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Monday, April 25, 2005

Black Belt

On Thursday, I received an "Ace-alanche" from a link at Ace of Spades HQ. Unfortunately, as you can see, I was unable to take advantage of the sudden arrival of over 100 visitors in a day - because I was headed to Atlanta. Thus, I didn't post On Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

The test went like this: I made some early errors when my forms led me to be right on top of some of the spectators, which took me out of my center for a moment (I can't hit them, but I can't look weak. What do I do? Ack!). After the first portion of the test, the judges announced that two of the seven of us were not doing well. I gured they meant one of the older testers, who was going to quickly on his forms and not keeping the movements sharp. However, I had no idea who the other was. I had the most re-starts of anyone, and thought I was as likely as anyone else.

The second part involved attacking drills, self-defense drills, and demonstrations of ability to perform the harder jumping & spinning moves. Finally, we moved to sparring.

I let the 13-year old girl from my dojo whup on me, knowing they'd set me up with someone else for a 'real' spar. When it was time for him and I to spar, I threw two rapid puches at his face, which he did not successfully defend (no contact). Then he rushed me and threw me.

I was in a quandry. I said to the judges, "I didn't think throws were allowed". They replied that they were. I thought to myself, "What do I do? I'm not allowed to punch or kick him in the mouth, and I'm not supposed to kick hard at all. How can I stop him?"

Under those rules, you can't. I was thrown again seconds later. I'd had enough.

The next time he stepped up, I faked a front kick and spun around, delivering a back kick to his abdomen that propelled him 10 feet back. He came rushing back, and I executed a second spinning back kick at the same time that he was attempting what appeared to be a front kick...with frightening results.

His raised leg acted as a guide for my heel as it slid along the inside of his thigh to...his groin. Match over.

As he was carried off, I received a lecture about control and anger and what not. The fact was, I wasn't angry - I was focused. As a boxer with some experience, I already knew that getting angry is counter-productive. Anyway, at the end of the test, they announced that only four of the seven students would get awarded their black belt. I thought that my incapacitating blow to my sparring partner had disqualified me for sure.

Thankfully, I was wrong. I also received an award for the Student of the Year for my dojo.

God is good - all the time.


  • Hey, congrats! My daughter and I are working our way through Tae Kwon Do. We'll be testing for blue belt next month and still probably a year or two away from black.

    By Blogger Mark, at 4/26/2005 07:01:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Mark! My son, unfortunately, will not make it to black belt, although he is currently at Red. His mandatory visitation this summer will move him out of the area during his last chance to test before we move and become poor. It has been a great experience going through the training with him - as I'm sure it has been, and will be, for you two.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 4/27/2005 11:41:00 AM  

  • I'm sure you could find a dojo that would take you guys if your son is really interested. I bet you could even volunteer some teaching time, perhaps reducing your son's costs. Just a thought. It would be a shame to get that close and not finish.

    That would be like me and that scuba license I don't actually have. Almost got it in college, but missed one free (no scuba gear) dive. Later signed up with some people at work only to discover the class didn't include the final dive and license; you were expected to do that on vacation somewhere. (This was in Colorado, so I must admit I wondered where they were going to do the final dive, but just assumed it would be somewhere. As a side note to a side note (to another side note, really) did you know Colorado is second only to California in scuba divers? Not what you would expect, but the state just attracts the outdoorsy set.)

    By Blogger Mark, at 4/27/2005 07:25:00 PM  

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