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?