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Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-14-2005, 02:42 PM   #1
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Raising a grrrrl.

The new 13-year-old and I went to a tae kwon do tournament on Maui last weekend. We had a great time.

Our dojang is headed by the McCutcheons, a husband & wife team, both black belts, with about 300 students in two locations. He loves to spar & coach while she loves to run the business (and to tell him where to go coach). It's a fun show to watch and a great marriage/business example for families to emulate. They're raising three kids (all future black belts & Olympians) and she's even considering homeschooling (they offer two TKD classes in the middle of the day for HS families).

Maui's Kiffman TKD has started an annual tournament. The Kiffmans are a lot like the McCutcheons and she's really grown the business in the last few years. Their inaugural tournament got a lot of help from McCutcheons but they went way beyond them in some areas-- they invited teams from Germany and the Philippines, the Maui mayor got roped into free publicity, and their website allowed online registration with PayPal. So our dojang has a lot to learn from theirs, and the two island's tournaments will only get better from competing with each other. While you might expect more of a militaristic version of the Karate Kid movies, this is actually a great family-oriented gig.

Our kid still can't believe that she scammed her parents into a neighbor-island trip with McDonald's dinner and her own hotel room. (You parents will appreciate that a kid's own room is in your best interests, not theirs.) But with apologies to JB, when you hit Kahului on a Saturday night and have to dodge the sidewalks as they roll up at 8 PM, you begin to realize that you're in a really small town. I know that this is the pot calling the kettle black, but it was tough to find an alternative to leaving our kid alone in the hotel room with her own personal Nintendo system.

It turned out that a Saturday-night state amateur boxing tournament was being held at the same place as our Sunday TKD tournament. It had kids from about eight different clubs, including a number of girl's matches, so we went to see why my old boxing habits are so bad for TKD.

First she was amused by the hype. The announcer was a local version of the "Let's get ready to rrrrrrrrumble!" guy complete with rumpled black suit, shaved head, slimy pencil-thin goatee, and cool heavy-framed black glasses. The hardest-working man in the room was the DJ with his 10 megawatt sound system. It's a stark contrast to a TKD tournament where the only noise you hear is the kihap yells & impacts.

Then there was the crowd-- this was apparently the big place to be on a Kahului Saturday night. Even for a beach community the display of gold jewelry & goatees (mostly male), short/tight skirts (mostly female), with cowboy boots & cleavage (both genders) was surprising. The ringside ($10 extra) eye candy was especially compelling and I expected pugilistic displays to be just as prevalent in the crowd as in the ring. Apparently the real action was out in the parking lot with the beer, cigarettes, & local constabulary.

Aside from the shows, the boxing was pretty educational too. Our kid understands how to throw a good right hook now, which for a southpaw is difficult, and she sees how it can really break up an opponent's offense. Somehow that's never come across in the dojang over the last 18 months but it only took about 30 minutes on that Saturday night. We watched for a couple hours before she decided she needed a good night's sleep for the big match tomorrow (how many parents get to hear that from their kid?!?).

But the most educational moment of all was between rounds. While the two teenage girls were getting coaching tips in their corners, another teenage aspiring supermodel (10 cents a dozen on Maui) would slither through the ropes wearing a tight sarong & swimsuit top and sashay around the ring holding up the number of the next round (on the back of the card were ads for Maui's finest cement, trucking, & paving companies). As you might expect from a hormonally-challenged group, this generated some competitive attention.

So I turned to my daughter and asked "Hey, if you could be in the ring right now, would you rather be the girl with the gloves getting the crap beat out of her, or the girl holding up the sign and getting all the applause?" The answer was immediate: "Gloves." I asked her the same question about every other teenage girl on our street, and it appears that we only have one girly girl in the neighborhood. Our grrrrrrls tolerate her because she loans out her cell phone, and maybe someday she'll be loaning out spare boyfriends too. ("Eeeeeeuw, gross, Dad!") It'll be interesting to see what kind of lifestyle our kid carves out for herself, but hopefully she won't have to use a right hook so often.

Airfare/car rental package-- $350
Hotel rooms- $200
Tae kwon do tournament-- $65 each (pain & bruises no additional charge)
Boxing match-- $20/ticket
Two bronze medals-- adults $4.50 each, valuable treasure to a kid
Four fast food meals in two days-- eeeeeeeuw, gross, $50
Free tournament locker rooms with showers-- wonderful!
Catching an earlier flight home on a school night-- $25/ticket
Quality butt-kicking time with your daughter-- priceless.

