Kenpo Karate….Mother/Daughter Lessons Learned….

My daughter hated flies. Now she wants to catch them…Ms. Kathy taught her how…Courage

Adult sparring…….More Courage

Learning a new art in my forties, with no sense of balance, little coordination but an incredible gift to laugh at myself…….Humility

My daughter spars ranks above her own. “The Brown Belt kicked me good, Mom. It hurts. I’m okay. What’s for lunch!!!”……….. Resilience

Both of us practicing forms while waiting for the school bus…….Spirit  

Practice, Practice, Practice….. Self Discipline

Increased ability to focus academically and heightened awareness of surroundings…..Insight                                                         

Aha!!!! Moments – (When a technique or move finally makes sense) We did it!!….Team Work

Mental Spirit combined with Physical Abilities ………Priceless!!!

From Shirley and Cristina Jones (Orange Belt & Jr. Purple Belt)

Karate Mom and Student Always Seeking Time to Practice Karate

By Margaret Brown

As a Karate Mom and Student always seeking time to practice Karate, there never seems to be enough time to do all those things we need to do, never mind the things we want to do. And for me, Karate falls somewhere in there; in between need and want.

As a parent, I started by watching my oldest daughter taking her Karate classes, beginning in the Tiger Program some four years ago. After two years, I began to get the itch to take Karate myself, thinking, “Hmmm. I could do this. Maybe I could do this.” I was at a time in my life where I wanted to do something for myself, outside of taking care of my family and my household responsibilities. I knew it would probably be challenging and require some time juggling, besides a commitment to myself. Boy, was I right!

When I’m not super duper pressed for time and other appointments, I’ll get out on the floor and practice with my daughters, in between their classes. Many times, I’m just too tired, so I drag out my “should be reading” books while my girls are in class. I haven’t finished any of my Ed Parker books cover to cover, but their pages are sure getting worn and bent from numerous twenty minute scans. I constantly wonder “How will I ever remember all this stuff?”

Often I’ve watched my daughters practice their techniques with just their arms and hands while sitting in the car as we’re rushing on our way somewhere. And then, just the other night, one of my Kenpo instructors talked to the class about how to find those moments of practice, those bits and pieces throughout our hectic busy days. Even practicing one’s techniques or forms via the mind’s eye is practice time, reinforcing those things we are trying so desperately to remember and then fine tune when we do hit the floor for class. Wow! So my daughters somehow knew this intuitively!

Sometimes I groan and my cheeks turn red when my instructors give me the “hairy eyeball” look when they know and I know, I haven’t practiced like I should have this past week. It’s a never-ending process to practice my Karate and a commitment to myself to find and make the time to do it. It’s a challenge, sure. But I know that when I do manage to find the time, the rewards and the enjoyment make it all worthwhile.



By Todd Anderson

I was first exposed to Karate as the Uncle watching my two nieces grow up. I never went to any of their training classes or to a single one of their tournaments. I simply saw how they behaved, how they “carried” themselves. We have all seen it, that quiet confidence our Karate children develop over time. It’s not conceit, arrogance or cockiness; it’s special. I saw this develop in my nieces as they worked through their ranks and developed into mature adults. They still have this gift from Karate and I expect they will forever.

When our first child was old enough to attend class, Mary and I decided to start her in training. I was fearful and concerned about “forcing” this on my child because of my past experience with my nieces.

Knowing that Karate is not for everyone, we watched and hoped that Sara would take to it and develop that interest. Sara is now in her fourth year and I can see it happening again. The demeanor, the ability to focus, that quiet confidence being developed over time. She is not there yet but I see it just like I did with my nieces before.

Last August we enrolled our son, Karl. The jury is still out on whether Karate is his “cup of tea” or not. His personality is quite different from Sara’s. Only time will tell.

