I was wrong.
This was the first test in which Liam struggled. When it was time for his group of kids to get up and do their patterns (he, again, had to perform three), Liam got lost about halfway into the first pattern and got very confused. I don't know if it was heightened nerves because he wanted to show his Oma and Puppa how hard he's worked or if knowing I was video taping him distracted him. Whatever the case, he stopped and had to start over. When that happened, I put down the camera because I didn't want to put pressure on him.
He was pretty upset by his mistake. I could see him holding back tears and he had to wipe his eyes once. But Grandmaster Kong encouraged him by saying "We all make mistakes and we all lose our focus. Just start over and do your best, I know you can do it."
And he did. He got all the way through his first pattern without mistake the second time he tried. Then he went on and performed the second and third patterns flawlessly. When he sat down again, I could tell he was still upset and kept looking at me with a sick look on his face.
When he came over to suit up for sparring, I looked at him and said "You did great. It's OK. You're going to pass and I'm proud of you." Then we got him ready for sparring. He did fine after that. Sparring went well and breaking was a piece of cake.
I told him afterwards that I was most proud of how he got himself under control, started again, and did his very best. After all these tests and all the times he's breezed through without a problem, I was really glad to see that he didn't give up after one mistake. Sometimes he has the tendency to get very upset if he doesn't get something right the first time he tries it. He proved to himself that he can do it. I'm so proud of him.
He has one more stripe to earn in August and then he'll begin preparation for his black belt. He won't test for his black belt until April of 2013. He'll have plenty of time to master the necessary skills by then.
|Puppa and Spud|