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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-14-2005, 03:55 PM   #2
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

It sounds like a great adventure Nords, and that priceless time with the kid.

My boys and I took Tae Kwon do together and it was a great family sport that we could share.
Unfortunately they both dropped out and left me to get my black belt alone. While they were proud of me, neither one wanted to finish the program. It was more fun with them. It's been years now, but I occasionally think about starting a less impact form of martial arts. One without sparring. Any suggestions?
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-14-2005, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB
It sounds like a great adventure Nords, and that priceless time with the kid.

My boys and I took Tae Kwon do together and it was a great family sport that we could share.*
Unfortunately they both dropped out and left me to get my black belt alone.* While they were proud of me, neither one wanted to finish the program. It was more fun with them.* It's been years now, but I occasionally think about starting a less impact form of martial arts.* One without sparring.* Any suggestions?
Fencing. There is sparring and contact, but you are pretty well padded and protected, especially if you go with foil (skip epee and sabre if you don't want welts/wallops).
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-14-2005, 05:31 PM   #4
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The new 13-year-old and I went to a tae kwon do tournament on Maui last weekend.* We had a great time.

Our dojang is headed by the McCutcheons, a husband & wife team, both black belts, with about 300 students in two locations.* He loves to spar & coach while she loves to run the business (and to tell him where to go coach).* It's a fun show to watch and a great marriage/business example for families to emulate.* They're raising three kids (all future black belts & Olympians) and she's even considering homeschooling (they offer two TKD classes in the middle of the day for HS families).*

Maui's [url=http://www.mauiinternationaltkd.com/]Kiffman TKD[/url

Aside from the shows, the boxing was pretty educational too.* Our kid understands how to throw a good right hook now, which for a southpaw is difficult, and she sees how it can really break up an opponent's offense.*

Nords: I'm sure in future years, your youngster will have the memories of your being involved with her in this sport, or any other, as one of her most cherished. Good for you. (My adult daughters certainly do).
Had to nit-pic a little though.

For a right-handed boxer, no such thing as a right hook. (Right cross). For a left handed boxer
(your daughter), right hook.

Camp pendleton, USMC boxing team, circa 1956
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-14-2005, 09:14 PM   #5
 
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

She probably enjoyed the fact that you said the word "crap" in front of her.
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-14-2005, 10:03 PM   #6
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Had to nit-pic a little though.

For a right-handed boxer, no such thing as a right hook.* (Right cross).* For a left handed boxer (your daughter), right hook.*

Camp pendleton, USMC boxing team, circa 1956
I should've mentioned that one of the headline bouts didn't have a boxing club after his name.* It just said "Marines." Good thing he's a local 'cause the other guy's boxing club coach was not happy with the results of the USMC training program that were administered to his protegé. The victor wasn't even breathing hard.

You're absolutely right, your nit-pic would certainly account for the "D" I got in freshman boxing.* Although I hope you've had a lot more opportunities to use those skills than I did!
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-15-2005, 01:35 AM   #7
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
So I turned to my daughter and asked "Hey, if you could be in the ring right now, would you rather be the girl with the gloves getting the crap beat out of her, or the girl holding up the sign and getting all the applause?" The answer was immediate: "Gloves." I asked her the same question about every other teenage girl on our street, and it appears that we only have one girly girl in the neighborhood. Our grrrrrrls tolerate her because she loans out her cell phone, and maybe someday she'll be loaning out spare boyfriends too. ("Eeeeeeuw, gross, Dad!") It'll be interesting to see what kind of lifestyle our kid carves out for herself, but hopefully she won't have to use a right hook so often.
So does this mean the Tom boy thing is in full swing? Ours still gags at the boys are but the time spent on "the look" even before track meets (coed I might add) seems to indicate otherwise. Then again she is just turning 15 and what a difference two years makes.

Any pictures of her in action? Never saw a TKD match.
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-15-2005, 08:11 AM   #8
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

Hey, some "martial arts" are trying to catch up with the sleaze factor of boxing, ever watch K-1 kickboxing? Enough thumping bass, gold chains, and scantily clad females to make Don King proud.

I remember from my women studies classes that a studies showed self defense classes had a very positive effect on young women's self esteem. That confidence translated outside the ring.
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-15-2005, 08:36 AM   #9
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TargaDave
So does this mean the Tom boy thing is in full swing? Ours still gags at the boys are but the time spent on "the look" even before track meets (coed I might add) seems to indicate otherwise. Then again she is just turning 15 and what a difference two years makes.

