Day 5 – Tornado Kicks

(a tornado kick or 360 round house – and the blur is my daughter)

Four days a week, we are at a dojang, the Korean word for taekwondo training hall. DJ, the oldest, started taekwondo in March of 2008 after taking an after school self defense course taught by a parent. During that course, she was excited. She would come home and practice, she would draw pictures of her as a taekwondo student, and she would write in her class journal about how much she loved it.

After the course ended, the parent paid the Hubby a visit (the benefits of the Hubby teaching at the kids’ school). She was blown away by DJ’s enthusiasm, how quickly she was able to learn the moves, and the passion DJ was showing in the classes. She suggested that we find her a taekwondo class.

It was very timely, her advise. DJ’s birthday was rapidly approaching, and we were going through the usual “what do we get our kid that won’t drive us crazy” discussion. The Hubby asked DJ if she would be interested in anything like that, and she answered with a resounding YES. Within a week, she was signed up. Within 6 weeks, she was testing for her Yellow belt.

During the summer, as some of you may recall, we had several weeks where we wondered if her interested had faded. After the talk, things kicked back into overdrive with her passion for taekwondo. In early Fall, she was invited to be a member of Black Belt club which is an invitation given to kids who seem like they are truly interested in becoming black belts. Since weapons training is part of the black belt test, they are taught the various weapons and demonstrations of their competency. DJ is just wrapping up swords and will be starting her new weapon soon (which she is hoping will be nunchucks).

Then, in late fall, she received an invitation to join the Extreme Team, a subset of kids who work on sparring skills for tournaments. While we spend 4 days in a dojang, DJ takes 5 classes – one of which is sparring. She is tall, lanky, fast, can jump high, and finds it hilarious to knock down boys with a kick especially when they are a higher belt than she is. I guess these were all assets that they were looking for to join the team.

Next weekend is a state tourney. She is going to be in it, and I hope she will have more than one kid to fight like the last tourney. DJ has been working hard, so it should be an interesting show. And, she’s excited at being part of the team who competes. I would love to see her be coached by Master Bruno, the head of the team and former French National Taekwondo Champion. He is fantastic….and gets flirted with by all of the moms. I’m not one of them though, I’ll appreciate him from afar….but that’s another post.

Oh, and I can’t help but include the fashion forward footwear worn by all taekwondo students this winter….
Nothing like some sparkly gold converse to make the boys feel even worse about being taken down by a girl.

What do you think?