We have had our oldest boy enrolled in a Tae Kwon Do academy for the past 5 years. We enrolled our youngest in the same academy about two years ago. We're returning customers and just enrolled our kids for two more years, so that should tell you what we think of the academy.
One of the things we like about the academy aside from its martial arts aspects are the life lessons the master teaches. Yesterday's lesson in my eldest boy's class was about how to achieve success. It was essentially a lesson in economics: everything has a trade-off. Everything beneficial comes with some sort of cost, and not necessarily money costs. Sometimes the costs are in terms of time given up to do something. Risk is also a part of the cost: to get success in the future you have to tolerate the fact that you might fail. Without risk, there is no success.
All he needed to do was say the term "opportunity cost" and were it not for the kihaps, self-defense moves, and white uniforms, you might have thought you were in the first meeting of Econ 101, minus the sleeping students of course.
On the way home, the kids and I were talking about poker hands, specifically about what hand generally trumps all others (the royal flush, obviously). We got to talking about probabilities and how they determine the value of poker hands.
During a lull, I changed the topic to the lesson. I told my eldest that the day's lesson was really about economics, the subject which dad teaches at the university. "Economics is about trade-offs," I said, "and the master was talking about how success comes at a price - don't be fearful of paying a price because without it there's no success."
To which my eldest, after a brief pause, replied "Dad, what's the best hand in poker?"
Can you say "professor FAIL?"
Oh well. We economists always talk about doings things at the margin. I guess I'll have to content myself with giving my sons lessons in economics at the margin and realize that the lessons won't always sink in, and may never sink in. Like the master said, success comes at a price.