Thursday, October 08, 2009


I realize I haven't posted anything in over two years, but this needs to be said. On the night of August 14, 2009, one of our beloved instructors, Paulette Swing, was in a motorcycle accident. The driver died at the scene - Paulette was airlifted to the hospital and she passed from this world on the morning of August 15, 2009.
Paulette was a beautiful woman - Passionate about martial arts and her students. I am lucky to have known her, not only as an instructor and a fellow student, but as a friend as well.
My heart goes out to her teenage son - I can't imagine what he is going through and will carry with him for the rest of his life.
Two months later, it still doesn't seem real. As if she's just on an extended vacation - not really gone. Every day, I am reminded of her in some way, shape, or form. I cherish the years that I was able to spend with her, and will carry her in my heart for as long as I live.

R.I.P. Paulette Swing. I love you and miss you.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Catching up

I went to train at Kyoshi's last week for the black belt class, and boy was it hard! We started out doing cycles of pullups (I had to run around with a stool because I was too short to jump and reach them), then we did cycles of pushups (four stations, 1st cycle = 1 pushup at each station, 2nd cycle = 2 pushups, etc. all the way to 5). Then we worked the tonfa, which was alright. It was bo that was the disaster. Once we got past Choun a kun, I had no idea what was going on. We did about 5 or 6 kata that I didn't know and could hardly keep up with. Then, we did some openhand kata, which was a little easier - still didn't know any of the kata, though.
We did a lot of talking in between these things, and he (Kyoshi Coffin) repeatedly put down TKD and criticized it to no end. Mr. Coleman and Ms. Swing had warned me about that, but I wasn't prepared for that kind of verbal assault. He wasn't attacking me, but he was attacking my art, which is almost worse in my opinion. It finally came to a breaking point after class, when he, in front of the entire class, bet his belt that he could teach me more in 2 years than I'd learned in 12 years of tkd. I didn't say anything, but I'd had more than I could handle. I went back to the locker room and cried my eyes out. Normally, I wouldn't get that upset, but I've been a little more emotionally sensitive since Mr. Coleman left.
Once I composed myself, I went back out. I think Kyoshi saw that he'd upset me. He took me in his office and we talked for a long time. I told him that from what I'd seen of Karate, I loved it, but I wasn't ready to make that switch. He told me that, in my heart, I'd always be a TKD stylist, and that Mr. Coleman would always be my master, but there was only so much that he could teach me. I understand where he's coming from, but I don't completely buy it. At least some things got resolved, though. Sigh.....

Monday, September 24, 2007


MR. COLEMAN'S HOME!!!!! I was hanging out at the dojang this afternoon when he called my cell phone. He said that his dad was almost fully recovered and self-sufficient. They were going to do a 3rd surgery, but they said it's nothing compared with the other ones he had to have. He said that he and his sister had talked, and decided that he needed to do what's best for him, so he got home last night! He and Ms. Swing are meeting on Monday to talk about what his role in the dojang is going to be, because things have definitely changed. In my opinion, Mr. Coleman leaving brought out an ugly side of both of them. I just hope that they can work things out. I'm so happy, though!! He's home! Truly an answer to my prayers.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A turn for the better?

Well, things are looking better than they did a few weeks ago. Mr. Coleman's father is doing well, last I heard. They think they got all of the cancer out of his lungs, so just pray that he stays clear. Mr. Coleman still plans to come down in late November for a group test and other things. Last night I trained with Kyoshi Coffin for the first time and it was amazing! There is so much more to Karate than I used to think. The kata are absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to learn them. I had to stand in second highest rank (going by my tkd rank), which was a little intimidating seeing as I didn't know what was going on! Kyoshi was very helpful, though. Very understanding. It was a lot of beginners for the class, so we did the basic kata, then some work with the tonfa. After class, Shelley, a green belt, walked me through some of the emptyhand kata and I love them! I already know Nihanchi Shodan, but I need to learn Nihanchi Nidan, Nihanchi Samdan, and Wansu. Kyoshi said I might like to come to the black belt class on Wednesdays, which I am really looking forward to. I think I'm going to start training there on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Things are so much better when you look for the good in a bad situation!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


**NOTICE** If anyone from my dojang is reading this blog, please keep whatever you read to yourself. It has already leaked that there are plans to change the school and I think it might be because of this blog. So please, wait until you here this news from a RELIABLE source before you tell other people. Thank you. **NOTICE** I really don't know what to think anymore. I've talked to Ms. Swing a couple more times since my last entry and I think she was being a bit overdramatic the first time. She hasn't actually signed anything with Kyoshi or made any official plans to change the school over. It's all just in the talking process. Mr. Coleman called me this morning and we talked for a good half hour about everything. He claims that Ms. Swing lied to him on the phone yesterday and hasn't told him anything about her plans. A lot of the stuff we talked about I can't write here - I don't want anything to leak or anyone to get hurt anymore than they already are. The truth is, I don't know who to believe or what to believe anymore. I've got two people, both of whom I trust, telling me two completely different stories and dragging me into the middle of this mess. For one, Ms. Swing told me that Mr. Coleman had no plans of coming back to Asheboro. Well, I just talked to Mr. Coleman and he said if everything goes well with his father he'll be back in November - he's got two jobs with retirement down here and they've given him a leave of absence until November, so he kind of has to come back at some point. If Ms. Swing expects me to help her run this dojang, then she needs to be completely honest with me on all accounts. Otherwise, it just creates confusion. I hate drama...
So my mom and I were eating dinner at home last night, and I swallowed a sharp piece of taco shell. You know how they sometimes get stuck in your throat and you get a sharp chest pain? So that's what happened. I took a drink of water and it felt like it passed through, but then my vision started blurring and blotting out, like when you're about to black out. Then I have this vague feeling like I was having a dream about something, but I can't remember what and I woke up on the floor in my mom's lap. Apparently, I had laid my head down on the table and when my mom tried to sit me up, my eyes were rolling back in my head and I was jerking like I was having a seizure. She did the heimlich because she thought I was choking, but then she realized I was breathing. I came to after about 45 seconds and didn't remember what had happened. We went to the emergency room and I was really lightheaded and I got dizzy when I walked. We waited for about an hour, then saw a doctor. He did some tests and all that, I had an EKG, and they told us it was probably a Vegal reflex, caused by pressure on the vegas nerve which limits blood flow to the brain. I feel alright now, just a little apprehensive... Whew.... Not cool, man... Not cool...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In a Daze...

