Crazy with a purple belt


My girls and I are now officially halfway to our black belts in Taekwondo.

I thought it would be fun to jazz up our testing and surprise Sensei by counting off our 25 warm up jumping jacks in Korean instead of English.

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see his face when we began: “Hana, dhul, set, net, daseot…” I imagined him, eyebrows raised, failing to fight down a smile.

And how did he respond?

With nary a flinch. When we finished, he said, “Okay, next drill…”

Zero acknowledgement whatsoever!

I was so disappointed.

My purple belt.

During testing of the form itself, two people test at once. Because it’s always been my style to mess something up, I turned right when I was supposed to turn left. Fortunately, I had the sense of mind to course correct and continue unfazed.

On the way out, I said to Sensei, “I trust you were looking at the other person when I messed up?”

“Yes. I didn’t see your 17 mistakes.”

So he CAN still be funny.

“Furthermore,” I continued, “how can we count in Korean and you not react at all?”

“I can react with my ears. I heard you. And was that to earn bonus points?”

“Well, if it helps.”

“Do you know the next number, or did you only learn what you needed?”

“Sumul yeoseot.”

He nodded. “Good.”

If anything, I earned points in that moment.

The YouTube video that helped us learn.

BTW, I was out of town for several days. You know how when you board a plane, there’s that patch of walkway from airport to airplane where there’s no AC? When I stood in that spot, waiting my turn to board, I thought, “Whew! What is this heat?!” So I checked my phone.

No thank you!

On my return trip, the pilot said, “For those of you not from Houston, it gets a little warm here. Current temperature is 100 degrees. Our destination city of San Diego is 71 degrees.”

Home sweet home!

I returned to Jiu-Jitsu after a week away. I could feel the absence. My fingers were itching to get back in there and start throwing grown men around. (Honestly, why does this not appeal to more women?)

Anyhow, Instructor greeted me warmly, and I told him this:

“I was on one of those airport trams that take you from one concourse to another. People who weren’t seated took hold of a pole to steady themselves. I thought, ‘Here’s a chance to work on my base,’ so I took my stance, dug my feet in, and was fine. I don’t need to hold onto a pole! I know Jiu-Jitsu!”

Instructor smiled and nodded, “Nice. I like it. That’s great.”

At least HE knows how to react properly! πŸ˜‰

In the next post, I’ll show you the food we concocted for the purple belt ceremony. It’s not going to be pretty. πŸ˜‰

63 responses »

  1. Don’t leave us hanging! Is it purple food?? Congrats on that new belt and how impressive to lean to count past ten in any language (well, besides English!)

    Are you going to post about your trip? Though honestly,what’s better than San Diego?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since purple is my favorite color, I’d be tempted to stop there. I can’t believe that your Sensei didn’t react when you counted in Korean! Hubby and I have been watching a few Korean TV series (subtitles in English) and I’d love to speak just a few words, so I’m impressed.

    Our weather here in SD has been looking pretty good when compared to other areas. It’s hard not to feel smug that somehow I convinced my folks to move here before I was born πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • You convinced your folks to move here before you were born! Haha! That’s terrific. You lucky native, you! Although, hubby and I, having grown up in MN and OH, respectively, fully appreciate how good we have it. Our kids are spoiled and don’t even know it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Not only that, but 🟣 is also the color of royalty, so I’m with Janis on continuing to wear that one πŸ™ƒ Congratulations on it, and I’m jealous of the marvelous weather you experience. Triple degree weather may work for gray lizards, but not for 🟣 lovers…

      Though I’m concerned about the trip to Texas… are you scouting new locals? You know that immediately decreases the list of attractions in SD…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. CONGRATULATIONS! I appreciate the number counting ( I still can! ). And the balance practice! The things I used to do to practice, makes me laugh AND be proud.

    Also, is your purple belt food ‘bruise’ inspired???? I have to know!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Betsy, you look such a pro and congratulations on your purple belt! Haha! I like that you found humorous side of your sensei and oh yes, the idea of throwing grown men to the ground is definitely tempting! However I bruise easily and dread to think what I would look like after even one session! Well done with counting in Korean … will you learn more of the language?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did learn to say thank you in Korean and did so when I was handed my new belt. Sensei either didn’t catch what I said, didn’t know what it was/ meant, or… I don’t know. He just looked at me blankly. I just can’t win with this guy! ;P

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations, Betsy! The purple is awesome and looks good on you. I also enjoy the balancing game on the airport subway (whenever we’re in Denver Int’l). I can usually say, “Look Ma, no hands!” but I wouldn’t be able to defend myself like you if a fight broke out along the way – ha.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Wuhoo – a purple belt. Love the line ” My fingers were itching to get back in there and start throwing grown men around. ” No wonder the instructors love you, whether they show it properly or not! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on the new belt! A long time ago, Alex took Pangai Noon Karate, and he’d shout, with all the determination he could muster, all of the numbers in Japanese the loudest of anyone in the class, and the sensei had to work really hard to hold back a laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Here I was thinking you were a BJJ phenom by earning your purple belt so quick. But great on you to get purple in Taekwondo too! It’s so cool you’re doing multiple disciplines at once. And you sure do know how to spin a yarn, from your Taekwondo test to your jiu-jitsu class. I like how you connected the theme of trying to get approval into the entire post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Stuart. I spun that yarn without having to spend money on a class first. πŸ˜‰

      Which reminds me, my daughters literally spin yarn. They knit scarves, hats, even a sweater, thanks to YouTube and knitting books from the library. More examples related to your last post! πŸ™‚


  9. Congrats on the purple belt! LOL hehe if knowing how to stand without grabbing a pole is considered a skill of Jiu-Jitsu then I might know a thing or two (I don’t like touching the germy poles in subway cars lol).. also, I would LOVE to learn how to throw grown men to the ground (especially my husband, but only in times when he puts me in a gentle headlock lol, it would be a nice skill to have in those times) so yes, I mayyyy look into this πŸ™‚ Thanks for the inspo πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sensei makes us wear the full gi top and pants, even though it was probably 90 degrees when we were testing. :/ So no injuries were noticed. Actually, I think I’m currently bruise free! Good thing I’ll be back in class tonight. I’ve overdue. πŸ˜‰


  10. Man, sensei sends mixed signals galore, doesn’t he? I’d probably get whiplash keeping up with his mood swings.

    Purple looks good on you. It offsets all the white of the uniform. I’d stop there before moving on to the white belt.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: If at first you don’t succeed, try again in a different language. | parentingisfunny

  12. Pingback: Badassery | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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