Saturday, February 12, 2005

First Test

My computer monitor is broken, so I'm writing this on campus in the Hickok Hall computer lab. Two of my students are here, women from Pakistan, and the boys just rambled in after scootering around campus. It's a beautiful day, maybe 50 degrees, and they have spring fever. They love to ride their scooters on campus, and I like it too, as I don't have to worry about them crossing streets.

This morning was my first TKD exam; Eli's too. We were in the dojang for a total of two hours, doing basic moves (blocks, kicks, and punches), forms, and breaking boards in front of a panel of black-belt judges. The large, high-ceilinged gym was filled with students from back to front--maybe 40 or 50 people, all in our Hughes Institute uniforms, different colored belts, and bare feet. An exciting time--a bit nerve-wracking, but mostly fun. Or maybe I should say deeply satisfying.

Instead of a narrative of the exam, I'll just give a rundown of some memorable moments, not in any particular order:

Doing basic movements in a room with, say, 50 other people, all of whom are doing the same thing. The turns seem especially impressive.

A couple black belts wished me well, including Jason Schmidt, who helped me out at one of the All Belts classes. Mr. Carter also shook my hand after the class and said "good job."

I was asked to do my Palgwe 1 form over because of a mistake. Two of us white belt adults were asked to repeat a form, Brian and I. I had done my low block wrong--not on Chun Jee, but only on Palgwe 1--odd! But I didn't mind being singled out. Maybe this is diva-ish, but I kind of enjoyed the opportunity to perform for the entire room! As I came back Pam said "Not bad for having learned it in one week," and we had a laugh.

Later, I had to admit to the black belt who asked me questions that I did not know the meaning of Palgwe. Oops. I didn't know about that question. Better get researching.

Mr. Hughes noticed me missing a turn during basic moves and gave me a friendly nudge in the shoulder.

Little Jacob came up to me with a big smile at one point. "How ya doin', buddy?" I asked. He just smiled.

Breaking boards is one of the best parts of the test. It's cool to watch the different break techniques--each belt has a different break technique. People go up to break in groups of 5 or so while the rest sit on the floor at the back of the room. Everyone cheers everyone else on, especially if someone's having trouble. Stacey had to break 2 boards--she had some trouble but kept at it, and eventually she did it. A huge cheer went up. As a white belt, I had to break using a step side kick. I broke the board on my second try. Robbie also did well, and Eli broke twice, both times with some help from black belts who held his foot steady while he struck the board.

We left, exhausted, at 1 p.m. I was grateful that Bruce was there, but I felt bad that he had to spend so much of his day in a gym with sweaty Tae Kwon Do students! I bet he got some good pictures, though. I hope to post them by the middle of next week, so watch for them!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on successfully completing your first test, TKD Mom!
Kicker Chick