Doe said...

Flat Coke - It is exciting!! It realy has helped build her self-esteem and confidence. It has helped her stay on track in school, too!

Cindy - I loved that idea! If I ever open my own martialarts school, I am gonna do the same thing!

And... she started to blush and couldn't believe her eyes! SHe was in shock and then started to jump up and down and hugged me and kissed me (my cheek) and then openned it and said she LOVED IT! And there was a lot of "Thank you, Tia!" over and over. It was cute! I am glad she liked it and hope she continues to keep it up!

Ano the Blogger said...

Hey Vanessa, what a good aunt you are!

I bet your niece loved the gift! That was really thoughtful.

Congratulations to her for getting the purple belt. I remember we were at BJs when she told you she signed up for the black belt club! That is such a great idea to keep someone motivated.

It was also awesome of you to get her started down that path. It looks like it's going to pay off for her well!

Jane Doe said...

Thanks James!

I am soooo PROUD of my niece! She is a bright and beautiful young girl with sooo many talents! I am glad she is sticking with martial arts and is succeeding!