Black Belt

Rowen has been taking Tae Kwon Do for three years. The dojang is close, but I picked it because they had the philosophy I was looking for. No one gets promoted just because they had been there a certain period of time. And it took more than just coming to class to promote. You also must achieve in school. They require you to bring in graded assignments.

I love this school. Rowen loves this school. She has been working so hard to get her belts. But once she reached bodan (one belt from her black belt) she started to struggle. To promote she had to break five boards taped together. Granted, for her age they aren’t 2x4s, but it’s still an amazing feat for an 8 year old who doesn’t break 50 lbs yet. She missed one promotion board because her breaking wasn’t there yet, so this time she desperately wanted to promote.

At her dojang they have a 2.5 hour “black belt bootcamp” a week before the promotion board, and there is where they actually test the bodans. The promotion board is a basically a demonstration for them. She failed bootcamp. She held it together until we were out of the dojang and then she broke down in tears. It was rough for her, she really had worked hard, sometimes going to 5 classes a week. She had one more shot at the end of the week. And she stepped it up for that week. We had 3 and 4 practice sessions a day every day. At the end of the week, she came to class with a purpose! And she succeeded!

She passed all the tests, most especially the breaks. Since we were there, we decided to stay for the following 2 classes. She still had that hardcore mindset going on. And she did well, but again struggled with the breaks.

So on the day of the promotion board she was a bit nervous. She needn’t have been. That day she was perfect. Her forms were flawless and she was focused like a laser the whole time. And when it came time to break, she didn’t hesitate. She smashed them to flinders!

For a minute I couldn’t breath, I was so proud of her. She worked so hard for so long to get her black belt, and she earned it. There are some pics at flickr.


2 Responses

  1. That is so cool!! You brought a tear to my eye, thinking of the father-daughter bond that’s so strong for you!

  2. Thanks. It was a great moment. Next I’ll write about the time she threw a shoe at me from the back seat. Just so things stay balanced.

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