Marshmallow Mondays


One Step Closer

On Saturday, Rydan tested for his Recommended Black Belt.  As usual, the test consisted of form and sparring.  Rydan’s form includes 42 moves, and requires a great amount of focus and precise movements.  As a Probationary Black Belt, he was also required to perform two breaks, one on each leg using two different types of kicks.  This is the first time that he has been required to break wood with his left leg, which has not been an easy skill for him to master.  He has spent the past week practicing, and at times, really struggling.  It’s the first time that I’ve seen him really get frustrated over wood breaking.  In his mind, he is well aware that he has never failed a belt test, and he very much wants to continue that streak.  As proud as we are of him for being so successful, we have also been reassuring him that a failed belt test is simply part of the journey.

Going into this test, Rydan knew that if he passed, he could potentially be just eight weeks away from receiving his First Degree Black Belt.  Even though he shed some tears of frustration last week, it didn’t stop him from continuing to work hard to prepare for this test. Every time his leg bounced off of that board instead of going through it, it definitely shook him, but it never broke his spirit.  He simply kept trying, and on belt test day, he showed up ready to give it his all, and boy did he ever!

Here he is doing his form.  As a black belt, you have two chances to correctly do your form.  Rydan needed just one.

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I love this picture. You all know Rydan as a social, very talkative, life-loving kid.  This photo represents the self-control and focus that Taekwondo has taught him.

I love this picture. You all know Rydan as a social, very talkative, life-loving kid. This photo represents the self-control and focus that Taekwondo has taught him.

Here he is sparring.  He continues to gain confidence at sparring and becomes a little more intense with every belt test.

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And here he is getting ready to perform those two breaks.

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When I heard the snap of the wood on his very first try of the first kick (right leg front kick), my heart raced.  I quickly got up out of my seat and stepped across other parents so that I could get a closer view of him.  Rydan was just one more kick away from knowing that he’d done everything asked of him to pass this test.  Without hesitation, he set himself up for the left leg side kick and plowed through that piece of wood like it was no big deal.  There is nothing like watching your child experience personal success, especially when I had seen so many tears of frustration just days before.  Some of you may have already seen this video on my Facebook page, but in case you haven’t, here is Rydan breaking his second piece of wood and completing his test.  Simply click here to watch.

Official results will be announced at Wednesday’s awards ceremony.

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