I am a proud Moe.
DJ rocked her 2nd degree black belt test – a test that has been 2 years in the making.
DJ started taekwondo when she turned 8. She loved it. She lived it. She dreamed it. Her drawings were all girls doing various kicks. Her stories were inspired by the martial art she fell in love with. She took it seriously. She wanted to be elite. A few times, when her master thought she was ready to test, DJ said she was not. She wanted perfect. And perfect is what she got more often than not.
I recall when she tested for her black belt. She rocked it. While the breaks weren’t there, her forms and kicks where. Even when she screwed up her form, she kept going missing that beat but picking up the next one. She showed how she was doing her thing – not copying her peers or looking for others to help her get back in step. Nope. she got back in step and finished on her own showing everyone she was not a quitter and she would not be discouraged. It was awesome.
Over the past year, she has kicked it up even more than she had before. She faced her fears and kicked ass to get her 3rd and 4th levels thereby qualifying for her 2nd degree test. And then, she took things seriously. She went into her black belt classes and didn’t fuck around. She would leave her 45 min class sweating with sleeves rolled up. Her kicks were hard and heavy – breaking the boards and knocking people down. She was training for the test – and everyone watching knew it. While other parents were dragging their kids to class, DJ was telling us when class was.
So it is no surprising she kicked ass and got her 2nd degree black belt with ease. She was out there – you could hear her uniform snapping as she hit each block and punch and kick. She was loud. She was focused. She was dead on.
And I couldn’t help but beam. She owned it. SB passed a message to her through me that this was her belt to claim – she had already earned it. And she showed everyone the truth behind that statement. She was there to pick up her new belt. She looked better than most of her peers. She looked like she belonged in the 3rd degree row. She was just – wow.
While there is debate if this is good for self defense, I am happy she found her sport. Sports for girls is incredibly important. Why? Because they learn to think for themselves. They learn the power in their body. They learn how there are some incredible things their bodies can do. They learn to overcome challenges. They learn to want more and what it takes to get more. They learn to lead. They learn to look within to find strength – one of the most important things for girls to learn – especially at her age.
The fact I get to witness it – the fact I get to see her succeed – the fact I get to feel her confidence in herself – the confidence that doesn’t make her think twice about sparring against three men – well, it’s just fucking awesome. It makes me proud to be her Moe.
And it makes me have hope that she will get through the teen years strong. It gives me hope she will not be easily swayed by the BS of growing up. That she will always know her strength – and know – with a little sweat and hard work – the world is her’s for the taking.