I will elaborate on this later, but for lack of time, here's the long and short of it: The dojang is in debt, Mr. Coleman is in Penn. indefinitely, and Ms. Swing needs to make a living. At the end of the year, she is folding the Kim's Martial Art corporation and merging with Kyoshi Vic Coffin (Mr. Coleman's Kenpo/Karate master). So we're switching entirely to kenpo/karate. Right now, I don't know what I'm feeling. I'm pretty sure Mr. Coleman doesn't plan on moving back, which is breaking my heart. He's been my master for 12 years. He's been like a second dad to me. Our relationship means more than I can put into words. How can all of that be gone, just like that? I'm just going to go ahead and say it: This officially sucks. I guess I'm excited about learning a new style of martial arts, but to leave behind Taekwondo, my first love, my first passion. That's a lot to ask. And not knowing when/if I'll ever see Mr. Coleman again. That's the part that really sucks. Talking to Ms. Swing today, it was hard. She feels that Mr. Coleman turned his back on her, left her hanging in the middle of debt, and I can sympathize. But if it comes to it, I don't know if I'll be able to choose sides between them. Mr. Coleman is, and will always be my master and I owe my first loyalties to him. It's true that I cannot always defend the things he does, but I can and will always defend his character and integrity.
God... This is the last thing I needed, on top of the stress of starting school... I can't cry anymore. I've shed all the tears that I can bear...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


A lot has changed since I last posted. Mr. Coleman sold his apartment and moved to Pennsylvania to be with his family while his father is being treated for lung cancer. He's staying up there as long as he needs to, and plans to come do group testings every three months as long as he's living in Penn. Ms. Swing and I were left in charge of the dojang, which is slightly terrifying. As of now, Ms. Swing is covering the Monday/Thursday classes, I'm helping her on Tuesdays, Rodney is teaching Fridays, and I teach Saturdays. Covering the actual classes hasn't been hard, but the absence of Mr. Coleman has taken a toll on everyone. Circumstances could change at the drop of a hat at this point, so we wait for news, and we carry on.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

4th Dan Test

I tested for my 4th dan yesterday!! I went straight from camp to the dojang, having only practiced my forms twice that week because of work, and having not practiced one-steps or self-defense at all. It was a small group, as the test was very impromptu. My parents, Matt (a guy from my church), Kandie and Jennifer (two red belts), and some friends from camp (Laura, Mandy, and Brian). Ms. Swing was testing as well, for her 3rd dan, and Rodney and Max helped out with self-defense and breaking.
We started out with forms. After doing Koryo three times, with different pointers after each time, I started to realize that this wasn't like any test I'd ever had. It wasn't so much a test, as a learning experience. We both knew the stuff, and Mr. Coleman knew that. It was just a matter of improving on what we already knew. We both did Keumgang, and I did Taebaek while Ms. Swing did Bassai.
Next, Ms. Swing and I paired up for one-step sparring. When you get to brown belt, you have to make up six of your own, instead of having preset techniques like the lower belts. Mine have definitely changed a lot since I was a brown belt, as they should. Those went by very smoothly.
Self-defense was also more of a learning experience. I paired with Rodney - luckily, we had the opportunity to go through them a couple of times before the test, so he knew what to expect. We did the techniques twice - once full-speed, then once step-by-step, with explanations of what we were doing. Rodney accidentally head-butted me in the forehead, but other than that it went really well.
We each had to do two breaks. Ms. Swing chose a jumping back kick power break (two boards) and a round double. She broke both on first try! I chose to do 360 hook kick (my signature kick, I guess) and 360 roundhouse (I feel comfortable with it, but I've only broken with it a couple of times). I broke both on first try as well!
Mr. Coleman had me read my essay out loud (you can read it in the previous post), which went sort of well I guess. I don't especially enjoy reading my own work out loud - I'm more comfortable if someone else reads it, but oh well.
After that, Mr. Coleman said, "In the career of a martial arts instructor, you get only a handful of students who are exceptional. You two, are truly exceptional. Now, for the sake of my getting emotional, you both passed test." Lots of hugging and pictures ensued:

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Teaching Taekwondo

Since I'm going to be at camp this week with no computer access, this morning was the only time that I had to write my paper for my 4th dan test. So here it is!

One of the most important aspects of a successful dojang is its teachers. Students look up to their instructors and hold them in the highest respect. Therefore, instructors have an obligation to employ effective teaching methods in their classes. It is difficult to say which teaching method is “the best”, but there are several that work well.
One of the most widely used teaching methods is PCP (Praise, Correct, Praise). This works especially well with younger students who may be more emotionally sensitive to criticism. The basic idea is to note something that the student is doing well, gently give them some advice for something that they are struggling with, and acknowledge the student again when they fix the problem. This method is one of the most effective, because the praise builds the student’s confidence and the criticism prevents the student from developing an inflated ego.
While PCP works very well with young students and beginners, more advanced belts sometimes need a little extra push in their workout sessions. This is where the “drill instructor” method is effective. Because of the growing number of young children in martial arts, many instructors are emphasizing gentle teaching methods that are designed to not intimidate the student. I have no qualms with those methods, but sometimes some good, old fashioned yelling is called for. This is not to say that the instructor should be “mean” or “rude”, but should use yelling as a motivational tool. I cannot count the number of times that an instructor’s yelling has kept me going when I otherwise would have collapsed. Again, this method works best with adults and advanced belts. Most children automatically associate yelling with getting in trouble and will most likely shut down during class if they are intimidated by the instructor.
An important part of effective teaching is the structure of the actual class. I base the design of my classes on the students who are there. For example, if the class is predominantly children, I have them do interactive games and fast-moving techniques that keep their minds occupied. With adults and higher belts, I slow things down and focus on detail, but still give them a good workout with intermittent kicking drills and pushups/crunches. It is important to keep in mind, however, that it is difficult to please everyone. In a class with twenty children and one adult, the adult may get a good workout, but might not get to go as in-depth as they would in a class of twenty adults. That is a simple fact and there is nothing really that the instructor can do about it. In that situation, it is up to the adult to choose to try to get something out of the workout or just sulk because they didn’t get to do what they wanted.
Proper discipline is another important aspect of teaching. The instructor’s attitude towards discipline can make it or break it for some younger students, so it is important to know the limits. During a class, assigning pushups is the equivalent of a warning. It is physical labor and it is somewhat humiliating for the student, but he or she is still allowed to participate in class. If the student persists, the next step is to ask them to sit down until they can behave. “Time-out” is effective for younger students because they see their friends having fun in class, which motivates them to behave so they can have fun as well. The two harshest punishments that we employ at our dojang are the confiscation of a student’s belt, and refusing to sign their attendance card. If a student blatantly disobeys the instructor numerous times, their belt should be taken off and hung somewhere in plain sight of the class. This is both humiliating for the student and it serves as a reminder to the rest of the class. The time that the belt is kept depends on whether the student’s behavior improves. Refusing to sign a student’s attendance card is a touchy situation, especially if the parents of the student get involved. Not signing the attendance card lengthens the time before a student can test for the next belt, and in the minds of some parents, is wasting the money that they paid for their child to take class. It is best if the instructor speaks with the student’s parents first, explains the situation, and asks if they have any problems with the method of discipline.
My personal experience with teaching has helped me grow as a martial arts student and as a person. Being a naturally shy and introverted individual, fitting into leadership roles was difficult for me at a young age. I preferred to stay in the background, only offering suggestions if I was asked directly. This changed when my Tae Kwon Do instructor asked me to begin teaching classes for him. I clearly remember the first Tae Kwon Do class that I taught by myself. I had written down everything that I planned to do during the class, along with a time limit for each activity so that I wouldn’t have any extra time. As I began the class, my hands were trembling, but by the end I was completely at ease. I had found my leadership role. Tae Kwon Do is a sport that I have participated in for twelve years, and it is something that I am very passionate about. Having the opportunity to instruct other people in this martial art has opened up a new door for me. I am able to share my passion and enthusiasm for Tae Kwon Do with my students, and hopefully instill a long-lasting appreciation for the martial arts in them.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


