Tae Kwon Do – the way of the fist and the foot. Fist and foot represent the physical parts of the sport with the way being living the life. Most of “the way” is around the five tenets of success – courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. It’s about living the sport – being a leader – never giving up – controlling one’s self – and living a life of courtesy and courage to do the right thing.
DJ’s instructor today at the black belt pre-test told the kids how proud he was of them. Of 100 students who start tae kwon do , only 5 reach black belt. Looking at the kids and adults going through this pre-test, none started with DJ. All of the people who started class with her have dropped out. Every single one of them including the one boy who we expected would be with her at this test. He dropped out about a year ago when they hit the half way mark.
The pre-test was actually great. While one boy felt they were being nit-picky about things, the instructor running it kept reminding them that he doesn’t want to see them fail for things they can control. Things like yelling loud, having your belt tied properly (see DJ’s example above, she’s the one standing behind the one in the white uniform), adjusting your uniform only with your back turned to the other black belts, talking when you shouldn’t, etc. These are all the tests for “the way”, as he explained.
How did she do? She did really good. She had to demonstrate she knew all 8 forms. The forms are each about 20 combinations of kicks, punches, and blocks. She knew most of them – only fumbled a few times over a step or two. She knew the kicks – the vocabulary and the blocks and haikido.
When we chatted after about how she felt she did, she mentioned wanting to get her forms better – crisper. She’s got about a month before she tests officially. I think she can definitely get where she wants to be.
Now, if she would just start working on her 5 page essay.
Yeah, there is a written requirement too.