Yellow Belted Gestures

yellow-belted-robot

John and I went to karate class last Saturday. We weren’t doing karate; we were just watching. Our friend Will was taking his yellow belt test.

I’m glad Will is interested in karate. Having watched just a few of his classes, I see that karate teaches valuable lessons such as: mental and physical focus, self-control, self-discipline, goal-setting, proper conduct, and respect. It builds confidence and channels energy in a positive manner. I particularly like it when the kids finish their form, put their arms at their sides, and announce “I try my best, Sir.”

In last week’s class, Will showed determination…

will-at-karate

and demonstrated his form well. And he broke a board on his first try. We were very proud when Master O presented him with a yellow belt.

will's-karate-class

We struck a tiger pose together outside to commemorate the achievement.

dan-john-will-after-karate

But as you can see, the photo was a more memorable gesture for John and me than for Will. I wanted to do something else for Will so that he would understand John and I are very proud of him for earning his yellow belt.

I told John I wanted to make a paper robot for Will. He thought it was a nice idea. So today, while John painted wood trim in the kitchen, I cut out shapes for a yellow belted robot (which is much more fun than painting wood trim).

robot-supplies

Will and I have made several paper robots together. I cut out the shapes. Will punches holes and fastens the pieces together. He has 3 colored paper robots hanging up in his office.

will-with-hanging-robots

We made the first one because Will is into robots, and we thought it would be a fun activity. Over time, we made two more, because… well, because Will told me to.

When I arrived at Will’s house with the yellow belted robot kit, I explained it is special because it looks like Will does in karate class. I hoped he would like it. It was hard to tell at first — Will takes robot making seriously.

fastening-robot

Although we have not constructed a robot in a very long time (since way before kindergarten started), Will’s skills at hole-punching and brass fastener-fastening are still state of the art. I think he was pleased with himself.

constructing-robot

Just when I thought the robot was complete, Will ran out of the room. He returned with a blue marker,

will-drawing-robot-face

and quietly added a few final touches.

robot-face

I took this as a sure sign of his approval of the new robot.

Now complete,

finished-robot

and wearing his yellow belt with pride, the robot was ready to join the others.

will-hanging-robot

live. enjoy. repeat.

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