A few weeks ago, one of the instructors at the dojang commented that, when I first started, I was probably the most intense white belt they had seen in a long time.  I was 15 lbs. heavier and would throw myself so completely into class that I would often be on the verge of total collapse, but I always made it through.  Early on, Grandmaster noticed this trait in me and encouraged it.  Lately I’ve noticed that the intensity has backed off a bit, but I still try to push myself pretty hard.  I’ve learned to pace myself a bit and I also think I no longer feel the need to prove how committed I am to practicing Tae Kwon Do.

Summertime has something to do with it I’m sure.  You ever hear of hot yoga?  Where you exercise in a room where the temperature is somewhere around body temperature?  Well I swear at our dojang in the summer we practice hot Tae Kwon Do.  The air conditioning is, in fact, on and in working order.  However you throw in the tar roof and a room full of exercising adults and the temperature is at a pretty steady 80-85 degrees with the fans on.  It’s even more brutal when we need to put our sparring gear on.  You don’t know hot until you wear a vinyl coated helmet and basically plastic coated chest protector, not to mention the shin/instep guards for 45 minutes in that training room.  Thankfully the instructors have us drink water every 10 minutes or so to keep hydrated.

Even so, there are times where I think for sure my spirit is going to be broken.  I think I nearly wept the other evening when midway through class we were instructed to put our sparring gear on.

Either that or the sweat was dripping into my eyes.



  1. oy, yes I joke with my dad (who is the master at my dojang) that he just tells us that the air is on. And who invented those vinyl helmets?!

  2. It has been like a sauna at our school recently. We have no A/C, so we open up a couple of big bay doors and turn on some industrial sized fans. It’s brutal.

  3. We’re pretty spoiled at my school. We have A/C and when it gets real hot we have industrial ceiling fans. But we see that as compensation for having the front of our West-facing school’s 2-story floor to ceiling windows (it used to be an auto dealer showroom). Being in the deep south doesn’t help. And nothing helps when it comes to vinyl sparring gear.

  4. hahahaha! i smiled at the hot yoga analogy.

    at uni, they have a kendo dojo near the literature library and in the summer you can smell it from 50 meters away. hahahaha!

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