Sorry for wearing my shoes in your dojo

First, I apologize for another sports-related post. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Blame the Olympics.

The other day I took my 5-year-old to watch a kid’s Aikido class to see if she might want to join. I admittedly don’t know much about Aikido except that it’s a form of martial arts, and supposedly less of the hit-kick-whack variety, and more of the Namaste variety. Or something like that.

I’m window shopping for a new activity for my daughter. She’s tried soccer, gymnastics and dance in the past with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Here she is enjoying one of her soccer lessons two summers ago. She’s the one on the right taking a nap.


I fully acknowledge that those soccer lessons were premature and a waste of money. On the upside, it made me realize how much I hate wasting money.

I find it sort of stressful to pick an activity for my kid. I realize she doesn’t need to do anything. She’s only 5. But she is a child who does better when she has a couple balls in the air. Otherwise she gets bored and starts throwing those balls through my windows.

But at this age, when they change their mind every 5 minutes and don’t necessarily always know what they want, you are inevitably projecting your own interests onto them at times. I mean, would Tiger Woods ever have played golf if it weren’t for his dad’s love of the sport? Would I have taken my kid to a martial arts class if I didn’t still lust after Danny LaRusso?

Danny LaRusso

So much hotness right there. SWEEP THE LEG.

So instead of just signing my kid up for the Aikido class because I think it sounds cool, I opted to bring her to one to watch and let her decide. I felt like this was a wise move. I am learning!

As usual, on the day of the class I was running late, it was pouring rain, and I was a wee bit frazzled. Long story short – on my way into the building, I somehow failed to see the 15 signs that said “NO SHOES IN THE DOJO,” “LEAVE SHOES BY THE DOOR,” and “NO SHOES BEYOND THIS POINT.”

So we traipsed right in like a bunch of ogres wearing our sloppy dirty sneakers, leaving a trail of crud behind us. Fast forward 7 minutes – the head of the dojo, Mr. Dojo, sees our offensive feet and walks over to my daughter, leans over her shoulder and into her face, and instructs her to “REMOVE YOUR SHOES.”

He wasn’t a jerk about it, but a) he was a big intimidating dude, and b) he was speaking in a stern whisper. It’s remarkable how frightening a whisper can be sometimes.

This in-your-face moment with the Dojo Whisperer scares the ever-loving-bejeezus out of her, she tears up, wants to leave, decides she hates Aikido, and says she will never ever ever return.

Well done, Amy. Well done. Golf, anyone?

9 thoughts on “Sorry for wearing my shoes in your dojo

  1. Oh friend. I feel for ya. Why is it that so often I have found myself the spectacle who messes up the rules? I am praying my children do not experience this.
    Unrelated- we have B in swim lessons. Mostly so he doesn’t die falling into a canal- since that’s why people take them here. He seems to like them, but again- it’s not for fun and games. I asked him if he wanted to try soccer- ahem, ‘football’ and he said no. I was cool with that. My husband said ‘let ME ask him’ all bad assey and I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. We live where soccer is king. Does he think that we’re going to be naturals or something?

  2. I think it’s great that she’s trying all kinds of different things, even if that meant getting angry-whispered at by the Dojo guy. Apparently when I was 3 or 4, my mom asked me if I wanted to take dance classes and I said no, so that was that. I’ve always wished she would have just signed me up and let me try it first, but she didn’t want to push me into anything the way her parents pushed her.

    • That’s what I’m hoping – that she can experiment and have fun trying a handful of things, and eventually she’ll like something enough that it will stick. Or she’ll just keep taking really expensive naps during her classes.

  3. Ugh. Activities. The worst.

    The girl’s favorite activity was a jazz dance class, and that was mostly because the teacher was all about letting her do her thing. I loved that teacher.

  4. Getting our kids into activities should’t be so stressful, should it??? I haven’t written about our soccer experience yet because a) we’ve only had 1 game, and b) I’m hoping it gets better. Let’s just say that all of the things i’ve taught them about not taking and not kicking were thrown completely out the window and they were thoroughly confused.

    • I could write a novel about bad soccer experiences. You would think I learned my lesson after the season of naps, but I signed her up for yet another one after that. I hope you have better luck!

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