Tag Archives: Taekwondo belt test

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.

Read the rest of this entry

And now for something a little different


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.

Read the rest of this entry