Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Theme words - Goal Setting

The orange belt theme word was Goal Setting. By sheer coincidence, this also coincides with the time when people are supposed to be committing to the Black Belt Club.

I'm all for setting goals and trying to accomplish them. The dojang had an interesting way of setting the goal to become a black belt. Master Lee gave us these "black belts" with an orange stripe down the middle. In reality, we were orange belts. However, throughout the dojang, we were supposed to be treated like we were black belts. This includes people bowing to us. At first, people saw the belts and we did get the bow treatment. It was a little disconcerting. I think this is part of my American cultural bias. However, I believe that word spread through the dojang and people caught on. It died off after a while.

We were also supposed to act like black belts with our attitude and how we treated others....including an "indomitable spirit". I made sure that both me and my kids were doing everything as properly as we could. I would harass my oldest into being more assertive. My youngest into focusing more. Myself into trying to remember all the techniques and steps.

He also addressed us parents and told us that if we were to ever see our kids not acting like black belts, to report them and he would take the special belt away and replace it with a normal orange belt. I used this threat several times on my kids when they would start acting up and it generally got them in line. Did I ever follow through with the threat? No. Should I have? Maybe.

I explained all this to my TKD buddy at work. He gave me the raised eyebrow look. I think he was offended that I would be wearing anything that remotely resembled a black belt. I can understand that completely. A black belt is not to be taken lightly. I convinced myself that the big orange stripe down the middle of it really meant it wasn't real.

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