Today was Monkey Man’s weekly tae kwan do class…his class is called the “Little Tigers” class which basically means that it’s the very beginning class, the kids earn a series of belts up to a “tiger black belt” or something like that, and the parents pay through the nose to watch their little uncoordinated darlings attempt to learn right from left. Joey went with us today and he and I sat in the back of the studio, silently laughing our heads off watching the kids. The jumping jacks alone are worth the trip.
There was this poor kid named Jackson in the class, and today he was supposed to get his yellow belt. All this really means at this level is that the parents have had to sit through five agonizing classes of Jackson doing things like catching dustbunnies and rolling around on the floor trying to lick his own toes. It really doesn’t reflect any skill sets other than perhaps keeping him from putting a chokehold on any of the other students.
But I digress. Jackson was having an off day today, apparently. The kid wouldn’t sit still, wouldn’t listen to the instructor, and at one point out of frustration the instructor moved his little buddy/partner in crime to the completely opposite side of the class…so what did Jackson do but get up and move to be by his buddy again.
At this point, after having everyone in the audience snickering throughout the class, Jackson’s Dad got up and physically removed him from the class. You have never heard such a screeching banshee, kicking and clawing at his dad and howling “I wan’ my yella belt!” over and over. It was actually kind of pathetic, but Dad was sticking to his guns and said firmly, “Master said you had to have a good class today to get your yellow belt, but you have been disobedient and disrespectful to Master and your classmates, so we are going home.”
They exited stage left, and the rest of the parents sat there agape with pseudo-horror. On one hand, I applaud the dad for having the balls to say NO to his kid…but on the other hand, the kid is FOUR YEARS OLD. He is not a future Charles Manson. He’s just a kid, and other than being a little disruptive he wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary for a four year old kid. Anyhow, it wasn’t my call and he’s not my kid, but I did feel a teensy bit sorry for poor Yella Beltless Jackson.
As we walked out of the studio, Monkey Man said in hushed tones, “Did you see Jackson’s daddy? He was mad. And Jackson didn’t get his yella belt.”
I looked across at Joey and said, “That father better watch out because once his kid gets his black belt, he’s dead meat. I think Jackson is going to remember this for a long time.”
I was just struck by what a great series this would make, kind of like Karate Kid, but it would be Yella Beltless Jackson. How a young lad, ripped away from the award of his yella belt by his father, becomes a tae kwan do superstar and spends his adult life avenging the injustice imposed upon him by his father in the Little Tigers class. I'm going to get cracking on this idea right away. I think this could be a winner!