Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend Pt.2 (The Good News)

Alright, let's get to the good stuff. Henry has been working his booty off for a month and a half for a chance to test for his solid yellow belt at taekwondo and testing was held yesterday. Some parents hate testing. It is long (3.5 hours) and you have to sit in folding chairs in an over crowded and stuffy studio. I love it. Unabashedly. I am a total sap, and to see all of these people- from ages 5 to 65- all struggling together to meet their personal goal just kills me. Everyone has a story and they are all awesome.

Sitting in the lobby waiting for testing to begin, Henry asked if we would take a picture of his white/yellow belt with all the stripes he earned. Black= instructor recommendation, blue= teacher recommendation, green= parent recommendation, red= forms competence, orange= one step competence, yellow= sparring competence. When he gets his yellow belt he'll have to start earning those stripes all over again.

Testing starts with everyone in the school warming up together. Henry is getting ready to go!
Unfortunately, we were sitting on the exact opposite side of the studio from where Henry did his testing so we got zero action shots. He was pretty awesome, though, and I am pretty darn sure he'll be getting his belt tomorrow!

Once the kids start testing for a solid red belt they have to break boards. You can imagine how much pressure this is for them, standing in front of a huge crowd of people having to focus on breaking a board with a single strike. There were two 9 year olds who were going for their red/black. The first broke a board with an elbow strike and another with a flying side kick.

The second kid couldn't get that damn board to break with his elbow strike. He hurt his elbow and burst into tears. He didn't even want to try the front kick to break his second board. After a pep talk with Master Tony he wiped his face and decided to give it one try. It only took him one try and he smashed that thing!

A few of the kids in the advanced class take their responsibility to teach the younger kids pretty seriously. Zach is a high school kid who comes in to help teach the little kids all the time. He was testing for his solid red belt and did this amazingly high flying side kick over a bar to smash a board on the other side.

Another one of these high school kids, McKaia, was going for his recommended black belt. He is so awesome and is at almost every single beginner class helping out. I wish we got better pictures of the boards breaking, but here he is getting ready to go.

The last board breaking was a guy named Mike going for his black belt. He broke a ton of boards, including a front kick that broke a stack of 3 boards. It looked effortless. Here he is with a side kick (roundhouse?) breaking a stack of 2 boards. I know I wasn't the only one tearing up when Master Tony presented him with his embroidered black belt. It was awesome.

Stay tuned for a bajillion pictures of Henry in his new belt!

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