18 years ago today, at 3:30 AM, I was born. Yay! Yes, today has been one of the best birthdays ever. Everyone sang to me at camp this morning, then I came home to several birthday cards from various family members. My parents just gave me a check because my big birthday present was the trip to France. But I bought myself a 30 GB iPod, so it's all good.
I had a private lesson with Mr. Coleman this afternoon, which was great. We worked on my bo katas for a while and fixed a couple of things, but he didn't have much to correct. Which I take to be a good sign. :P Then we worked on self-defense for the rest of the lesson. Today, we got very theoretical in our discussions. It was interesting, what we covered, but hard to wrap my mind around. Near the end, we worked on the flow of movement from my feet to my hips, not over-turning, and not using my shoulder, for a push. It was very close contact, which was slightly awkward after awhile. I don't know why - I'm normally quite comfortable around Mr. Coleman.
After the lesson, Mr. Coleman asked me to stay to talk about something. So I sat down in the office and he started rummaging around in the filing cabinents. He came up with a testing application and said, "Happy Birthday, I'm promoting you to 4th dan". I was speechless for a few moments, and rightly so, seeing as I'm not due to test until next summer! Mr. Coleman said that he'd just talked to Grandmaster Kim today and he told him to test me as soon as possible. So, I'm testing next Saturday!!! I held it together while I was still in the dojang, but once I got out to the parking lot, I lost it and started crying - tears of disbelief, of course. I got a lot of weird looks on the road because I was grinning like an idiot and kept randomly yelling. Hehe. Oh, and I have to write a paper about teaching. I'm so excited!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Week Off

I have this week off from work and all other commitments, which is amazing. So what's my idea of relaxation? Training, of course! I haven't been since May because of work and going to France (yes, I went to France and YES it was AWESOME!) I went to the 1 1/2 hour class yesterday and got a good workout with Ms. Swing. We worked a lot on forms, but spaced it out with some intense kicking drills.
Tonight was 3 1/2 hours of training, which was amazing. I got to the dojang early and showed Mr. Coleman my pictures from France, and gave him a postcard and book about the D-Day Normandy landings (his dad fought in D-Day, so I thought it appropriate to get him something like that). I think he was really pleased and I had a lot of fun showing him my pictures. :)
There were three of us for weapons, and we worked on bo and sai. It took a few minutes to get used to the weapons in my hand again, but it's like riding a bike - it all comes back to you. Self-defense was good - got to review some old techniques and learn a couple of new ones. Injured my toe, though, so I just helped out with sparring/refereed for the ring fights.
I had a private lesson after class, so we continued with self-defense. I love being one-on-one, because we go so much more in-depth than we would in a normal class. It's a little more relaxed, too. Quite a lot of laughs. I was trying to do a compound lock, but it was clear that I couldn't figure it out for that angle, and I kept twisting his arm this way and that and finally just turned away and started cracking up. He really stressed the point that I need to find a few techniques that worked for me in terms of my size and ability, and work on those, keeping in mind the different variables that can change the situation and techniques. It was really interesting and a lot of fun. I'm trying to get as much training out of this week as possible because I won't have another break for quite awhile. Oh, and my 18th birthday is a week from Saturday!! :D

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Frustrations and Joys

TKD was fun, frustrating, relaxing, and rewarding... All in the same night! Self-defense was a small class and I was paired with Lisa (an adult) and Katie Jo (a student doing her senior project on self-defense). Both were fun to work with. Then Mr. Coleman got the mats out and asked who wanted to grapple with me. I was excited; I love grappling. I sparred Deven first, and we were pretty evenly matched. He's a tall guy, but he's only 15, so his muscular strength isn't fully developed yet. Still, a good fight. Siddu was next. He's small and wiry, but very fast. I nearly hit my head on a cinder block and scared Mr. Coleman to death! Mr. Coleman eventually called the fight, but I never tapped out - I'm not one to back down, and neither is Siddu - that's where we clash.
Next was sparring - just Siddu, Thomas (a 10-11 year old) and me. We alternated drills and free sparring, the two of them taking turns with me (which meant I didn't get to rest). Siddu is an excellent fighter - his speed is his strength, and he had an advantage with longer legs. We usually get on really well, but when we spar, I almost lose it. I feel like he's just playing with me, like a cat plays with a mouse. So sparring was frustrating.
After class, I stayed for a private lesson with Mr. Coleman. By that time, I was still frustrated and I think he knew it. We worked on my sidekick (which I admit, needs a lot of work), but I was getting so worked up! On one of my kicks, I yelled so loud that my voice cracked (sounded more like a cry of pain!) and Mr. Coleman just looked at me. I couldn't read the look in his eyes, but I could tell that he understood how stressed I was. We moved on to some blocking drills, which were rhythmical and relaxing. The drills moved into self-defense, which I love. I'm not used to hitting Mr. Coleman, but it was still very fun.
Oh, what a day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Scare