Today after all this time, I finally attended my first Karate Tournament. I was impressed with how the Newark Kenpo Karate students compared to their competition. It was obvious to me that our kids are receiving the highest quality instruction. I encourage all the instructors to keep up the good work.

From our point of view, we believe that the real value of Karate is not the belts, medals and trophies, but what it does for your inner self, as I have feebly attempted to describe here.


By Arlene Johnson

I hope you enjoyed my last article on Another Parent’s View. As I get further into this thing called Karate, I learn more, and I overcome more of my fears associated with it.

Being in sales, there is a term all salespeople are familiar with, the 100 lb. phone. Picking up that phone and calling potential customers can sometimes be frightening even after doing it for many years. I still get it even after doing this job for over 16 years.

That’s how I felt about sparring. I was scared to death. Afraid of what you might ask. Well to put it in a nutshell, I was afraid of getting hurt. All I could picture was getting my tooth knocked out or getting slammed in the stomach, and neither appealed to me.

Well, I realized, just like the 100 lb. phone, you just have to pick up that phone and do it.

I approached sparring in the same way (eventually). I made up my mind when I was going to do it and because I made the mistake of telling a few people when this was, I had to do it.

Guess what? It wasn’t so bad. I even kind of liked it. I didn’t get hurt either. There is one downside for us ladies, however, be prepared for how awful you are going to look after you remove that headgear. The worst Hathead I’ve ever seen in my life!

So for all of you who are scared……..JUST DO IT!!!


By Rob Jenkins

“Karate? Karate for a four year old?” Those were my thoughts. I had never considered Karate for my son (Tyler). Although from the day he was born he has jumped, punched, kicked, chopped, rammed, and slammed everything close to him. A member of my church mentioned their son was the same way, but once he became involved in sports he was fine. So, I began my search for sports for four-year-olds. The only thing I could find at the time was gymnastics and after viewing a class I knew it would not be enough.

Finally, a neighbor mentioned their four-year-old was taking Karate at a school in Newark, and she invited us to attend a class. She also mentioned a free trial lesson. Tyler tried it, liked it, and we have been here since October of 1999.

You are probably wondering how Karate has helped him. Well, I immediately saw a drop in his energy level at home. I have recently seen a remarkable difference in his attitude. He seems able to control himself more, and pays attention in karate and school. He has always received excellent grades, but his conduct has been suspect. This year he received the grade of outstanding in all of his conduct areas along with his straight A’s in academics.

For me, it provides time for us to spend together. I watch the techniques and forms performed in class and many times Tyler looks to me to help sharpen his skills. We have a lot of fun. But, more than anything else the ideas and morals shared by myself I have heard Miss Kathy and Miss Marlene share with Tyler. Things like honesty, courage, perseverance, practicing, doing your best and good sportsmanship.

He really likes teaching others and his desire is to be a Black Belt. My desire is for him to teach Karate as a means to send himself through college.


By Lisa Wilson

My daughter Taylor at the age of four walked onto the training floor for the first time with a look of uncertainty on her face. She found a line, began the warm up, and started her first Kenpo Karate lesson. She looked back and found me with her eyes, and with a huge smile on her face, yelled…..”I like it Mommy, I want to stay!”

After her first three months at Karate, her brother Christopher, who sat and watched his sister with me, said I want to try it too! Christopher started classes the following week and needless to say, he liked it and wanted to continue.

As I sat and watched when they began as White Belts, I often wondered, Would they ever get this? Is this too much for them to remember? What does all this do? Do they understand this? I wasn’t sure myself. Over time I watched it all happen. I would say to myself…..WOW! They really got it! It all came together in time. They both have since tested and earned their respective belts.

I have watched them learn, by listening to the instructors and taking their recommendations home, making the necessary changes, and then accomplishment is the outcome. Along with that comes their LOVE OF KARATE, which grows and grows. Not only has their love of Karate brought them together at home (as they practice) but they now have a common interest outside of their home.

