Is it normal to be scared of your child after he starts taking karate lessons? That would be totally silly. Lots of kids take karate and it doesn’t mean dad is going to get roundhouse kicked through a window for disagreeing that the floor is hot lava… Right?

It’s just that my son seems different. He’s always asked me to watch his new “moves” even before karate classes, but now I can’t help but feel like this display is meant to assert dominance. Like when he glances over to make sure I’m still watching, it’s almost as if he’s taunting me and saying, “You like this old man? I chopped through a block of wood to get my green belt, what do you think I’m willing to do to your femur for a happy meal?” Of course, he doesn’t say this, but he’s also not not saying it if you know what I mean.

He’s only a small child, but he’s a small child that knows a lot more about fighting than I do. I know nothing about fighting. He knows this, and that only adds to the fear. He’s also training every day. The only thing I’ve ever trained for was to eat that 64 oz steak in under an hour so I could get my picture on the wall at my favorite restaurant.

I’m also worried he’s stronger than me now. Are his arms getting bigger? Has he been lifting weights? Again, he has been training an awful lot. How much is normal training? If I’m still stronger than him right now should I try and fight him while I still have a chance at winning? Try and make it clear who is in charge while I still can? I don’t know if I could even take him at this point, he’s already progressed too far. Once you see your kid in karate class show no mercy against his opponent, you can’t unsee that.

Even if he decided to spare me, do I need to be worried about his sleepwalking too? He’s always been a sleepwalker, but now he’s a lethal weapon that could strike at any moment without warning. He could be dreaming about battling various goblins, while in reality, he’s just kicking dear old dad in the groin repeatedly. Finding my kid wandering around the house at two in the morning has become akin to realizing there’s a drunk toddler pointing a gun at your head.

I didn’t sign up for this shit. For Christ's sake, the karate studio is in a strip mall sandwiched between a T.J. Maxx and a questionable massage parlor. I had literally zero warning. I was just looking for a normal suburban activity for my son. I didn’t know I was going to live in constant fear that my son might pull some Indiana Jones shit and rip the still-beating heart ripped out of my body.

Who thought it was a good idea to teach children how to fight in the first place? What kind of idiot thought to take a group that’s known for their emotional instability and teach them ways they could turn that emotional turmoil into physical force? What kinds of sadist thought to take a group that has zero problem making a scene in the middle of a crowded toy store and show them how to bend another person to their will using only a pinky? What kind of bringer of the apocalypse thought to take a group that will argue until blue in the face that there is a magic man who delivers presents on Christmas, and teach them how to do a one-punch murder blow?

Let’s be honest, karate is essentially a child fight club. The sensei is just some dude who oversees children fighting for his own amusements. What kind of person does that? He one time asked if I wanted to place a bet on the kids’ matches. He didn’t actually, but he could have, and isn’t that just as scary?

It’s too late for me. I’ve already locked myself in the bathroom and set up a barricade against the door. I’m just horrified by the possibility of my son’s unfocused rage when he finds out the shit DW pulled in this week's episode of Arthur. Tell my wife I love her. Oh, and if you see my son let him know that just because I’m scared of him doesn’t mean I’m not proud. But if I were you, I wouldn’t make eye contact with him. That kind of risky behavior just might land you in the hospital.


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