Test Day Ups and Downs

Ups:

  • I tested for and earned my red belt.
  • I broke my board the week before with my 7 year old (who broke her board at the same time)
  • Both my children earned their assistant leadership
  • My 10 year old broke her board on the first try with a beautiful looking kick

Downs:

  • I tried to break at the test with my alternate kick which requires breaking two boards. Didn’t even crack it.
  • My 10 year old didn’t pass her blue belt test so she will be testing again next month.
  • She fell and sprained her wrist 2 days before the test, so she was a smidge distracted and couldn’t quite get her poomsae right.

I felt so badly for my oldest daughter. A few cracks started showing at her test and then she just crumbled. She had to do Sah Jang and Il Jang. She performed them flawlessly yesterday at class. One of the requirements of assistant leadership is knowing how to tie your belt correctly and doing it in front of everyone. By this time she knew she didn’t pass her belt test. That and the splint on her wrist made it difficult for her to do in front of everyone. Immediately after the test she proved she could do it, so they allowed that to count. I was so worried about what this would do to her confidence and motivation, but she seems to have bounced back with a vengeance. I think she is out to prove she knows her stuff at the next test, which is the kind of stubborness I encourage. At my lesson today, I believe I learned the whole sequence to my red belt poomsae (chil jang). It is all sorts of new and one of the more difficult ones I’ve had to learn so far. Tiger stance FTW!

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Not Ready for Prime Time

I decided to watch some Tae Kwon Do footage from the Beijing Olympics. Given that it is the art I practice it should be interesting, no?

Forgive me, but I found it dead boring. It’s not much of a spectator sport. When each round is 2 minutes long and all the two opponents do is bounce around for 1 1/2 minutes unsuccessfully taunting the other person into striking first, I tend to drift off.

I know, I know, TKD is a defensive art not an offensive one. Still, I think I now know why it’s not televised. In my opinion, Olympic TKD doesn’t really capture the art of TKD. You don’t see a hell of a lot of it in the matches. I also think my attitude explains why I’m not all that interested in competition outside of poomsae.

In the interest of comparison I watched some Olympic Judo. Far more interesting with the takedowns and actual, I don’t know, action?

Got It!

After several choice words and a disconnect in the middle of uploading I have the video…with sound!

There is a smidge of background noise (fans) and the color looks hideous because the floor and the three walls without mirrors are GREEN! But here I am doing Tae Guk Yuk Jang (my brown belt poomsae).

Poomsae Video Forthcoming (I hope)

If I can get it to upload to YouTube.  And I might not have sound on it.   The only computer on the house that I can transfer movies to (from my camera) is a middle aged laptop.  Let’s hope I can figure it out.

I Get Nervous Just Thinking About It

My belt test this month that is.  It’s on the 23rd and if all goes well I’ll get my red belt.  I’m starting to internally freak out about how much more is being demanded of me.  I kind of knew this would happen, but living in denial is so much easier.  Now that I’m an assistant leader, I have to assist in a certain number of classes between belts.  With the acceleration, it’s not always the easiest to meet this requirement, but the thought of being denied an opportunity to test keeps me on top of it.  I also have to come up with the first of my leadership projects.  It is supposed to be something I’m interested in improving and it has to last an entire month.  I need to complete three of these before I can become a full leader (and wear the complete black dobok).  I’m considering something in the health & fitness arena.  Like weight loss (I hit a plateau and may have even gained a few with the current state of living arrangements.  My parents have been with us for a month – just a few more days to go).  It has to be something measurable.  So I could choose to set a goal for full push-ups and outline how I’m going to meet that goal.  It’s something that must last the whole month while working on it every day.

On top of assisting and leadership projects, I also am going to have to start verifying and learning nomination sequences on top of my belt level requirements.  I’m still a little fuzzy on what the difference is.

Ok, I looked it up in the information I have.  It’s like, take what I need to know now and multiply it by about 4.  The timing is absolutely fantastic (<end sarcasm>).  The kids will be in school and their activities outside of school and TKD will be in full tilt.  It was at this point that one of my classmates was ready to chuck it all.

It was also suggested that I start taking a third class during the week.  Now, in theory, this is a great idea, I’d love to in some ways.  However, the aforementioned children’s activities may make this a virtual impossibility.  If I add a third class I might only see my husband face to face on weekends.  And home cooked meals are going to be rare.

Ha ha, I just reviewed what I just wrote and my feeling of overwhelm is palpable.  Thankfully, I have enough friends in the academy that have been through this, that I will have plenty of help sorting it all out.  My biggest frustration is that it is just assumed that you know what you have to do, nothing is spelled out for you ever (not even as a white belt).  I’m quite certain this is by design, they are all about being a self-motivated, self-reliant person that they couldn’t do it any other way.

One thing I want to do soon is make a video of me doing my poomsae.  Lately it has felt fantastic and I’m really happy with how I’m coming along.  Apparently the two months between belts helps me to relax a little more and not feel like it’s life or death to learn it.

Also, as soon as the schedule allows I want to start going to Saturday classes so I can take the eskrima class.  It looks like a lot of fun and it would be nice to do something a little different.  I think the girls would enjoy it as well as soon as they are inducted as assistant leaders (they just earned it – yay!).

Oh, and since I’m going on and on, I figured I’d add something more.   Remember when I was questioning the commitment of my 10 year oldl?  I shouldn’t have worried.  She has become SO intense in class and really seems to be enjoying herself.  Even her instructor (whom I was talking to about the issues we were having) was blown away.  At least for now, that’s one less thing I need to worry about.

Gotta go to a lesson.