Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Black Belt Questions

Question #1
TKDMom (coming in to class on Saturday, wearing my black belt for first time): Is my belt the right length?

Brian A: Looks good!

Ms. Pryor: It should be to mid-thigh. The ends should make a curve, then hang down. (She shows her belt's graceful curves which look like a fu-manchu moustache.) Black belts should hang. (This comment causes Brian A. to crack up.)

Question #2
TKDMom (realizing that I need to line up somewhere different because of my new black belt seniority): Where am I supposed to be? I think I must have a new home.

Someone points to the spot: now I'm ahead of James and Stephanie, who have not yet tested for black belt.

Ms. Pryor: It's not a new home, it's always been your home.

Question #3:
How do martial artists celebrate a birthday?

"There's a birthday to celebrate today," says Master Hughes at the end of Monday's class.

Everyone lines up in two lines while Jessie and I ("two birthdays!" says Master Hughes) stand at the top. Everyone sings "Happy Birthday" to Jessie, who is 10, and then she runs down the gauntlet, getting lots of good-natured "spanks" and pats on the back.

Then it's my turn. "Jane is 23 this year," jokes Master Hughes. Everyone sings. As I look down the lines at them, I am warmed by the sight of the familiar faces looking back at me--friends, now--people I've spent a lot of time with.

I run the gauntlet, too, and then go over to get my treats. Jessie is handing out red licorice whips. ("I can't eat any," I tell her as she offers me one. "It'll pull the braces right off my teeth.") I hand out Hershey's Kisses and Hugs. Brian jokes that he heard I was handing out Metamucil. I give him chocolate anyway. We make plans to go out for breakfast this week to celebrate.

When I get home, I get a call from Justin. "Happy Birthday!" he says. "I was going to call early this morning, but I overslept." I tell him it doesn't matter.

It doesn't! I just like the way martial artists celebrate birthdays, especially around here.

1 comment:

da_man said...

My name is Giorgio , I am 8 , I grade for my tae kwon do black belt in april in England. I enjoy what you write.