Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ha na-Tul-Seht, Orange Belt!

Josiah started taking Taekwondo in January and he has really been loving it and doing great. It has taken some doing on Mommy and Daddy's parts however, to convince him that he has to practice at home as well for his Taekwondo goals, but little by little he is getting more disciplined to do that as well. This picture was taken just before the belt ceremony started to receive his orange belt and as you can see he was pretty happy! At the actual test the Friday before (we forgot the camera), it was a little nerve wracking for me as I wasn't entirely sure he was ready. The master only lets them come to the testing though if he feels they can pass, so that was good, however, it was a nail biter for sure!

He goes to Taekwondo practice three times a week (half hour each time) and his instructor is really great! He sets the standard very high and challenges the children to meet it. He also encourages good behaviors at home as well (big PLUS) by sending home a chart of things to check off each month as Josiah's does various tasks (one of them is "listen to parents"). For his orange belt test, he had to do his white belt 10-step routine, master the four kinds of kicks (he numbers the various type of kicks for them to learn), and also to be able to break a board by doing a "hammer-down fist." During practice, they used a practice board (made of plastic) that he would break and that the master would then fix it back into a board for the next person. At the test, (to our surprise) they used a real board and I could hear Josiah say to the black belt helpers, "I use a yellow board with a line down it." He was able to break the real thing on the first try though and he got to take his broken board home with him.
During the test (while the many other senior belt children were testing), Josiah and the junior belt children had to wait and listen. Josiah was in his goofy, excited mode however, and was playing around with his board and trying to talk to Sydney (a green belt from his class) and no less than 3 times the black belt helper kids had to come and tell him to "cool it" while the others were testing. He finally got the message and calmed down thankfully!

When Josiah completes certain things as required by the master, he can earn stars to go on the sleeves of his uniform and when he passes various skills during practice he can earn stripes to go on his belt. Recently, he got a yellow stripe for "basic movement" mastery. He had to do his 10-step for senior orange belt in order to pass for his stripe. This class has been great in developing Josiah's listening skills as he has to be on his toes during class listening intently to the master in order to perform the proper skills in sequence and when called upon.
As per Josiah's usual, he gets really shy when he is being praised or pictures are being taken over and over. He was very proud to get his orange belt though for sure!

Master Kim (as pictured in the 3rd picture down the blog, standing right behind me in the photo) prompted all the parents to come and get into this shot with our kiddos after they had just the kids with the Grandmaster (the man who founded this Taekwondo school--pictured in this middle of this photo). We were reluctant to join the photo shoot, but he insisted and so here it is!
We are very proud of our oranged belted-boy. As a treat after his test, we took him to DQ for an ice cream treat. I am glad he has this outlet for his boundless energy! I look forward to seeing how he will progress in the future.

NOTE: On the post title, the first three words are how you count "1, 2, 3" in Korean. They have to learn how to count in Korean and many Korean terms to learn Taekwondo. We also discovered that when they earn their black belt that they actually receive a letter written in Korean and an offical card to signify that they are approved to receive their black belt from the main Taekwondo Academy in Korea.

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