I had a little bit of a scare today. I was the first one to the dojang today, and on my way in I was approached by a guy with a cardboard box shouting, "Hey, you want free stuff?" I backed up and kept my hands up and open (non-aggressive, defense posture) just like we're taught in class, but I had no idea what was in that box. Worst case scenario, I thought he might have had a gun or knife in there. Thankfully, he pulled out an apron and some grilling utensils and tried to sell them to me. When I told him I didn't have any money, he got into a car that had been driving up and down the street and they drove away. I was a little shaken, but fine. That's the closest I've ever come to having to use self-defense and I hope I never have to!
Class tonight was great - I partnered with Siddu and Rodney which was a lot of fun. We worked on wrist locks tonight. After class, Rodney told me that I was the "strongest little girl he'd ever met." I told him that he was the strongest little man (he's fairly short) that I'd ever met. He laughed, and said, "Somehow it doesn't sound the same when you say it to me!"
My fake tattoo was a big hit at TKD. Everyone thought that it was real, which I found funny. As if I would ever get a tattoo of a dragon on the side of my neck! You could tell by the adults' responses which ones were parents. They were the ones who said, "Pamela Plant, that better not be real!"
Mr. Coleman's (50th) birthday was on Sunday, so we threw him a party yesterday. One of our parents makes cakes for a living, so she baked a cake for him and we all hung out and socialized after class for awhile. It was nice...
Exams are this week, so I should get back to studying. :(

Monday, April 16, 2007


I've been slacking a lot, but here's the stats:
Pushups: 11,235
Situps: 12,396
Miles: 173.25
Form: 40
Sparring: 99
Acts of kindness: 240

Last week, we had a writer-in-residence visit our english class and have us do some opinion writing. So here's a piece that I threw off in about 10 minutes - its about the misconceptions that people have of martial arts (it's still in its raw form - I haven't had time to edit it):

I hate the misconceptions of martial arts that the media has given to people. Whenever I say that I take Taekwondo, the first response of most people is, “Dude, so you could kick my ass, right?” Martial Arts are not about beating people to a bloody pulp – they’re about discipline, self-control, the power of the mind over the body, and not fighting unless it is absolutely necessary. I have thankfully never been in a situation where I had to defend myself – I learn Taekwondo so I don’t have to use it. There are, of course, benefits to the physical aspect of martial arts. A toned body, muscle control, flexibility, strength, etc. But those are things that you could get through any sport. What sets martial arts apart is the focus on developing the mind – strategizing while you are sparring, thinking of different functions for a certain technique, learning which self-defense moves are appropriate for each situation. People don’t see that in Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee – all they see are the flying kicks and amazing speed of their attacks, which are, I admit, “cool”, but there is so much more to it than that. I may not be able to do a backflip or throw someone across a room, but I am a better person because of martial arts and that is the real goal in the end.

One of our teenagers, Hamp, tested for his black belt tonight. I was his partner for one-steps, self-defense, and sparring, so I got quite a workout as well. He did really well and I especially enjoyed his "What TKD has done for me" essay. Congrats, Hamp!

It seems I get injured every time I spar nowadays. I have a bruise on the joint of my elbow that is slowly disappearing, a large buise on the joint of my knee that has a new color everyday, and tonight I received a large, painful lump at the base of my thigh (right near my knee) that will most likely be a briuise by tomorrow and will hinder my ability to walk. Oh goody. I wouldn't trade it for the world, though. It's my life, and pain comes with life.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Taekwondomom's suggestion about combining two of my interests into my senior project gave me an idea. I'm interning at a film studio at the moment and I'm pretty sure they would be generous enough to lend me one of their cameras (they've already offered to let me have one this summer when I go to France). So, I would train/film in Pennsylvania, then I would use the footage that I had to make a short film, using the studio's resources. I like it! You like it? I'm going to run it by Mr. Coleman tomorrow night. Thanks, tkdmom! :D

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Senior Project...

So, as my junior year comes slowly (so agonizingly slowly....) to a close, I'm already looking ahead to this time next year when I'll be starting my senior project. I've known for awhile that I want to do something with TKD, but quite a cool idea came to me this morning. Our grandmaster lives in Pennsylvania and he has several schools in the area, so what I want to do is stay and train with him at his dojangs. I spoke to Mr. Coleman about it today and he likes the idea, but since I'm already a high level black belt he thinks that I'll have to come up with something that will be "educational" or a "learning experience".... I agree with him, so I'm trying to think up ways for me to disguise the fact that I just think it would be the coolest thing ever to train with him and to make it look like an actual senior project. Any ideas? I'm not exactly sure of my school's guidelines - I'll have to get some information after spring break. But, yes. Ideas are most welcome!

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I took the SAT yesterday and (hopefully) rocked it. And I was mistaken for a guy for the first time in a while.... Ok, so the guy that I was sitting next to during the test was walking down the hall with me to the bathrooms and I turned to go into the ladies room, and he pulled me back, saying, "No, that's the girl's room!" I turned around, confused, and said, "... I am a girl..." Needless to say, he got really red in the face and avoided eye contact with me for the rest of the day. I was wearing a baggy sweatshirt, so I guess it might have been hard to distinguish, with my short hair and all. :P
So I've been meaning to post about this, but I haven't had time until now: A couple Fridays ago, we were supposed to have a ladie's self-defense class, but no one showed up, so Mr. Coleman had me and the ukes (Max and Deven) do some self-defense "sparring" with the knives. It was SO MUCH FUN! Max made it really hard for me to get him down, and even getting control of the weapon with him was difficult. Not to be outdone, I thrashed around so much that Max had to sit on top of me and pull my hair (after unsuccessfully trying to apply pressure points) until I let go. Oh, and... Hehe.... I bit Max.... He had me in a body lock and his shoulder was right there next to my mouth, and.... Instinct just took over. I realized what I was doing about half-way through it and I started laughing. I guess it's a good thing, though, that my instinct is to bite, scratch, do whatever is necessary to get away. Anyway, it was the most fun I've had in a long time - I hope we get to do that kind of stuff more often!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I taught on Monday, which was pretty fun. It was a 1 1/2 hour class, so we did kicks, forms, self-defense, a flying sidekick contest, and played "intructor says" for the kids. It was a big class (25 people) but Deven helped me out so that was nice.
I taught on Tuesday as well, but there were only 8 people, so it was more relaxed. I taught the first 45 minutes of self-defense, then Rodney took over for the rest of class. I'm beginning to wonder whether I command enough respect from my classes. When I teach, the other teenagers (even ones who are black belts!) tend to goof off and it's hard to keep them in line when they're my age or older. Once Rodney took over, he made it clear that no one was going to goof off with him around. I wish I had that air of authority... But, then again, Rodney was in the military, so that probably helped out. Anyway, we got the mats out and did some hip throws/sweeps, which was fun. I partnered with Chris which was a challenge, seeing as he's a good foot taller than me. But I love a good challenge! I also got kneed right in the temple when he was throwing me - it hurt! It's pretty tender today, but no real damage.
Today, we ran the mile in Fit for Life. We weren't going for time, but we had heart rate moniters strapped on so we could stay within our target heart rate zones. And I found out that my aerobic fitness isn't good at all. TKD is pretty much anaerobic, which means that your body isn't using oxygen while you're exercising - its kind of like sprinting. You can only go for so far, but you're out of breath at the end. Aerobic is more endurance, like a marathon runner. So when you go above your target heart rate zone, you're exercising anaerobically, which doesn't improve your heart and only burns sugar, instead of carbs. I found that a brisk walk/slow jog got me in the upper part of my heart rate zone, so one of my new goals is to improve my aerobic fitness by exercising in my target heart rate zone for 20-30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week. That's about all that's happened to me lately!

