Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yellow Belt

On Saturday Justice tested for his yellow belt in tae kwon do! To be eligible to test for this belt level he needed to have had 10 classes and have good white belt technique. I have learned SO MUCH about tae kwon do as I have sat and watched Justice during his practices each week. I really love it. Each belt color has different techniques to master, and of course as the belt color increases so does the difficulty of the moves. Much of it is memorization, and it takes so much focus. It has taken me some time to get used to commands such as 'knife hands' and 'spear fingers' and moves that have enough force to break ribs, poke eyeballs, damage Adam's apples, and break noses. :) But, the instructor does a great job of always reminding his students that tae kwon do is only to be used outside of the classroom in situations where self-defense is needed....such as if they have been physically attacked and their life is in danger. For this yellow belt test Justice needed to know the 5 tenets of tae kwon do, how to count to 5 in Korean, basic white belt techniques, an understanding of tae kwon do etiquette, and the biggest thing - he needed to be able to do Chon-Ji form which is a sequence of 19 movements. Going into his test, Justice was nervous, but very focused! Here he is lining up before the judges.

Another thing I love about tae kwon do is that the students are classified by belt color, not age. There are people of all ages and from all walks of life that are at Justice's belt level. At the beginning of the testing one of the judges asked a few of the students why they started taking tae kwon do. Answers ranged from self-discipline, to weight control, to gaining self-confidence, to fulfilling a self-defense course for work, to wanting to measure up to a parent who was a black belt. One sweet girl said she was being bullied at school (not physically, but emotionally) and so this was her outlet. At this particular studio they encourage family members to sign up together. A lot of families do this and it seems like such a cool way to work towards goals together!

This is the ready stance - Chunbee. Jayla likes this move!

Middle punch - supposed to be aiming for the solar plexus of opponent.

On Justice's first night of practice the teacher said that this is a place where you are expected to be LOUD!

Front kick

Roundhouse kick

High punch - aiming for opponent's nose. :)

Rising block

More punch sequences

Knife hands

After they rehearsed these techniques and performed their Chon-Ji form they each got to break boards which is one of Justice's favorite things! For the white belt level they break 1 board using the side kick technique. The trick is to hit the board with your heel right in the direct center of the board. I don't know why I didn't think to take a video of Justice breaking the board. Instead I had tried to take a picture and of course it turned out really blurry and you can't even tell what is going on. I'll have to try and get a video of him breaking at practice. Before Justice's test the black belts did a demonstation in which they did a sequential board break. They can break boards with their hands, feet, two boards at a time...you name it, they can do it. It's just like the movies! So cool to watch!

So, I am sure you can tell by now that I am really loving this tae kwon do thing! It is so fun watching Justice progress. This sport is really rewarding...maybe someday I can sign up! And yes, Justice passed his test and he is now an official YELLOW belt!


Kendra Dawn said...

AWESOME PICTURES BY THE WAY....did you take these with your mom's old camera....they look amazing...and so did Justice!!!! :)

Christy said...

LOVE the look on his face in these pictures! So fun. Also, I didn't get around to commenting on your last post, "Tainted," but wanted to say that I really appreciated it. SO TRUE. I just finished an amazing book, Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers, and your words really drove her fictional point home in a real life way. Love you guys!

renee said...

omygosh, this is awesome! I LOVE his 'LOUD' face :) Great photos and what a cutie he is.

Lori said...

You would be good at this! I love Justice's determination and concentration! Way to go bud.