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Published: December 11th 2012
All of the yellow belts!
The past couple of weeks in Taekwondo have been pure practice to get ready for our poomsae's for the yellow belt test. We went over all the different things that we needed to know such as counting to 10 (in Korean), introducing ourselves, our sabumneem's name (master), and the first poomsae among other things. Pretty much everyone was ready except for a few minor mistakes here and there. Everyday we were practicing the poomsae which is basically a "dance with blocks, punches, and kicks," and there are 8 different poomsae's which you need to know in order to get your black belt. We were all excited and ready to get our yellow belts to add some flair to our uniforms. Sambumneem Sophia (Cho Chang Kyung) instructed us on what was going to happen on Thursday for the test and told us to practice some more beforehand.
The afternoon before TKD, one of the senior members Mark who has been here for a couple of years sent us all a Facebook message giving us the lowdown for what was actually going to happen at testing. The message basically scarede us all since he said that Sophia takes testing very seriously and
TKD class 2
Goofing off pic
today was not the day to joke around and laugh at mistakes or talk during other people's testin or you would for sure not receive your yellow belt. So everyone got their early and warmed up in silence and seriousness and Sophia did not smile once throughout the whole day until testing was over. A different change of pace for most of us since we are so used to laughing and having a good time.
The higher belts went first since they had to perform more poomsae's than the rest of us did and it would not be good if they were sitting down on the ground letting their muscles stiffen up. So it was nerveracking just sitting there watching their complicated moves and trying to focus on ours in our heads. When it was finally our time to go we went up in groups of 4's and 5's. I was in the first group so I could get it done and over with and wouldn't have to sit there and be nervous as everyone else did it.
We had to introduce ourselves to our master one by one and then we went into the poomsae followed by
Our Sabumneem in the middle with the whole class
some kicks and punches. She was watching our forms and seeing how we could come back from making a mistake. Some people messed up because she was saying the directions in Korean so it took a moment to understand what she wanted, then you perform it. You can almost never understand what exactly she says in Korean. All you hear is the mumbling pattern of speech and know what to do from experience from class. We finally got everything done and sat down and watched the next group go up and do the exact same thing that we did. All the groups went and everyone sat in silence around the heater trying to decipher if they got it or not and trying to think of all their mistakes.
She then pulled all the belts out of a box and sat at the front of the room. 1 red belt, 2 blue belts, and 13 yellow belts. We all sat indian style in front of her and she complimented us on a job well done and saying it was hard and practice makes better. Starting with the higher belts, she grabbed the red belt and called Mark's name for him
The higher belts
Toni, Mark, and Aj
to get the belt which he was relieved about. He had to do the most poomsaes which was like 5 or 6 and they weren't easy. Then she called Aj and Toni's name for their blue belts. Then it came time for the yellow belts. No one wanted to be the person to not get it. She called my name first and I got up to receive my belt. When you get your higher belt you stand in front of the sabumneem and turn around to take off your low belt and then turn around to face them and they tie the higher belt on you and you dong-nai (bow) and shake hands. She then called out the remaining 12 people for their yellow belts. All in all everyone got their belts and we were all laughing after the class. Afterwards we all went out to celebrate and got some dinner. Cooked duck! I have got to say...the Koreans know how to eat well. All the different meals we have here are fresh and wholesome and are insanely cheap and good. I will definitely miss the food when I leave.
On a side note, for my birthday
the following week they got my a birthday cake to celebrate my birthday TKD style which was really cool of them to do! Definitely helped make the birthday!
Tot: 1.292s; Tpl: 0.061s; cc: 8; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0256s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb