Monday, September 21, 2009

fourth down

Seven black belt candidate training sessions remain, including Extreme Day and the Qualification Test.

Like in the show Survivor, candidates are dropping like flies. I began with 5 other adults. We're down to 3 adults--my partner dropped out after the first night and the other 2 adults are paired off testing for a 2nd degree belt so I now partner with whichever assistant instructor is handy. This meant Mr. K last Saturday and Ms. B Friday night. To their credit, they are incredibly kind to me.

Friday night's session was a test of endurance since we went over combinations (jab-punch, offensive side kick-punch, triple tornado kick, back leg front kick-back leg round kick-spin kick-drop punch) for almost the entire 2 hours. Most of the kids look really sloppy so the repetitive work has been equal parts boring and strenuous. We ended the fun with forms and self-defense work.

Saturday began with the 3-mile run which I completed in under 32 minutes, beating last week's time (32:57 I think) by a healthy margin. I didn't feel too shabby afterwards either, the new disco tunes on my ipod shuffle definitely helped. Nothing like Donna Summer's Last Dance to keep a girl moving for that last half mile. I'm not built for speed, I'm just happy I complete the 3 miles without stopping to walk.

Then the punishment began. One kid forgot her belt and her training manual. Several kids forgot everything we reviewed Friday night. There were tears. A few kids were bawling. One goes into a panic-induced asthma attack every time we're asked to ante up the effort. (I'm not dismissing his condition--I've had asthma my entire life and keep my inhaler by my water bottle, but hysterically crying doesn't help you breathe any better.) These kids are soft and I'm wondering why their parents did such a crappy job preparing them for this experience. When Mr. T trained, we had him running ahead of time and spent time at home going over the manual--and this was in the spring when he had school and there was snow and ice on the ground. Clearly these kids and their parents did NOT take advantage of 3 months of summer vacation to get ready. I've run 3 miles every week since the beginning of June in preparation for this fall. We also cleared our calendar of everything BUT candidate training. One kid explained to us Friday night that he "can't review the manual because I'm sleeping over at a friend's house and have flag football tomorrow morning." Again, what parent taking this serious says it's okay to go on an overnight between training sessions? Sending your sleep-deprived child back on Saturday is a recipe for disaster. He was one of the bawlers.

Anyway, we ran sprints, punched hand targets, reviewed the damn combos again, reviewed how to kick again, parked out in plank pose (see image below to fully comprehend that form of torture) for minutes on end and did plenty of push ups. Five of us got waived from the final round of torture in recognition for our effort up to that point.

We were dismissed with a promise that there will be individual evaluations next Friday and a few people will be uninvited from candidate training because they're not cutting it. I went home and performed my post-training therapy: hot shower, chamomille tea, Advil and good book.


  1. The closest thing I've done is kick boxing - which isn't close at all.


  2. "...why their parents did such a crappy job preparing them..."

    I'd say it's all up to the individual kid. A child would *really* have to want to Be an Achiever with somehting like this...I don't think every kid is cut out for "little sparta" *haha!* It is martial arts, after for battle, right? Some kids are not cut out for could be that they had the wrong idea going into the training or that their parents are really the ones who want them in there, whereas the kid would rather be making daisy-chains and going to sleepovers...
    * ; )

    You and I both had the disco-ball turning this weekend tho...I was doing housework to the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack...
    * : D

  3. ... I was thinking Gloria Gaynor "I will Survive" would be an apt addition to the playlist. ;D

    Good for you for enduring this. I am amazed. Truly.

    I will keep a good thought for you through the week. You're going to be a lean, mean fighting machine once Friday comes!

    - Julia

  4. Holy crap, I feel like crying just from READING about your training. We're going to have to come up with a new nickname for you, as Green Girl alone doesn't reflect your awesomeness.

    Mrs. Miyagi?
    Green Girl-san?
    Iron Girl?

  5. You are my martial arts hero.

    Compared to getting his first black in KungFu, my son is reporting "no drama" in working on his second. I think it is because he is 24 and considers is part of his professional development.

  6. The Plank is great for the core but I start shaking at the 90 second mark.

  7. Wow, You are wonder woman. I detest planks with a ferver, but still do them a couple of times a week. I'm excited for you and hope everything works out this weekend.

  8. Woo-Hoo for you! Hearing about all of your effort is so motivating.

  9. Wow. What an amazing regime. Is it sick to say I actually love doing planks? ;-)

  10. You ROCK Green Girl!!! I'm addicted to the gym.....I go 5-6 days a week and sometimes twice a day....if I stopped eating so much crap it would certainly help!! My daughter just tested for her Red belt with stripe on Saturday....she takes it all VERY seriously! Good luck!!!

  11. Aw geez. There is no way I could hang out in that position for even a minute. I guess that is why I am not in your class? ;-)

    I am WAY impressed. You so rock.

  12. Wow...feeling...inspired...can' :) Seriously, all of that hard work sounds really intense, but super worth it. Hmmmm...maybe a goal to set after I've had baby #5. I've also been thinking ballroom dancing. ;)

  13. Wow. That is incredible. We have a Tae Kwon Do school up the street, which I attended for a few months (and made it to yellow belt) but they are a black belt factory. It doesn't take ANYTHING to get our black belt -- compared to what you are doing. You should be so proud of yourself..

  14. Wow. You're seriously hard-core. Good for you. =)


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