Category Archives: martial arts

If at first you don’t succeed, try again in a different language.

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You may recall my failed attempt to get a reaction from my Taekwondo “Sensei” when I convinced my compatriots to count our 25 jumping jacks in Korean.

So, you know, a normal person would leave it at that.

And then there’s me.

“New plan, girls,” I told my daughters. “Sensei spent the first nine years of his life in Germany. Next time, let’s count auf Deutsch!” (I know a little German from my semester in Austria.)

“Groan,” said Youngest Daughter.

“Eh, whatever,” said Middle Daughter.

“That would be hilarious,” said Oldest Daughter.

“Yes! She gets it! Let’s do it!” Apparently one vote was all I needed.

And this time? THIS time, Sensei…

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How NOT to make churros

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The next class after Taekwondo testing is the belt ceremony. As you can guess, we get our new belts. Then we eat stuff.

I had the “brilliant” idea of making churros tied in the shape of belts. Easy peasy. My daughters helped. It probably would’ve been better had I left them to it and stayed out of the kitchen.

The recipe said something like 1/4 cup of water only.

“That’s not enough water. It’s too brittle. They’re falling apart,” said I, who has little successful baking experience.

So I added more water. Then, since I had more water in the cup, I tossed in the rest, thinking, why not?

Welp, it was no longer brittle. It was an icky sticky mess.

And, OF COURSE, the piping bag broke. One daughter shoved batter through the little pipe piece by hand.

Piping bag tip, still operational without the bag.

But you know what else works? Cutting off the corner of a Ziplock freezer bag. We eventually got there.

Anyway, the consistency was off, our fingers were a mess, getting the batter to the tip was difficult because it preferred to stick to our hands and the inside of the bag–not where the hole was. So we had to shove it down with our dough-covered fingers. Then get it back off our fingers, shove again, repeat, etc.

We eventually got them out of the bag and tied into knots like martial arts belts. Amazingly, they still sometimes broke despite my excess addition of water.

Then again, it’s not amazing since this is me we’re talking about.

Maybe they got brittle because they’re not meant to be bent. Most of them stayed intact.
I found a smaller piping tip and used that also to speed up production, yet the entire process still took beyond two hours.
They came out looking like mangled intestines.

Sensei tried to extricate one part from its “knot,” so, clearly, the desired effect was lost on him. I had to explain that they were belts.

We left some the normal color for the person receiving her orange belt. And for the four new purple belts:

The purple, via food coloring, didn’t hold for all of them. Also, they look even MORE like intestines now.

However, they did taste good despite the appearance. And one little girl was delighted to pick up a brown one and discover it was purple on the inside.
Purple surprise.

So, not a total loss. I joked with Sensei that I accidentally left the one we burnt black for him at home.

He didn’t laugh. He did eat like three of them, though.

When he was packing up his gear, I tucked another churro into the package of cookies he brought. I thought it was a nice gesture. Hubby thought it looked like I was trying to get rid of them. What do you think?

Crazy with a purple belt

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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.

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Guess who’s limping again?

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Okay, even I admit this is getting ridiculous.

In Taekwondo, we were doing jump spin crescent kicks. Sounds cool, doesn’t? Looks cool, too.

When Sensei does it. When I do it, I look like I’m having a mid-air seizure.

But I land on my toes.

Not in a graceful ballerina way, but in a, “Crunch. There go my toes,” way.

One particular toe clearly took the brunt of it. The pinky toe is like, “Thanks, brah.” Purple toe: “No prob. You took the hit last time.” Pinky: “Chah right I did!” Purple: “Total bummer, dude.” Pinky: “For suuuuure.”

No idea why my toes are 90’s male stoners.

Aside from the above, I had planned to stop posting bruise pics, but I was oddly excited to discover not a bruise, but a bump!

An actual, genuine bump! I do remember my arm hurting during Jiu-Jitsu, but don’t know exactly what happened to it.

This did eventually turn into a delightfully colorful bruise.

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