Black Belt Weekend
This past weekend, Dude earned his 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.
The consensus on the new uniform –
a little ninja like – not so Taekwondo.
Not my choice – I’m not in charge.
(sorry for the sloppy photoshop privacy work, too)
When Dude was 4 years old, he started taking Taekwondo lessons. At the time we thought it’d help him with discipline and focus and that he would be able to stay active and have an outlet for physical activity.
I can’t seem to find a picture of him in his
white belt, but wasn’t he so cute? Little did
we know we’d still be doing this 4+ years later.
There were times that he didn’t love going to Taekwondo. But, he usually got over it. About 2 months ago, he was thinking about quitting again, but agreed to stick it out through this test. Once he got started with the more intensive training for the test, he got really into it all again. Now he doesn’t want to quit. He’s actually willing to give up some hanging out with friends time in order to go to class tonight.
Back to the weekend. The Black Belt test is an all day thing. They’ve been training really hard and had essentially passed all the technical requirements. The day, however, started with an endurance portion.
We met at the studio at 7AM on Saturday. There were 5 candidates. Dude, two more kids (ages 8 and 11, who have been in this with us all along) and two adults. The group headed to the local park – there they ran laps of the park interspersed with 100 push ups, 100 sit ups and 100 mountain climbers. They also did sets of stairs and some step work on a curb. All in all, it was about an hour and a half of intensity. One of the adults wore her Garmin and it showed 4.89 miles for the morning. Oh – and they had to carry a 15 lb. kettlebell (as a team, it got passed around – although the adults did the lion’s share of the work).
He’s carrying the kettlebell here. Yes,
that’s one of the adults next to him,
big size difference.
The group headed back to the studio for a break. The two adults went home to ice bath and fuel. The kids didn’t do any such thing. They were running around, playing and mine had a donut.
The second portion of the test was drills – kicks, etc. After an hour of that, they put on their full sparring gear and did another hour of drills. This was probably the hardest part.
It was fascinating to see the difference between the adults and the kids. They were all working hard, but it was almost like the kids didn’t notice. Maybe it was that the two adults started out injured.
After the second portion ended, they had another break. Again, the adults left to take care of their aching bodies. The kids ate lunch and did kid stuff at the studio. Seriously, they were climbing, running, playing tag… everything but resting.
At 4PM, they started the formal portion. They did their forms, self-defense moves and board breaking. Then they were presented with their new belts. Dude had such a big smile on his face (as you can see from the top picture).
In case you’re wondering, Dancing Girl has a 1st degree Black Belt. Both kids earned them together last May. She wasn’t loving Taekwondo so much at that point and had gotten back into dancing. She stopped Taekwondo back in November of last year. Read all about that decision here. It was great this past weekend that she put on her uniform and helped out. She was holding paddles for her brother and encouraging him when he got tired.
When my kids were testing for their 1st degree Black Belt last year is about when I started running. I saw how hard they were working and I wanted to keep up. They were such a huge inspiration. Watching them work so hard opened my eyes to tackling a physical goal.
I was so proud of Dude this weekend. The candidates have dog tags made that get hung on that kettlebell after they’ve passed the test. Dude chose a few sayings to have engraved on the back of his dog tag.
“Never Give Up”
How cool are the first two sayings? I love that he thought of those. He totally followed through.
Proud Mommy here.