Monday, February 12, 2007


When I do my nunchaku kata in my normal uniform, the sleeves always get in the way, so I tend to practice in a tank top or t-shirt. I found a few "non-traditional" uniforms online that I really like. I'm leaning towards this top:
with these pants:
I like the pants because they have a special fabric on the sides that you can use to wipe sweat off you're hands (so my nunchaku don't go flying out of my hands) and even a special pocket that holds most nunchaku.
I'm going to show them to Mr. Coleman tonight and I hope he's open to the whole non-traditional thing. Still haven't thought of a name for my kata.... I need to find one word that encompasses the entire form...

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Saturday I had a private lesson with Mr. Coleman and we really started working on my nunchaku kata. It improved so much within just 40 minutes of tweaking and making adjustments. I'm beginning to feel a little more confidence about competing in the Battle of Atlanta - I don't know if I'll place, but at least I won't look like a fool! Mr. Coleman said that I need to think of a name for it. We're calling it "Independence" right now, just so I can practice my introduction to the judges, but I'm trying to think of a name that reflects the story that the kata tells. Because that's what a kata really is - it's a story. The only way I can describe it is, "explosive". There are a lot of loud kiyaps and rapid strikes. If anyone has any ideas for a name, please post it! TKD mom, I'll try to e-mail you a video I took of me doing the kata, so you can see it and get a better idea of what name would fit it.
In other news, I went to the job fair at a new film production studio about 15 minutes from my house on Saturday and interviewed for an internship and a position as an actor. I got to talk with the director/not sure what his title is, and he was really nice - he's an actor himself. And I met the Studio Manager - they all wanted to hear my Gollum voice after reading my resume and seeing that I played him in The Hobbit. I think/hope I made a good impression. On my way out, I heard one of the interns saying to them, "Yeah, she's good!" I'm supposed to hear back from them soon, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tuesday Fun

Tonight was a great TKD night. Mr. Coleman ran Ms. Swing and I through the new introductory classes that we're going to start doing with prospective students, then I got to "teach" them. One of the greatest joys in life is seeing Mr. Coleman act like a 5 year old, getting to call him out on his stances, and having him call me "Ma'am". :D Haha, 5 minutes was all I got and I milked it for all it was worth!
Self-defense was amazing tonight - there were only 8 of us and I got to partner with Rodney which is always a treat. We did a couple of takedowns and wrist locks and Rodney and I were going full-force - it was great! We started "resisting" each other - flailing around and making the other person work to get the hold on. I don't get to go hard like that very often, so I was having a ball.
Sparring was alright - we did drills and free sparring, but it was hard for me to get into it. I'm so used to reacting to Heather's fast, agile movements, but my partner tonight was a lot bigger (taller and out-weighed me), so I had to adapt. I'm a little down on myself because I didn't do as well as I hoped I would, but oh well. We have good days and we have bad days. Oh, and I got kicked in the groin which (in case you men are unaware) is pretty painful for women as well.
On another note, I can now do 3 pullups whereas, a few months ago, I could barely do one. I'm hoping I can work up to 5 at some point.
Oy, SAT prep classes start tomorrow, so its going to be a busy month leading up to March 10 (dun dun dun!)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mute and Testing

I was mute on Thursday, as part of my UBBT empathy requirements. I figured it would be easy, since I don't talk that much anyway, but boy was I wrong! I couldn't talk to my mom on the phone when I got to school (I had to clap to let her know that I was ok), I couldn't joke around with my friends, and people just tend to ignore you when you can't speak. Taekwondo was interesting as well. I couldn't answer the phone, bow the class in, answer the instructor, or yell. I now understand just how important kiyaps are. I didn't have nearly as much power as I usually do, and the adrenaline rush that I get from kiyaping wasn't there, so I wasn't as energetic. Its definitely tough, not being able to talk, and I think that it's a good thing for everyone to try, just to get a different perspective on the world.
This morning we had our first group testing of the year. I was up for a progress stripe in TKD and my brown belt in Kobudo. It was small (only about 20 people) and Mr. Coleman conducted the test because Grandmaster Kim doesn't come down unless there are several people testing for dans or pooms (he lives in Pennsylvania). Demo team performed first which was fun. I have a new self-defense routine (wrote it myself and everything!) so I got to do that. Ms. Swing and I did a bo kata and I did my nunchaku kata. I broke too, with a 360 hook. I think I'm getting out of that rut that I was stuck in - you know, the one where I couldn't break with that kick? Glad that's over! TKD testing was next - Rodney got his deputy black belt, which was awesome! He's really dedicated and very talented. I passed my stripe testing, along with all the other black belts who were testing for stripes. Kobudo testing was last, and Ms. Swing and I were the only candidates. We went through a couple of katas on each weapon, Mr. Coleman gave us advice and pointers, and we both passed to brown belt! Now I just have to train hard for my 1st dan test (whenever it will be) because we have to test in front of Kyoshi Coffin (Mr. Coleman's weapons master). The man is absolutely terrifying and will probably be haunting my dreams for months before the test!
In other news, Mr. Coleman wants me to compete at the Battle of Atlanta this summer! So that will be exciting. But for now, I want to start my training for my 4th dan test (yes, I know, it's 10 months away, but still... I want to be in the best shape I've ever been so the sooner I start, the better.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007


In Taekwondo, we are required to submit 5 new years resolutions every year - I spent some time thinking on it, and this is what I want to accomplish in 2007:
1. Complete my personal test requirements by my 4th Dan test.
2. Have all of my college applications finished by Christmas.
3. Continue to deepen my faith.
4. Be responsible with the privileges that come with being 18.
5. Plan and organize an Invisible Children event.

