Tag Archives: karate


Well Mark brought home his report card and when I joked that he was going to be in grade three again, he wept (and I felt horrible).  So I quickly assured him not only did he pass but he did well.  The truth is that despite having a horrible year at school, his marks were really quite good and I am extremely proud of him.  On top of doing well in school this year, he got his yellow belt in karate last week.  He spent weeks working on his technique and form and I was glad for him that he got it before the summer.  I don’t know if I feel any safer as the father of a yellow belt but the coffee table trembles when he walks by.

The bad part of the day was in talking to the parents of one of Mark’s friends.  They are moving him to Caswell School next year after he was badly beaten (it seemed to fall into the category of an asault) by yet another violent kid that was in Mark’s class.  His dad saw the attack but was too far away to stop it.  Their other children have experienced it as well this year.  I don’t blame them for doing it.  We spent most of the year walking Mark to and from school but then again, so did they and it still happened.

For Mark, he finished the day with his karate summer barbecue.  Everyone chows down quickly on some hot dogs and then they pull out Super Soakers and shoot each other until ocean levels have gone down significantly.  Lee left his ice core Super Soaker at the house when he moved out and so Mark froze it and took it over as a backup weapon.  I could hear them yelling and laughing from a block away tonight.  When he walked in he said, “I need dry gitch” which just about sums up his evening.

His summer is being spent with us at the lake and he is going to Beaver Creek Camp.  Their four day camp is about perfect for heading to camp for the first time, some of his friends are going, and it’s pretty close to the city if it doesn’t work out.  On top of that, I have gotten to know and appreciate the camp directors through work and they will take good care of him.

I have vacation booked for the last week of July which I think is my first full week off work since I went to the Bahamas in 2007.  My boss looked dazed and confused as she signed my vacation request.  We are heading to the lake and then to Mosaic Stadium to watch the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Edmonton Eskimos.  In light traffic we are only an hour away from Mosaic Stadium.

I am going to take a week off in August as well.  I imagine that will be spent out at the lake as well.  Wendy will be working so part of the plan is for me to take Mark and Oliver out to the lake and let her chill out while not working.  Between the three of us, we should manage okay without her but you never know.

Whatever happens, I hope it is a good summer for the family.  It’s been a while since we all unwound together.

Mark’s learning to become a lethal weapon

On the weekend Mark took in a seminar with a 7th degree Karate black belt and had a lot of fun.  Black belts from all over western Canada were at Mayfair School which probably meant that there was no safer place in all of Canada over the weekend.

The sensei spent a lot of time hands on with all of the students but took some time to have some fun with some of the younger ones.  Mark is the shorter kid in the middle of the action.  Some more photos of the weekend can be found here.


Mark awaiting the referees decision Mark had his first karate tournament last week at Albert Community Centre.  He went in ahead of us while I parked.  As Wendy, Oliver and I got into an elevator, it went up a story, lurched to a stop and we stayed stuck for a while.  Wendy called the emergency phone and as she was talking on it, we started to fall a couple of bumpy feet at a time which was un-nerving to say the least.  We tumbled three or four times until we had a softer landing and then got out safe and sound.

As we got out, there was a group of people waiting to get on.  We all explained that the elevator wasn’t working and we actually lurched quite badly down a story and not to take it.  One lady goes, “Well I don’t feel like taking the stairs.” and got on.  The other couple was just stunned and again repeated what we had gone on and she got on anyways.  As far as I know, she may be still stuck there.

Mark had a bad experience at the tournament.  He had to spar against a girl he goes to school with and he did not like the idea of having to hit a girl.  While he was trying to figure out how he could win and still be an honorable gentleman, she chased him out of bounds and won the match.  He was feeling pretty horrible until I pointed out that the top four semi-finalists were all girls and all of the guys lost to girls.  They are probably all arguing that they didn’t like to hit girls but several of the girls just had better technique than the guys.  Mark’s ego took a beating even if if his body didn’t.

Of course as his father I have been trying to help him through this.  We were running errands and I offered to protect him from any girls that he saw.  He is looking to be adopted out.