HampoLand

rainbow

Posts Tagged ‘fighting’

The Righteous Punch

bullyingI’m not supposed to write about this but I can’t keep my mouth shut.

Yesterday before school a bigger boy in my son’s class shoved him face first against a wall and he banged his head pretty hard. Instinctively, my son spun around and punched the kid in the face, hard.  The boy went down and cried. But Sandor helped him up and apologized and they shook hands.

Sandor called me to let me know what had happened. He was upset because he know if a teacher saw him he’d get in big big trouble, probably suspended.  He was also upset because he made the boy cry.  When I pressed him he explained he was kind of a big slow kid who did stuff like this all the time other people. He also told me he wanted to keep punching him but the yellow belt tenant in Taekwondo is Self Control.  He did the right thing and stopped.

I was totally stressed all day waiting for a call from the school. Right after lunch Sandor texted me “I feel so guilty”.  When we got home I asked him why and it was because the boy cried and that always makes him feel really bad.

Good news, this morning Sandor texted me again, the kid told him his face still hurt and they shook hands again.

Then my son told me about another fight which took place in the football lockerroom.  There’s a young man, I’ll call him Joe, who’s mother died a couple of years ago.  A seventh grade boy started making fun of Joe’s dead mother. (It doesn’t get any worse that that.) One of the star football players slugged the kid several time to shut him up. (Obviously, in my mind the right thing to do.) I believe this situation was handled appropriately by one of the coaches and was never reported.

The truth is some kids are just wretched human beings right now but they aren’t any worse than they used to be. I remember getting pushed around in first grade because I liked Davey Jones in the Monkeys.  And in 5th grade when I had to go to a new school for a little while in Florida all the kids and bus driver called me “Pig Farmer” because of my accent. Kids are really mean.

My son has been in Taekwondo, and messed around with boxing since he was three. He’s a second degree black belt and he’s been trained to do exactly what he did. Defend himself.  He’s also been taught to always always stick up for a kid being bullied. that’s one of the founding principals of our Taekwondo school and house hold.  That’s his job. There are sheep and there are coyotes in life and especially in school. Somebody has to be brave enough to protect the sheep. that’s the natural order of things. Walking away when you can help someone is a disgrace.

Hopefully our school administrators will come to understand (and many of ours do now, thankfully) we’re not helping anyone, especially the sheep, if we tell kids not to defend themselves and weaker students from punk ass coyotes. Teachers, administrators and the police can’t be everywhere all the time. So when we tell our strong and righteous students to step back we are only emboldening the bullies, we are giving them even more power.

It’s a fine line, but again, this is a situation where “zero tolerance” just doesn’t work.  If I defended an old person who was being pushed around at Walgreens by a big tough guy I’m pretty sure the police would take the circumstances into consideration.

There will always be bullies, there will always be kids who get bullied and there will always be heroes unless they all get suspended.

Little Boys Fighting…And Getting Over It

   A little boy named Trent is staying with us right now. He’s ten. Because he’s lived a very very transient life he hasn’t learned some  basic social skills most of us assume kids know.

Trent is very smart and quick but knife and fork skills are not his thing, no one has taught him to shake hands, to  load a dishwasher and not to burp in a big way at the dinner table. But those are the little things in life. Some stuff is a lot more important.

After living together for almost a month, Sandor and Trent got into a fight. I never figured out exactly what happened but Sandor felt like Trent acted in an “un-dude” kind of way.  They were wrestling, afterwards and I think Trent sucker punched Sandor in the kidneys….while Sandor was walking away…that made my son absolutely furious.

He said he was sick of Trent and wanted him to move out.

If  Trent doesn’t stay here, he’ll have to go to a foster home. DHS.

An hour later the boys were fine, joking and wrestling and acting like stupid ten year goobers.

Later that night when Trent and I were alone I asked him what happened.  He told me his version. Then I asked him what Sandor would say when I asked him the same question.  He thought for a minute then told me a slightly different story..

After a few minutes I said, “Trent, did you remember to apologize?”

“Why?”

He just shook his head. “Ok, here’s the deal. If you learn to apologize you will be a much happier guy.  All you have to do is say, “I’m sorry I hurt you” or ” I’m sorry I hurt your feelings” and a lot of times things will get better. If you screw up go on and say you’re sorry. Most of the time that’s all it takes and people will stop being mad.”

I told him I knew apologizing sucked and was hard. But it would really make his life better. Then  I said something like, “and when you have a girl friend or wife, you’ll need too apologize all the time.”

Trent looked surprised. “Why?”

“Guys say stupid stuff that hurts our feelings all the time. Mr Alex has to apologize lots.”

That got Trent’s attention and when I left the room he said, “Mr Alex why do you have to say you’re sorry?”

Alex laughed. “I’m in trouble all the time. I hurt her feelings  and I piss her off and I don’t even know why. Well sometimes I do know. But If I apologize she usually gets over it.”

Saying your sorry really does suck. It’s hard and embarrassing but sometimes it helps so much. The Lord knows I have a lot to apologize for, so it seems like it should get easier or I should get better at it…but that’s not the case though. Maybe next week.

 

 

Boys, Boobs and Bears

    For three nights I slept in a bear cave.   I went to Nashville to visit my son, Jack, who is 25. ( He and his band,  Natural Outlaws, put on an kick ass show at the Exit Inn.)  Before I got to Nashville, Jack asked if I wanted to get a hotel room or stay at his house? 

“I want to see you guys, I’m staying at the house.”

“Ok,” he said and I could hear the smile in his voice. “I’ll wash my sheets.”

While I was there a handful of guys from the band were in and out of the house, watching football, playing Madden, drinking, playing music, eating and sleeping( among other things) I was reminded of three things I already knew about boys/men living on their own.