Now as they look to the future they both feel Karate is something they want to continue forever, with the anticipation of a Black Belt they hope to earn one day. So even if their sights change someday, as children’s sometimes do, I will look forward to our three trips a week to Newark Kenpo Karate. Walking through the door and entering the studio, my children are many, many feet ahead of me, taking off their shoes (never fast enough) and onto the warm up area on the training floor.


By Arlene Johnson

It wasn’t until I read an article in The Delayed Word from another parent that I felt I needed to write one too. Her view was that of a parent watching her child grow and evolve over time while practicing Karate.

Mine is that of a parent who has been watching her children for some time and then decided to embark on this thing called Karate herself.

To be honest, my first interest was to do the CardioKenpo to supplement my weight lifting routine. I was so lacking in my confidence about balance and coordination that I thought Karate could help me with those weaknesses. Now that I’m doing CardioKenpo also, I’ve found it did help me a little, but I also realized that Karate is a totally different animal.

I’ve recognized a lot of things while embarking on this Karate adventure.

At 41, I realize my mind is not the sponge it used to be. The amount of information you must absorb seems enormous. I have to study and concentrate harder to remember all the different moves.   (How do my children remember all this stuff?)

I found like the children, that we want to get past all the seemingly redundant moves. What I’ve finally recognized is that we have to master all these basic fundamentals to do all the complicated techniques and related movements.

As a parent, we see our children doing techniques, but it goes far beyond all that. There are forms, kicking sets, universal drills, terminology, discipline, and let’s not forget finding all those muscles we never knew existed.

As a parent, I have a true appreciation for what my children have accomplished.

From one parent to another, you should be very proud of these children. Praise them on every new accomplishment, whether they or you think it is large or small because I can tell you from this parent’s point of view, it’s a huge mountain to climb!


By Yvonne Hershberger

It does not seem that long ago when our son, Samuel, started karate lessons. But alas, he has already gone through 4 tests. Recently, he was practicing and then tested for his Orange Belt…. which leads me to this article: “A Parent’s View”.

Weekly, I have “taxied” my son or coordinated with friends, driving to and from his lessons. I sat and watched the lines being placed down on the carpet (when he first started) and have marveled at how he found “his” spot, wiggled and giggled, but still learned something. He learned a lot: upwards, inwards, outwards, downwards…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Wow, forms, punches, kicks, etc. Where was all this “stuff” going? How was it going to all come together?

Well, it does come together, and all in good time (pace and readiness)! With a gentle, yet firm approach, I saw Samuel learn the necessary forms, kicks, chops, etc. and from “a parent’s view”, so much more. He has: an increased attention span, patience, turn taking, copying from a model, awareness of his body in space…Respect for others, materials, the uniform, patches, belts & stripes…Customs (bowing & saluting as he enters or exits to the instructors or the training floor area), a sense of individuality, working & practicing with others as well as school unity at Newark Kenpo Karate.

I admit to being nervous the first time he tried sparring…now I cheer him on (sorry if I get too loud) and I cheer others on too! I have learned how to attack him, call out moves, say the Creed, and hold a couch pillow (which someday I hope to replace) so he can practice, practice, practice. My husband has often been the target of play and practice…Thank you! We both have sat in admiration at the “Test” day activities and are in awe of what is yet to come. Watching the White Belts, we marvel at how cute they are and remember how it was. Watching the advanced belts, we are amazed at the showcase of skill, determination, self-discipline, and the “How did they do that?” or “Did you see that?” amazement.

But it hasn’t always been about the class of the week or test day. It’s also been about the Newark Kenpo Karate school “family”….The Christmas party, the Scholar party, Sam’s Birthday party, seeing and hearing about tournaments, workshops, trophies, reading the newsletter “The Delayed Word”, talking to other parents and students, making friends and acquaintances, getting to know the instructors, getting to stare at the pets (Do-little, Red Dragon and Blue), buying lollipops and having fun! All from “A Parent’s View”.

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