Saturday, July 22, 2006

Want to see what I did last night? Go here to see. I'm pretty proud of my accomplishment last night!! Let me know if the link doesn't work. I'll fix it.
Got to the dojang about 15 minutes before the test started. Since I drove, I had to put my purse away in one of the lockers. I talked to Beth who was extremely nervous about testing. We went into the big room and found Marlene and Kim and talked to them too, then we all started stretching. It was a good thing we did because they ran us through a bit of warm up jumping jacks and things beforehand. I really don't like jumping jacks. We were supposed to do 50 but our instructor/test administrator for the night said he was "bored with it" at about 40-45. After that, he had us do front rising stretch kicks and then we went into punches. Then we got to do front snap kicks, round kicks and side kicks as part of the warm up. THEN he put us through our paces. We did combinations first, then started into the forms. The intermediate students got to sit out while the beginners did their forms up to the highest. Then it was our turn!! We did our forms (top 4-5) and then sat down again while the lone girl who was testing for red/black did her forms with one of the black belts. Then it was time for one-steps.
I partnered up with the same young lady I worked with at the last test. She is a very sweet young lady and I am more than happy to partner with her. We did our one steps and she had to tell me to tap out because we never practice them to the point where we have to tap out. I guess that from here on out, we'd better learn 'em like that!! (I need to get over my fear of falling too, but that's for a different blog.) After the one steps (top 5 hands and feet), we got to spar for about 2 minutes. It felt like 10! It was extremely physical, although neither of us came away bruised. I found some things about sparring that I'm going to have to work on, like changing my attacks and shaking up the kicks and punches I use. It'll be a LOT harder in the black belt tests!!
After the sparring, he had us return to the back of the room in preparation for our board breaking. We had four or five of us who were breaking boards. They started with the youngest, who was a brown belt and then went to the brown/black belts. The young man did an elbow strike and went right through his board on the first try. Then my partner went and *she* broke with an elbow strike, on the first try. After that, it was "the triplets" (Marlene, Beth and me). He took us in order from the youngest to the oldest, so I had to go first. I did a front snap kick and went through the boards (plural--they held two boards). It didn't hurt and was actually quite fun!! Marlene was next, then Beth. We all did the same kick, but we all broke our boards on the first try.
Post board breaking, we had to line up in belt rank order again and do our stamina trials. That was hard because we were tired and hot and ready to get it over with. We had to stand in riding horse stance and do front punches for about five minutes while the black belts walked up and down the ranks and shouted encouragements to us. Then we had to do front leg, front snap kicks for five minutes per leg, again with the encouragement of the black belts.
Then it was time for our belts. This was pretty cool. We lined up in belt rank order and faced the audience for a final time as the belt we were currently on. Once we'd been presented, we had to turn and face the board. They then came through the ranks, untied and removed our belts and laid them on the floor beside us. Then Mr. M and the board came around and tied the new belts on us. He gave me my belt, for which I feel very, very honored!!
After the test, we went out to Ricardos, a local restaurant next to the dojang, for celebratory margaritas. WUHU!! I had a whole ONE margarita, LOTS of water (about 5 glasses) and some 'pineapple chicken tacos'. Hung out for about an hour or so, then went home and here I am!
Today has been a very quiet day. We went to the pool party our complex was having, where the kids ate lunch and Tony won $10.00 for answering a question about a song the Eagles had performed (New Kid in Town). We must have been the oldest people there! LOL!! When we got tired of that, we came home, hung out for a bit and then went to the store for some minor things. Now we're in and just relaxing. He's watching tv, the kids are playing together and I'm on the computer. AHHHH. Lovely, lovely day!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Well, today was my belt test in karate. I've been preparing for this for the past month. I've been working extremely hard at trying to get my combinations, one steps and forms down. Got to the dojang at 10:30-ish today and waited for Marlene. She got there shortly after I did. We went in and practiced a little bit, got ourselves oriented and generally got ourselves set up for the test.
It was actually a *big* test...there were several yellow belts testing for yellow/black; yellow/black going to orange; orange to orange/black and orange/black to green. We had one green belt going to brown. We were in a group going to brown/black. There were three people who went to red from brown/black. It was cool.
Mr. M got us in the middle of the room and told us that if we goofed up, don't panic, just keep going. He said that it would be okay. We said we'd fake it with confidence (well, Marlene, Susan and I did!).
We lined up in belt rank order and "memorized the back of the head of the person in front of us". We used that line up for our testing formation. It was fun. We started out doing stretch kicks to warm up, then punches, then some other kicks. Then he started us in on our forms and combinations. The beginner belts went first up to their highest forms. Then we had to do our forms. After our forms, the intermediate belts did our one steps and then we got to spar. Sparring is cool! I got to spar with a young lady who I found out is 13--she's very good at what she does!
After I sparred with her, I sparred with Marlene, then with one of the black belts from the 'board'. That was even MORE fun! Sparring is, as I have said, COOL! I got hit. Several times, in fact, by my black belt partner. You know what? I didn't mind it at all! He is a good teacher and a lot of fun to work with. After the sparring, we sat down and then they brought out the boards. Yep...boards. We got to break boards and *everyone* who was testing, from yellow belt on up to brown/black got to break a board. I chose to break my board with an elbow as the last time I broke boards, I hurt my hand. My friend David was there (he's actually on "the board") and he held the board for me so that I could break it. You know what? I got it on my first attempt! I need to date the board too. I know it sounds goofy, but that's something I'm going to hold on to. After all the stress and worry and panic, I did it and itfelt GREAT!!
I'm a bit sore now. We walked over there and then walked home. Hubby was there at the end to see me break the board and to see the final torture, er, endurance, where they make you kick continuously for a minute or so. They had us do that at the end of the test, when we were all wiped out. Why do they do it? I guess because they want to show people that even though we're tired, we can still show the audience that we can kick/punch/whatever.