Monday, April 16, 2012

Third Level Green Belt Testing

On Friday, I had taekwondo testing.  All day long, I felt nervous about it.  My stomach flip flopped, as I thought about side kicking through a blue board.  I had done it before, in our last classes, usually on the second try but for some reason I was scared I wouldn't be able to pull it off during testing.

I arrived at the church where our testing took place and stretched out with friends.  I practiced our new Ho Am progressive form.  I felt like the form was natural, except for ending in a back stance, which I kept having to remind myself about. 

After stretching, my friends held the boards for the kids and we watched them break.  They all did an excellent job.  One of my friends' wives commented that it's just so much easier for kids than adults.  They get out there and aren't nervous are all.  They just do it.  She's right.

They called us out, and we did our form.  I always feel like the form goes fast, and it's just rote by the time testing comes around.  Friday, though, I questioned the last two moves in my head so I slowed down a bit as I did them and then ki-uped at the end. 

Then we had to do our contact skill.  I was testing for my third degree green belt, so my contact skill is a side kick.  My side kicks are very similar to my round kicks.  I don't know why.  I have a hard time, and I tend to get them confused in my head.  I also usually forget to pivot my back foot, but luckily I practiced doing that beforehand.  I pivoted and kicked the focus pad several times.  Then I attacked one of the white belts so he could do his escape skills.

After contact skills, we put our sparring gear on and we sparred FOUR lengthy rounds.  I do believe these were longer than the average a minute and a half.  I was kicked pretty hard in the forearm by one particular friend, but that's the price you pay when you spar sometimes.  By the end of sparring, we were all dripping sweat and breathing heavy.  I started coughing, as I've been fighting a cold or allergies or bronchitis all week. 

We removed our sparring gear, and we watched while the higher ranks sparred, including one session on two on one sparring.  I hate two-on-one sparring.  It freaks me out!

Then it was time to break.  I watched while my friends went up there and broke with ease.  I was so nervous.  I kept visually picturing my foot going right through the board.  Think positive, and it will happen I told myself.

Finally they called me up.

I practiced lining up and hopping together to put my foot through.

My instructor said, "State your name."

"Lauren, sir.  Permission to break, sir?"

He nodded.  I turned around, got in a sitting stance, hopped together, bringing my leg up at the same time, and my foot went right through the board.  I was shocked.  All my friends on the sidelines clapped and cheered. 

I'm also shocked when my foot goes through, and a lot of times I forget to pull it back.  I find myself looking at the board, and then looking at my foot and wondering how it broke so easily.  A side kick is a powerful move. 

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