Most people tend to think of resolutions as ways to better yourself, like losing 10 pounds or working out every day, but I like to think of them as the opportunity to commit to something that you've always wanted to do, but have never done, all the while bettering yourself and the people around you. Like the UBBT - I've never undertaken such an enormous physical committment, but this new year gives me the chance to say that, YES, I will complete the task I set for myself!
As for the college applications, I want to have them over and done with by the time I leave for winter break so they're not hanging over me - I've visited one college on my list so far, and have lined up two more visits this spring. I'm excited about starting the process!
Every year, at least one of my resolutions has something to do with my relationship with God, because heaven knows we can always use work on that one! This past year, making time to read and study my Bible, pray, and just listening to God has been a problem for me, so I'm resolving to make time for these things because nothing in the world is more important than developing and keeping a strong relationship with the One who made you.
My fourth resolution doesn't actually go into effect until July, but I wanted to keep it in mind anyway. Yes, I'll be 18, but that doesn't automatically make me a mature adult. That is something that takes time, experience, and wisdom, so I don't want to let any of the privileges of being 18 go to my head - I want to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground until I'm ready to fly.
The last resolution is more something that I've wanted to do for a long time - Invisible Children is an organization that raises awareness about children in Northern Uganda (and all over the world for that matter), who are being kidnapped by rebel armies and forced to fight as child soldiers ( Some of these kids are as young as 5 years old, and most of them are badly mutilated or killed by the commanders. Girls are usually taken as sex slaves by the officers. This is a horrible thing that is happening, and we're just... Letting it happen. The US did not offer any support for the recently collapsed Juba Peace Talks between the rebel army and the Ugandan Government, nor is our government making any effort to bring this news to our attention. That is where Invisible Children comes in; Three filmmakers went to Africa to film about the genocide in Sudan, but ended up discovering the "Invisible Children" of Uganda, which they decided to make a documentary about. I would encourage everyone to watch this documentary - It changed my life the first time I saw it, and every time thereafter it ignites a fire in me that I can't put out. I donate $10 out of my allowance every week to the organization and I have made information posters and put them around town, but this year I want to organize and execute a screening of Invisible Children.
I try to set high standards for myself, so in short, I want to change the world (or at least a tiny part of it) in 2007.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Keeping Track

Every night before I go to bed, I record my pushups, crunches, miles, form, acts of kindness, and sparring matches in a little journal. Since September, I have done:

Pushups: 6,078
Crunches: 7,180
Miles: 105.5
Form: 24
Acts of kindness: 135
Sparring matches: 24

According to the plan I set out with, I've only completed roughly 1 1/2 months worth of pushups/situps. That means I have 3 1/2 months to catch up on. That's 14,000 pushups and situps, + keeping up with what I'm currently doing.
Today I did 600 pushups and 1,000 situps. There's a man doing the UBBT, who did 1,000 pushups and situps EVERY DAY for 50 days in honor of his turning 50. And he's kept going (as far as I know), even after the 50 days. If a 50 year old man (however fit he may be) can do 1000 pushups and situps everyday, I can sure as hell do at least 200 a day to try to catch up to where I need to be. I think that'll be one of my new years resolutions...

Back into the Swing

My training has been going really well, as of late. I did all 1000 of my pushups and situps last week, and I'm almost done for this week as well! I got two testing applications last week - one for my 2nd progress stripe in tkd, and one for my brown belt in Kobudo. I feel pretty confident in both areas - I might need a little practice with Matte Ush, No Tonfa Ich, but I've pretty much got it down. I'm just worried about the next Kobudo testing - for my 1st dan. Black belt tests have to be conducted by Kyoshi Coffin, who can be quite a terrifying person to be around. But I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Last night was great. Brian has been coming more often (now that he isn't working 12 hour shifts) so it was good to train with him tonight. We also had two new black belts who just moved from Salt Lake City. Its a father and son (I think the son looks about my age - maybe a little older), and they were phenomenal! I could tell from the way they moved that they had come from a more traditional style, but they caught on quickly. Lane (the son) has an amazing jump back kick, and they both have very good form. I was paired with Lane for self-defense (we just did a couple of techniques - block/palmstrike and some wristlocks) - it looked a little awkward for him, like he hadn't done much with self-defense, but once he got used to it, he was a lot smoother. I didn't get to talk to them after class, but I hope they come back. Its nice to have some more adult black belts around.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Almost there....

Wow, this week has been pretty stressful. Exams started on Thursday with APUSH (AP U.S. History) which was pretty easy. Friday was Algebra III and AP English. I got a break over the weekend and today I had Biology. My last exam is tomorrow (French) and then I'm free! Its been a bad week in terms of training (I can't remember the last time I went to class) but I have been trying to catch up on my pushups/situps (I did 200 of each on Saturday and 300 of each yesterday). I've also started going to a climbing gym near my school. I always fancied myself a "good" climber because I had a lot of experience on the climbing wall at the camp that I work at, but I found out on Friday that I have a long way to go! I completed a 5.8 climb ("hard" is considered 5.10 and up) and I got pretty far on two other 5.8s, but couldn't get them. The gym also has a bouldering cave (no ropes) and I only completed one out of the four problems that I tried. Pretty bad, but I have a feeling it will all get better with practice (I'm planning to climb afterschool on most Fridays). I figure it will build up my strength and endurance for tkd. Speaking of, I'm (hopefully) going to the 1 1/2 hour class tonight (it will be good to get back into training!). But I have to study for French first, so I'd better go. Au revoir, les enfants! (Haha).

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Today was pretty awesome. I'm almost better, which is a far shot from completely better, but I'll take what I can get. We had two demonstrations at the mall today, which were fun to do. I love demos because it combines Taekwondo and theatrics (my two main passions).

I was really apprehensive about breaking with my 360 hook kick as I had sort of gotten into a rut of - well - not being able to break with it. Whether it was my mindset or the adrenaline, it worked and I broke the board both times.