You see, guys are actually bears with pants and guitars and we should all stop beating guys up for being…..guys. At twenty five all of these boys have graduated from college, they have jobs, pay their own bills on time and have car insurance. They take care of themselves. But they are not like us. They are bears who do what ever they want to do, when ever they feel like it. They don’t have to answer to anyone, they take care of each other, they are beautiful and powerful, like bears, in their natural habitat. But their rules and lifestyle are completely different from the rest of the world’s.

1. Guys don’t mind sleeping in their clothes and they don’t bathe as much as women…because they really don’t care about being clean or how they smell. Most women are compulsive about being clean. We shower two or three times a day. Guys shower when they have to or when somebody tells them they smell bad.

2.  Guys like looking at and trying to talk to hot semi-slutty looking girls. It’s in their nature.  Several of Jack’s friends ended up sleeping on the couch after a really, really late night. The next morning they explained what they could remember and James a crazy-smart brillant pianist explained  that around 2 am he absolutely had to go to a bar down town that’s something like Coyote Ugly where the girls dance on the bar. He knew it was dumb but he said he just wanted to see those hot dancing women. This boy had no intention of dating, sleeping with or even talking to any of the girls (I’m assuming) . He just liked looking at them and dancing like a fool…cause he’s a guy and it’s fun. Girlfriends and wives need to remember men don’t want to run away with hot girls who dance on bars or strippers. But they really like looking at them.

3. Guys like to fight, for them it’s fun.  I woke up at two in the morning and heard lots and lots of really loud yelling. Because I didn’t hear Jack’s voice I went back to sleep. The next morning two of the guys tried to remember what happened. They  thought they got in a fight over Madden NFL, then, just because they are dudes, they starting fighting. They beat the hell out of each other, then went to the ground, they rolled through three rooms, until one tapped out.

The next morning they were both a mess, sore and bruised but they were laughing.

If two twenty five year old girls had a fight at 2am the next morning their would be an arctic like chill in the air. They wouldn’t laugh or tease each other. They would drink their tea in hostle silence. Maybe after several hours of cold shoulders they would cry and hug but there would be no laughter.

Guys like fighting, it’s fun and they don’t care if they get hurt. Fights aren’t personal, they are recreational.  Women need to understand that.

And finally, guys don’t care if food is healthy, they don’t care if it’s loaded with salt, fat or chemicals. They just want it to taste good. And dudes don’t care if they get fat. Generally, they eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full, like bears. And they don’t understand why girls obsess over weight, why we can’t stop nibbling and we eat when we are upset. When guys want to lose weight they stop eating and play basketball. Maybe we could learn something from them.

 We need to stop beating dudes up because they act like bears. God made them that way and maybe we can learn something from them.

I Love A Good Fight…or At Least A Good Show

This weekend, Lexie and I went to a big ugly Cagemaster’s Cage Fighting event. There were more than a dozen amateur fights on the card and I couldn’t have been happier. I know that’s odd, actually weird. I’m over the age of 40, I have my masters degree, I write thank you notes, was a debutante and have four children. But I love fights, boxing, martial arts, kickboxing and now cage fighting.

The crowd is full of twentyfive year- olds with tattoos. I don’t match them but I know more and appreciate the fighters. I can’t find a single friend my age who wants to go to a cage fight with me .What’s wrong with me?

I can trace my love of boxing back to my childhood. First I met Ali when I was seven or eight. And while I was growing up my dad and I watched the heavy weight bouts on ABC on Friday nights. Howard Cosell was the announcer and the championship fights were something everybody watched and talked about. That was quality time I spent with my dad, so I took boxing very seriously as a little girl.

Thirteen years ago I took up Taekwondo and that involves a lot of sparring or fighting, especially in our school.  I learned things. Then, along came cage fighting and it has become a part of even the most traditional Martial Arts programs. Though most cage fighters have minimal training compared to martial artists.

I love movies about fighters, I generally hate movies with guns. It’s the art, heart and passion of a fight  I love so. Gun fights are soul-less.

A few of the great moments at the cage fights were note worthy.

Pastor Greg, a cool young minister said the prayer before the fights started.  He said, “And remember Jesus never tapped out.”

Second great moment.  There were a half dozen super skinny  hippsters sitting behind us, complete with fat black geek glasses, funny wool hats, button down plaid shirts and I Phones. They looked like perfect high teck dweebs but they were yelling ,”Kill him, smash his face in.”  They should have been hanging out in an expensive coffee shop, not the cage fights.

A friend of ours who is one of the highest ranked female boxers in the country, Kim Conner Hamby was a judge.  Sometimes Kim comes to our TKD schools and works with us in boxing. I swear, this125 pound woman hits like Joe Frazier in 1972, but faster.  Holding the pads for her wrecks my shoulders for a week. Every time I  see Kim she’s sweaty in baggy shorts and a sports bra,  but at the fights she looked beautiful. Lex and I heard guys talking about how hot she was.  Kim “Hot Girl” Hamby.

And finally, a very young fighter walked in as his theme song blasted, “Eye Of  The Tiger” from Rocky III. It was so cliche. The boy was young and soft looking, with a single tattoo of Snoopy on his shoulder. Seriously, Snoopy? The match up was almost sad and we immediately assumed he didn’t have a chance. Then his opponent came out to Eminem’s I’m Not Afraid.  He had a black hoodie covering his face. When he peeled it off we saw he was covered with scary looking tatts. It wasn’t looking good for Snoopy.  But half way through the first round Snoopy hit Eminem with an uppercut, then a big muay thai kick. The punk went down on his knees and Snoopy managed a rear naked choke.  Eye of the Tiger, Baby, Eye of the Tiger.

I love the combat, the passion and the spectacle. It’s good stuff. Just remember, always keep your hands up and sometimes Snoopy wins.