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The Price of Karate

I started my daughter in Karate at a young age.  It was a commitment as a parent to get her there.  Often times I was sacrificing time with her or some other activity so she could go to Karate.  And it was a financial commitment as well.  


Someone asked me years ago, “why do you pay that much for a young kid to take Karate?”


And it was a fair question.  At 6 years old, was this little girl going to take down a bad guy because she knew some Karate?  Probably not.  I didn’t really have a great answer at the time other than she enjoyed it, it was a good physical activity, and she was learning good life lessons from people who I trusted.


As many years have passed, and my daughter is entering those challenging teenage years, I have a much better answer to that question.  I realize now that I wasn’t paying for her to take Karate.  Honestly, I didn’t care if she knew her Katas and Kumite all that much.  So, what was I really paying for?


Easy.


I paid for times she wanted to quit but didn’t

I paid for times when she said she was “too tired” for Karate, but went anyways (and had a great time)

I paid for her to learn lessons in RESPECT outside of the house

I paid for her to take care of her own body

I paid for her to learn to work well with others and be a good teammate

I paid for her to learn how to deal with disappointment when things didn’t go exactly right, or she didn’t get a promotion when someone else did

I paid for her to realize she should be happy for others when they accomplished something

I paid for her to make goals and accomplish them

I paid for her to realize that it takes lots of time to get really good at something and there was no instant gratification in the real world

I paid to give her some quality time AWAY from a screen

I paid for her to create lasting friendships away from her home and school


I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point.


In the end, I didn’t pay one cent for my daughter to take Karate.  I paid for so much more and, seeing the results it helped create, it was a price I would have paid 10 times over!  I paid for experiences and life lessons that so many other activities our kids do don’t really provide.  Needless to say, I would do it all over again just the same way. 




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