A post about Taekwondo.
On December 20th, my three daughters and I tested for our third belt, yellow. We started as white belts, did a super-stressful-because-it-was-the-first-one-ever test for orange, then came the yellow belt test–only slightly less stressful.
When it was my turn, I was eager to get it over with, and grateful that we start with our current form–the part I was most nervous about. After that comes our “back form,” the one we learned prior. When I performed this in an earlier class, “Sensei,” (not actually what we call him) nodded and said, “It’s like breathing, isn’t it?” So I knew I had that one down pat. The third part of the test was demonstrating our mastery of three self defense and three street defense moves. No problems there.
The weird thing was, as I did the more difficult current form, my hands were tingling. “This is odd,” I thought. “My hands sort of feel numb, but not quite. It doesn’t hurt, thankfully, but it’s strange. I wonder why that’s happening. Nerves, probably.” And the next thing I knew, I was done. I did the form without thinking, which means I couldn’t second guess or freak myself out. I smiled inwardly. “Thanks, hands! Well done.”
They were no help at the end of the test, however: the Bowing Out Ceremony.
In classes prior, Sensei (He actually goes by Mr. [His Last Name], but I wish we could yell, “Yes, Sensei!” Then again, that’s what the bad guys in Cobra Kai did, so perhaps I shouldn’t.) has instructed me to speak louder during the Bowing Out Ceremony. So, at the end of testing, I said to myself, “Speak loud. Speak loud. Speak loud.” Then I nearly shouted, “Class!” at the same time as the senior student next to me, whose turn it was to speak, said, “Class.” We paused and looked at each other. Her: confused. Me: mortified.
After a moment, she continued: “Recite the tenets of Taekwondo.”
I stood there, thinking about what I had just done. Reviewing in my mind how it had happened. Standing there, silent. As in, not reciting the tenets of Taekwondo. When I finally realized, what did I do next? The logical thing would be to jump in and start reciting along with everyone else.
Did I do that?
I bowed. In the middle of the recitation, aka, not the time to bow.
Flustered, I became vaguely aware of a momentary pause in the recitation and a knowledge that all eyes were on me, though I refused to lift mine from the safety of the floor in front of me.
My daughter whispered, “It’s okay, Mom,” which, of course, meant it wasn’t.
To give you an idea of how bad this was, when I got home, I relayed to my black-belt husband what had happened. He didn’t seem too bothered by me talking out of turn. (Probably used to it.) But when I got to the part about bowing in the middle of the tenets, his eyes widened in horror.
Yep. He knew this was no bueno.
The saving moment of this whole fiasco: when class was over, Sensei happened to cross my path.
“I had to screw something up,” I told him.
“The bowing out is the hardest part of testing,” he quipped.
I smiled, feeling a bit better about it all.
Later that night, I was shaking. Hubby rolled over. “Are you okay?” he asked, concerned I was crying.
“I’m just thinking about the bowing again,” I said.
“Oh,” he rolled over and fell back asleep.
I’m so grateful I’ve reached an age where stuff like this cracks me up rather than embarrasses me.
And that I have blog buddies to share it with. 🙂
Despite all, Hubby appears to be proud of me. He built me a rack to display my belts, all the way up to black. (No pressure.)
That, or he was less enthused by me tossing my old orange belt over a candle sconce in our bedroom for lack of a better place.
Eh, either way. 😉
Yes, I will do a post listing all your brilliant ideas for a potential new blog name. If you still have ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!