Monday, September 17, 2007

Green Belt Promotion

We went to our first class after the test tonight. When we take the test, we don't actually get the new belt right then. The next time we come to class, after the stretching and warmups, they do the "belt ceremony". This involves each person removing their current belt, coming up to the front of the class, and then having the instructor tie on our new belt. Lots of clapping and some ceremony (cheriut, kung-yay, clap, clap, clap, high-five). The whole ceremony time probably took about 10 minutes of class time with all the people getting their belts.

When coming to the front of the class, we must take a step backwards and run behind the line we are in and around the side to the front of the class. It is very disrespectful to cut through the lines.

The instructor then started us out on a "back to basics" instruction with our blocking techniques. I believe this is in preparation for our first Taeguk form: Tae Guk Il Jang (which I believe translates first but not 1 when counting out loud). I'm also guessing that the testers saw something in the tests for the classes. He started stressing that we needed to break some bad habits now otherwise we will have a lot of difficulty when we reach black belt testing. He really focused on our stances tonight. I've actually been pretty good at my front stance but I do have issues with my back stance. I don't get my back knee bent very well and I twist my torso a little bit.

We followed up with "promise sparring" and then our next eskrima stick routine. Promise Sparring is "fake sparring" where we "promise" not to hit each other or do shots to the head. We don't wear any protection. It gives us a feel for sparring w/o any real risks.

One cool aspect of my dojang is that they provide a DVD for each belt level. We got it at the end of our test and I've already watched it. The Tae Guk Il Jang form is on it. Additionally, all the other "types" of training (blocking set, kicking technique, combinations, kicking set, board break, one step sparring, eskrima technique) that we had for the previous belts but different for our new belt level. Everything seems just a notch more complicated. On my first viewing, I was a little overwhelmed by watching the DVD. However, I watched it again with my daughter and she started breaking it down into what all the steps were. It seemed easier after seeing it through her viewpoint.

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