Saturday, December 4, 2010

Second Degree Black Belt Test

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It's been nearly a month since I tested for my second degree black belt, so I guess it's time I posted some photos, isn't it? It's taken me this long because Darren took soooo many good ones, and it took a while to go through all of them!

Our judges were my instructor (of course), Master Jeffrey Davis, Joe Ng (who, incidentally, was one of Darren's biology professors in college), and Darren Abbott (no, not that Darren, the other Darren), who was a blue belt with me long, long ago.

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Lots of stretching to warm up. My knee made this incredible cracking noise going from one position to another at one point...Michael (the guy who's shoulder my leg is propped up on), was really shocked that it was so loud. Oh, well, that's what happens when you have two surgeries.

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Lots of blocks and strikes- we moved through the basic stuff really quickly.

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I make all kinds of funky faces when I'm in TKD.

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And then on to kicks, which we did for most of the test. Taekwondo uses a lot of flashy kicks. :)

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Oh, yeah, over the head, baby!

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Roundhouse...my favorite!

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And sidekicks, which are my worst kick as far as form goes. I can never get my foot at the right angle.

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Well, okay, so this one show the right angle, but unfortunately it's on the way back in and not at the apex of the kick.

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I really am a roundhouse girl at heart, though.

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Especially jump roundhouses! This photo is post-landing, but you can see Rachel getting some hang time next to me.

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Back sidekick. I can knock people quite a long way with this one. :)

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I'm not even sure what kick this was (I think it was another jump roundhouse), but I think the photo is cool. :)

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Over the head again- pretty sure this one is a crescent kick.

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And then on to forms. I was most nervous about this part. Having been out for several years, I'd forgotten almost all of them and had to re-learn 10 of them, plus one new one in just six weeks. This move (called a mountain block, but I nicknamed it Donkey Kong) is from the new form, Keumgang.

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Another move from Keumgang- this one was kind of nice since it was slow and controlled and gave me time to try to remember what I was supposed to do next. :)

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Board breaking is one of my favorite parts. Rachel got all of hers after a bit of a rough start.

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Michael did some impressive jump spin kicks for all three of his.

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I love this shot...my foot coming straight through the board, and that priceless expression on Rachel's face.

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And, yeah, that one broke, too. :)

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Sean decided to show off and break all three of his...at the same time!

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And then it was time to get the sparring gear on.

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We were all relieved, because getting to this point meant that the hard part was over.

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I hadn't sparred in years (Jeff hadn't been letting me since I'd been back to class because of my knee), so I got knocked around a bit.

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Ummm, kind of like that.

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Dude, Michael can jump!

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And that just looks painful...

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Come to think of it, so does that...

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But we all survived, and we all made it.

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Off with the old belts, on with the new.

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And, yes, I did have to count to make sure there were two. :)

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We were all incredibly nervous going into this test, but Jeff is the kind of instructor who won't even let you test for something if he's not absolutely sure you're ready. We all worked very hard and had prepared as much as we possibly could. I only blew it on one form- Taegeuk 6- which is exactly the form I'd told him I'd mess up the night before. For some reason it just never stuck with me.

I'm so glad that's over!! 5 days a week of classes were starting to wear a serious hole in my schedule, but it feels good to have the accomplishment behind me. It feels even better knowing it will be several years before I can even consider testing for third degree. :)