Any pictures of her in action? Never saw a TKD match.
We keep pointing out which boys are finding reasons to "hang around" in the house, but she insists it's because we have DSL or a place to hook up their Playstations without a bunch of parental interference.

I've been informed by my spouse that "the look" is strictly competition against the other girls for peer-ranking points and has little/nothing to do with boys. Wish I'd realized that when I was a teenager.

Haven't taken any match photos (they just won't hold that pose for long enough) and anyway I'm too busy watching, but here's a slew of the dojang's competition team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Hey, some "martial arts" are trying to catch up with the sleaze factor of boxing, ever watch K-1 kickboxing?* *Enough thumping bass, gold chains, and scantily clad females to make Don King proud.*
I guess that first I'd have to consider K-1 part of martial arts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
I remember from my women studies classes that a studies showed self defense classes had a very positive effect on young women's self esteem. That confidence translated outside the ring.
There's a lot of that in equestrian sports & women's paddling, too, but martial arts is a lot more affordable. And she's starting to see the difference in muscle & endurance at school, too.
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-15-2005, 10:07 AM   #10
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

Where do I sign up for "women's paddling"??
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-15-2005, 10:16 AM   #11
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

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Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
Where do I sign up for "women's paddling"??
Don't know, but maybe Spanky could give you a hand...

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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-16-2005, 12:52 AM   #12
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

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Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
Where do I sign up for "women's paddling"??*
Yeah, yeah, I get it, but around here it's competitive in both high-school sports & adult clubs, so to speak:
Attached Images
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-16-2005, 02:27 PM   #13
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

For good food around Kahului try the Saigon Cafe in Wailuku, Fresh Mint (veg), or the Bangkok Cafe. For lunch I like the Maui Coffee Roasters, or the Vietnamese place in the Maui Mall next to Borders. Drive 10 minutes to Paia and check out the Corner Fish Market, Cafe Desami, Charlie's. The take out counter at Mana's Natural Foods also very good.

Did you check out the Aloha Classic Windsurfing Competition at Hookipa Beach Park? Friday was incredible, with the kids ripping it up on 10-15 ft waves. Check out the photo gallery on the site.

11 year old Kai Lenny was incredible.
[img width=256 height=256]http://www.alohaclassicwindsurfing.com/2005/gallery/20051111/photos/_MG_7727.jpg[/img]

I was out windsurfing at Kanaha beach park (just behind the airport) on Friday and Saturday evening. Kanaha is my favorite for both windsurfing and surfing.
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-18-2005, 09:49 AM   #14
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

Pardon me for the following, but a few thoughts for you with daughters still on your payroll...

As a parent of two girls, I always believed that one of the best gifts I could give them was their own independence, strongly linked to their ability to take care of themselves in the real world. I'm not talking about physical self-defense, rather the ability to function in society by having a general understanding of how the world actually works and what they need to do to survive and thrive. I tried to do this by gently encouraging them to work in the summer, open a checking account, balance their own checkbook, do their own income taxes, etc.

I also spent time talking with them about all sorts of life decisions: college majors, job opportunitues, car buying, credit card debt, mortgage decisons, homebuying and such. This was in addition to, not in place of, the other critical subjects we discussed (such as why the slimeball she wanted to go out with Friday night would be shot on sight if he showed up at the front door .

Even after they got their degrees, got jobs, moved out , got married and had children , they would still ask ol' dad for advice about things, especially job and financial decisions. It always felt good that they sought my counsel and tried to be careful to simply point out the pros and cons of the situation as I saw it and not be judgemental with whatever decision they made.

But now I've noticed things have changed. They no longer seek dad's advice on buying a house or changing jobs. Not that they need it, as both are doing very well, are financially conservative, and have given us four (soon to be five) wonderful grandchildren. Although I know I shouldn't be, I am a little sad that my sage wisdom is no longer in demand like it once was. Guess I should just be happy knowing that all that work I did to prepare them to be independent paid off.

Just something for you guys with "grrrls" still around to think about...

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Re: Raising a grrrrl.
Old 11-18-2005, 02:02 PM   #15
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Re: Raising a grrrrl.

REWahoo,

Good post.
We have a couple daughter that'll be "on the payroll" for another decade or so. There seem to be lots of subtle pressures on girls these days (probably they weren't so subtle in the past). We try hard to teach our girls to feel empowered in school, sports, and the selection of their friends. So far it seems to be working.

I can't think of anything more important to instill in them than self confidence and the feeling of being empowered to affect their lives.

It sounds like you did a great job. Your girl's independence is proof of that!

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