My kids have just recently earned another belt in Tae Kwon Do. I don’t mean to be one of those annoying beaming mommies, but I’m so proud of them.
This time testing was a bit different than what they are used to. Their school has recently decided to change affiliations – I don’t really know if that is the correct terminology, but it’s a change of which martial arts association they are affiliated with. Supposedly, it’s to their advantage, but I really don’t know all of the benefits of the new association.
So, back to the being different part. They had a Grandmaster with the association, who I believe is a 6th degree black belt, attend the second day of testing and do a quick breaking demonstration. On the first day of testing they had to show what they’ve learned as far as techniques and forms go. And wouldn’t you know the one technique that they definitely got wrong was the one I told them what I thought it was. Ooops. I guess I should have just stayed out of it. But all in all that day was pretty normal.
Not so much for the second day, though. We get there a bit early so I could set up some light stands for photos, ’cause I’m a nerd that way. We got to meet the Grandmaster, and then it was time to begin the sparring portion of the test. But before they actually got to the sparring, we got to watch the quick board breaking demonstration. I’m not one for gross generalizations – but I think we should all have a healthy amount of respect for anyone who can break a board with a punch beginning only a couple inches away from the board, while they are holding the board one-handed in the other hand. Let the sparring begin. First up were the little kids (probably 5-10ish).
So the instructors get a little kid out there to spar, and then they put 3 opponents out there to gang up on the little kid. And some of them were instructors! To the best of my knowledge they haven’t ever had to spar against more than 1 opponent before. But they did surprisingly well. Even with giant adults attacking them.
My daughter was sitting beside me, and I made the comment if that’s what the little kids have to do I can’t imagine what’s in store for you. Ooops, I probably shouldn’t have said that! She was probably nervous enough as it was. I’m a horrible mama.
Anyway, next up was the adult class (and I use the term loosely as my kids are 10 and 11). For them it was 5 and 6 against 1 – and when they weren’t trying to defend themselves against 5 or 6 bigger bullies they were some of the ones ganging up against someone else. So they were sparring almost the entire time. They didn’t go easy on them either, most of the students (and instructors) they fought against were higher in rank than they are. But again, they did surprisingly well. I thought all the students rocked it. This photo shows my son getting hit in the head by his instructor. Ouch.
Can’t wait to see what the future holds for these guys!