This was also the "debut" for my XMA-style nunchaku kata that I learned from a DVD that I bought online. It took me an afternoon to learn it and a few months to perfect it, so I was excited about performing it. It went off fairly well, I think. Now I need to start working on the advanced form on the DVD. I've looked at it once or twice and it looks to be very challenging.

Other than that, I'm just trying to get over this stupid virus and study for midterms at the same time - not a pleasant mix. I probably won't post again until the 19th when exams are over, so wish me good thoughts and good luck! Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I hate being sick, but it seems that's all I am lately. I had to cut back on tkd alot in November because of a play that I was in, but there were a few highlights. Kyoshi Vic Coffin (Mr. Coleman's weapons master) came and did a defense seminar which was amazing. He knows so much about how the human body functions and how to make it malfunction with the slightest pressure to a certain point. I got to be uke a couple of times, which was... painful, to say the least. :P
I have really been slacking off with my pushups and situps, and just about everything else. Here's my running total: Pushups: 2,975
Situps: 3,495
Miles: 71
Form reps: 20
Acts of kindness: 91
Sparring rounds: 5

As you can see, I'm behind. As soon as I get over this virus, I am getting back on track. When I first started doing the pushups, I could barely get 15 or 20 reps out at a time. Now I'm doing 50 per set, no problem. I like that feeling, and I hate that I'm losing ground because of this illness.
Mr. Coleman told me that I would be up for my 4th dan test this time next year, which I'm really excited about. I plan on completing this mock "UBBT" and re-learning all of the Pyung An forms (the traditional set of forms that we used before we switched to Taegeuk).
I also want to go to the Battle of Atlanta next summer and maybe compete (or at least attend some seminars).
Oh, our dojang made a schedule change, which I'm excited about: Demo practice is on Mondays, weapons class has been changed to Tuesdays so Mr. Coleman can teach it, and an Adults-Only class has been added to Thursday!
Exams start next week, but after that I should have a lot of time to train and post some more.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Busy Week

Ahhhh!!! This week has been so busy its not even funny. I got to workout once this week, and that was at my private lesson on Friday. So the whole not-working-out thing through me out of whack with everything else. No classes on Tuesday because of Halloween (I ended up staying up till midnight doing a group project which, strangely, didn't seem like a group project. Oh, yeah... That's because I was doing all the work!) So that was frustrating. I came home on Wednesday and crashed for the night. I taught class on Thursday night, and Friday I got a private lesson which was really good. We did a lot of talking - about my interest in other styles, what's appropriate in terms of training in those styles, and I think I'm going to be up for my next stripe soon. I test for my 4th dan in about a year!! We went through the bo kata (Choun-No-Kun) and nitpicked a few things. Mr. Coleman says he's going to start teaching me the next bo kata, so I'm pretty excited about that. Other than that, I just need to get back in a training mindset and start doing my pushups and crunches again.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My Own Black Belt Challenge

Mr. Coleman and I both agreed that it would be better not to participate in the Ultimate Black Belt Test, so I came up with a "challenge" of my own. It incorporates aspects of the UBBT, but I've added my personal touches as well. So this is it:
Over the course of one year, I will…
Ten Goals:
Submit a set of written and specific goals that I plan to accomplish.

Weekly Journaling:
Make a weekly post on my TKD Blog (

Push Ups and Crunches:
Complete 52,000 (minimum) push ups and crunches.

Complete 500 rounds of sparring (stand up and/or ground fighting).

Aikido Training:
Complete 75 hours of Aikido training – Become proficient.

Complete 50 hours training in a grappling art.

Form Requirements:
Complete 1000 (minimum) repetitions of Taebaek.

Self-Defense Training:
Train in a reality-based self-defense program.

Become proficient in Kendo or train under Kyoshi Vic Coffin in Kobudo.

Boxing Requirements:
Complete 20 hours of boxing or Muay Thai.

Reading Requirements:
Read 5 or more books pertaining to management or philosophy, motivation or enlightenment.

Eat healthy and nutritious foods – avoid sweets.

Empathy Training:
Go one full day of living in a wheelchair, one full day blind, and one full day mute.

Walk or Run 1000 Miles:
Walk/run a minimum of 1000 miles.

Acts of Kindness and Compassion:
Perform and log 350 acts of kindness and compassion.

As you can see, I'll be making a weekly post here to let you know my progress.
As of today (October 23), here is a report:
Pushups: 1,817
Situps: 2,190
Miles: 44
Form Reps: 10
Sparring Matches: 4
Acts of Kindness: 35

I really need to get back on track with the daily pushups/situps, and make it a point to walk more than usual. And I need to do my form more often. I'll go through a spell of about a week or so when I wake up early every morning to do my pushups/situps, then I'll just start to slack off during the weekend, and I'll be too tired to do them, and it all goes downhill from there. So I'm going to try to get to sleep by at least 10:30 every night so I'm not quite so tired in the mornings. Peace to you all!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ah, Emotions...

Well, tonight was a whirlwind of emotions! Ms. Swing taught class (self-defense/sparring), and we had some old familiar faces show up. Brian came for the 2nd time in about 6 months (he's been working extra shifts and hasn't had time to come and train), so it was great to have him back! Rodney was there, along with Chris and Deven, Melissa, the Vang's, and some others. I was so physched about training and sweating tonight; I was really pumped up and excited to have another black belt to go full-force on, but I was paired with Logan and Cyan, the former being slightly smaller, the latter significantly smaller. So I sucked it up and said, "yes, ma'am" and all the things that I'm supposed to say, but I was very irritated//disappointed//fed up//frustrated, because I've been having this issue for so long, and I finally just came to a breaking point. I kept my cool during class, and after it was over I went and waled on the heavy bag in the back to let my frustrations out. Rodney and Brian seemed to sense that something was up, but didn't mention anything. So I drove home angry, and my mom definitely sensed something was wrong, so I told her, and she said, "Well, you've got 2 choices: Complain or quit the school." Psh. I quickly ruled out choice number 2. Almost 2/3 of my life has been invested in this dojang, and I'm not about to quit. So after reading my fortune cookie from dinner, (it said, "Interpersonal emotions are likely to be pretty intense." Isn't it freaky how those things are so accurate?) I called Ms. Swing up and just told her what I was feeling. She was very understanding and said she had been in my position many times. She also said she'd talk with Mr. Coleman about it, and not to worry. So after nearly 2 years of having this issue, its just solved by one little phone call. Why do we always have to make things more complicated than they are?! :P

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Psh.... Posers....

