eternaleponine: (TKD)
Every year, Tae San Taekwondo Academy hosts a "Friendship Tournament". This is the school where Master Paul trained, and it's the head instructor from Tae San who comes to do our testing, so the schools are kind of connected. As a result, we were invited to participate in the tournament, and became the first "outsiders" to compete there.

And we did really well. I'm proud of my school. We had six people competing, and we brought home quite a few gold medals. Before continuing, I will give the caveat that in the majority of the divisions, there were only three people, so everyone was going to get a medal. Even so, I think we only took one bronze. Everything else was gold or silver.

My medals. Let me show you them. )
eternaleponine: (TKD)
I've started to develop this theory regarding the reason the belt colors progress the way they do in taekwondo. I'm pretty sure that they're roughly the same color as the bruises that you end up getting at that level of training.

White = No bruises
Yellow = Minor bruises
Green = Things are getting pretty grisly...

I'm sort of afraid of what's going to happen at blue on up. *g*

Seriously though, the one on my right ankle from last Friday's complete breaking fail has turned really gruesome (I took a picture but I'll spare you... at least for now). And my forearms... well, I'm honestly starting to wonder if someone at work is going to ask me if everything is okay at home. A friend did so jokingly today, but it really wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that the cause might be something untoward, even though in truth it's exactly the opposite. Both forearms have any number of really prominent bruises on them, and some of them I'm not even 100% sure how I got them!

Last night we did sparring without headgear, which was sort of a pity because if we'd been wearing it, I totally could have gotten R. in the head. But Master Paul decided we would take it easy, because if we put on full gear "You two will kill each other."

Which isn't entirely inaccurate.

Tonight we just did no-contact sparring, which really means minimal contact sparring, because we can't manage to not occasionally clip each other. Even Master Paul got me a couple of times, but nothing that left a mark... well, except where I got R.'s elbow. My feet, particularly the left one, seem to be magnetically attracted to elbows.

At least I'm not feeling as bad about sparring as I was a couple of weeks back. I don't know if I'm actually improving or if R. just sees how pissed off I get and gives me more opportunity to score, or what. We'll see how things go in the tournament when I'm facing off against people who are more my own size.

I'm kind of concerned about breaking at the tournament. When we did breaking earlier this week, I completely failed at it, and not in a "succeeded but hurt myself or otherwise did something dumb" way, but in a "the board(s) didn't break at all" way. I was trying side kick through two boards again, and well... I won't be doing that for competition. Because I can't do it.

My board holders admitted that the first attempt was probably as much their fault that the boards didn't break as mine, and after that, my legs went shaky and I knew it wasn't going to work. I should have just switched to something else, but oh well. (It was a rough week, and watching R. succeed on his first try didn't help.)

I have a week to get it figured out.

But we did have a visitor from Master Paul's old school that day – he seems to turn up on school vacation weeks – and he did a flying side kick OVER the heavy bag and through a board. Twice. I was impressed. But hey, he's a teenage boy. He hasn't learned yet that there are things that people aren't supposed to be able to do. ;-)
eternaleponine: (TKD)
So it's been mostly just me and R. in the adult class this week. A. hasn't been coming because she'd had a major assignment she was working on, and all of the other adults are pretty much AWOL. Today Master Paul decided to let us practice breaking. He said that it was the last of the freebie boards, so make it count.

I decided to try doing a side kick through two boards. One was easy (although I kind of flubbed it last week) so two shouldn't be that difficult, right?

Um. Yeah, not so much. The boards are 3/4 of an inch thick. (Why a 1" board is 3/4" thick, I don't know.) Two boards together is, well, 1 1/2" thick. That's a lot of wood.

I'm not sure exactly what went wrong. I don't know if I wasn't close enough so when I extended my leg, it wasn't going through, or what, but I hit, and the front board cracked, but didn't break. On the second kick, the front board broke. So they held the second board for me to finish off, and I hit with rather too much force, and pitched forward, crashing into the board holders and falling on my butt.

Yeah. Not my most graceful moment. Note to Self: Do not do that on the day of the tournament. (I'm still not sure what my tournament break is going to be. I was thinking of doing the side kick with two boards, but maybe not so much. Or maybe I just need practice.)

Anyway, I picked myself up and thought I was fine. I'd hit my ankle on the edge of the board when I crashed, but I thought it was fine. Now there's a big knot on it, which I'm sure will be a spectacular bruise tomorrow. It's right below the big bruise on my shin/ankle from sparring on Tuesday. SIGH.

At the end of class I gave him money for boards, and told him I was paying for the ones I broke today and last week. He tried to say no, but I didn't let him. I have the money, and the school is brand new. Any little bit I can do to help with costs, I'll do. I'm not rich, but I've got a little to spare these days. I can pay for the wood – especially the ones I break badly. Maybe if I'd actually done it well, I would have let him give them to me as freebies. *g*

I'll probably give him more money next week, just so I know I have good boards for the tournament. The ones in the current box are sort of the dregs at this point, with knots in the middle, and that's no good for breaking.

The tournament is two weeks from tomorrow. I have no idea if I'm ready or not. I just want to do well. I guess we'll see.
eternaleponine: (TKD)
I broke my second board today. Master Paul let me pick what I wanted to do, and it took me a little while to decide. Finally he asked if I'd chosen, and I said, "I'll do palm strike, because I'm afraid to do hand breaks."

Putting your foot through a board, especially your heel, is not that hard. It's really not. Putting your hand - that thing that you use for writing and typing, that thing that is filled with little breakable bones - through a board is another story.

Except not. It's all in your head, really, that little voice that says, "You can't do it. You'll hurt yourself."

That's why I did it. To shut that voice up. To prove that I could, and that yes, it was harder than breaking a side kick, but it was far from impossible. My hand stung a little bit after, and if I do it again I need to make sure to keep my fingers back more, but by the end of the class my hand wasn't red anymore, and it didn't swell.

So now I have two broken boards on my desk. I'll probably stop keeping them now, but those two are proof that at least in the dojang, I can do anything I put my mind to.


eternaleponine: (Default)

February 2014

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