Sci Station Canada

Thursday, August 05, 2004

It is a good day to Grade!

Those of you who know that my fictional ater-ego is Kirok of L'Stok - a Klingon raised by Vulcans - will know that I have Taoist leanings in that I believe a complete person should develop themselves physically as well as mentally. Many who read my ramblings in the "Space Family Anderton" column in Tricorder will know that I train in Tae Kwon Do.

Well today might be the end of that era. I have been finding it increasingly hard to handle physically and think it is time to go on to something else. Gimme a break willya - I'm 50 years old! I feel that I have neither the flexibility nor stamina to do justice to what is needed.

Kirok went out in a blaze of glory though!

I made some small mistakes in my first form, Sem Jang, but I did well in Sah Jang and Yuk Jang - you can download short mpeg's of these from here, here and here. Bag kicking went well on the right leg (Jumping Roundhouse is a strong point) and although as ussual I had little power on my left, my technique was right. I fluffed some of the instructions in Korean but again showed reasonable technique in my 3 step sparring ... and then we got into the serious stuff ...

Tae Kwon Do is a contact sport ... if you are wearing helmets and guards etc on chest and shins. Without them we are told to watch our contact and stop kicks and blocks short of serious damage. However when we grade we are expected to show fighting spirit and have a bit of "slap and tap": Blocks connect and if your block doesn't catch a kick, hope your opponent doesn't hurt you too much!

I was ok with my training buddy, Brenton, but for my second match they paired me with a young 16-18 year old blue belt who had plenty of fire in his belly but didn't seem to have picked up the concept of control! Luckily, as the old saying goes, experience and cunning beat youth and speed as my conditioned reflexes kicked in - all my blocks worked - and I counterattacked by forcing him back against a wall.

Hah! Taught you, ya young whippersnapper! One of the young club members caught it as a movie for me but I'm having trouble uploading it to the Internet so if you are interested, drop me a line.

Tonight I'm a happy man. I can retire with honour! Red belt is just short of Black belt but it is still an achievement, I have achieved my goal. From this point on it takes serious commitment to training and the sparring gets pretty tough, so i think it might not be an appropriate risk for me to continue.

Besides my other training buddy - Cadet Ensign Christopher Anderton - wants to take up weight training and that might help me regain enough edge to go back to Tae Kwon Do!

You never know, I might get that Black belt yet before I turn 60!


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