In this blog, I will interrupt my usual discussion of writing matters to provide an update on my grandson, Ellie Woodson.
After almost three years of diligent work, Ellie earned his black belt in HapKido, a Korean form of martial arts (karate) on Saturday, July 14, 2018.
HapKido has been good for Ellie. He is a shy nine-year-old boy. Karate has helped him build self-confidence and discover a natural athletic prowess he might not have known about otherwise. He took his first karate class at the age of six in August 2015, during the same week that he entered the first grade. Now, two weeks before he enters the fourth grade, his hard work has paid off.
Aside from earning his black belt, Ellie competed in a championship series for trophies in board-breaking and sparring. To his delight, he earned first place in the former, and second place in the latter. July 14 turned out to be a stellar day for the boy.
From my perspective, the best lesson he learned was the value of perseverance. He toiled on his karate lessons day after day, week after week, for years. I have lectured him many times about the value of sticking with something no matter how difficult and boring it seems. Life is difficult and boring, I have told him. Anything worth doing becomes difficult and boring at times. Still, you have to keep at it. You will never excel at anything if you quit when the task becomes difficult and boring. He has heard these admonitions many times, but I hope his success in karate will drive home the point. He kept at it through all the difficult and boring lessons, and he triumphed. It is a terrific lesson for a nine-year-old.