I have never seen anything so fake:

Its this "master" who thinks he can knock someone out without even touching them. Trouble is, the only people it actually works on are his students. I know that pressure points are effective, but they are only a distraction. The minute you lift up on it the pain goes away. This guy is saying that you can win a fight with them.

Friday, September 01, 2006


I might be diving in headfirst to this UBBT. I e-mailed the man in charge (Tom Callos), and he said there were still spots open for team 4, which starts this fall I think. He seems like a very accessible guy. He gave me his cell number and his home number and said he would be happy to talk with my instructor or parents. I think my parents are actually alright with me doing this. I'm going to talk with Mr. Coleman about it tonight, and I'm very nervous about it. I don't know if I'll be able to express to him how important this is to me. Alright, well, we'll see how it goes. For now, please pray for me!
OH!!! Big thing! Tapestry Films is making a documentary of Team 4's journey, so if I do this, I'll be making video logs and such and they would be in a film!!!!! :D

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Ultimate Black Belt Test

Well, I was browsing the Internet yesterday when I came across this website:
The Ultimate Black Belt Test (UBBT) is a personal growth challenge for brown and black belts of any discipline. The challenge lasts for 13 months, and has physical, mental, and spiritual requirements to complete within the year or so.
Physical: Complete 52,000 pushups and crunches
Run/walk 1000 miles
Complete 1000 rounds of sparring (at least 2 minute rounds)
150 hours of Jiu-Jitsu mat time.
Self-defense training
1000 repetitions of a single form
Become proficient in a Filipino "stick fighting" art
20 hours of boxing or Muay Thai.
Follow a diet program

Mental and Spiritual:
Read 12 books pertaining to management or philosophy
Go through a motivational course
One day of being in a wheelchair
One day being blind
One day being mute
Log 1000 acts of compassion
Be the catalyst for 50,000 acts of compassion
Right 3 wrongs or mend 3 broken relationships
Meditate 15 minutes a day
Participate in a community service project

There are also three training events that you have to attend with the other members of the team, plus the testing and graduation at the end.

When I read all of this, I was on the verge of crying, because I had been looking for a goal, some sort of challenge to achieve, and here it was! I'm going to talk with Mr. Coleman about it and ask him for his support. I figure I'll get Junior year out of the way, and start the program this coming summer before my Senior year. I'm so excited about this!!! There is a 15 year old boy living near my city who is working on completing his, so if he can do it, I can do it! Right now, I've decided to start training, so I'm getting up at 6 every morning and doing 150 pushups and crunches, I'm trying to eat healthier, and I'm going to talk to Mr. Coleman about other things I can do to prepare. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Well, the tournament was last Saturday, and it went pretty well! I rode up with Rodney (one of our adult brown belts), and had a wonderful time getting to know him on a more casual level. I love getting to know people, because there's always a story behind them, something that you can't find out just by looking at them. Anyway, we had a lot of laughs, despite the fact that we were both sleepy (we left at 6:30 am).
We got to the tournament and got registered and changed, then waited for the opening ceremonies. It started at the usual 1 1/2 hours behind schedule, but once it started, it rolled right along! I watched the children's competition, then went out to lunch.
Got back just in time for breaking competition. We found out when we got to the tournament that the boards we broke had to be at least 3/4 inch. We had planned on using 1/2 inch boards, so we had to scavenge for full size boards and switch kicks around. I ended up breaking with 360 back kick, hammer fist, and 360 hook kick. I broke the first two no problem, but the hook kick gave me problems. I tried to break it two times (you're given 3 chances), but it hurt too much to try it a third time. Despite only breaking 2/3 of my boards, I took 2nd place and one of the masters came up to me and said he didn't know why it wouldn't break; it was a solid kick.
Directly after breaking was the demo competition. There were only two teams, so we were allowed to take our time setting up. The other team went first; they were good when they were actually doing TKD, but when they started doing this weird dance and then got on the floor and did the "worm", I lost a lot of respect for them. If you're going to do TKD, actually do TKD. Don't dress it up with dancing and gymnastics and whatnot. It looks cool, but it isn't martial arts. After they finished, we did our demo (and we did a knockout job, if I may say so). We broke all our boards, we kiyaped loudly, we used self-defense, showed a bo staff kata, and had some entertaining fight scenes. They won. Not sure how, but they won. But its alright, because we did our best and that's all that matters in the end.
My last division was forms, and there were only three 3rd dan girls aged 14-17, so I was guarenteed at least 3rd. All those months of training comes down to a 2 minute form, then its over. I thought I did very well on my form, as did the first girl who went. The third girl didn't have a lot of power, her movements were sloppy, and her kiyap was weak. I took 2nd. I was a little disappointed, but like I said earlier, I did my best.
Ms. Swing gave me a hug and said she thought my form was beautiful. Rodney sat me down and said, "You got first place. The color of you medal doesn't matter. You got first place." That made me smile. Mr. Coleman told me that the other girl was good, but he didn't like her rhythym. (she went a lot slower than I did, overexaggerating her moves). All in all, it was a great tournament!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Going away

I leave for job training tomorrow at the summer camp that I'm going to work at. Which means majorly cutting back on the TKD. The only class I'll actually be able to make is the 3 hour competitor's class every Saturday, and the tournament is in 3 weeks!! AHHH!!! I'm competing in forms and breaking. I'm confident about doing my form, but not so much the breaking. I'm planning on doing 360 hook kick, step behing side kick power break (3 or 4 boards), and step 360 roundhouse kick. Mr. Coleman wants me to do a speed break with the 360 round, but I'm not very comfortable with it at all. I tend to lean back when I'm in the air which throws my distance off. Ah, well. I'll practice at camp. So I probably won't be updating much this summer. I'll definitely write about the tournament, but that might be the only entry this summer. Well... BYE! :D

Thursday, May 11, 2006

TKD Rocker? In ballet?

At my voice lesson yesterday, I was informed that I should look into taking a ballet class. I plan to go to college for musical theatre, and to do that, I have to be able to dance. I took a jazz class when I was in 6th grade, but that's the extent of my dance experience. TKD has given me balance, muscle control, and flexibility, but according to my voice teacher, I walk like an athlete when I'm onstage, not like a dancer. I want to improve my chances of getting into a musical theatre program, but that would mean cutting back on TKD. Its a decision that I'm struggling with, but I think that I will look into taking a basic ballet class, just to give me a good base in dancing. TKDmom, any advice on this? How does your ballet affect your TKD, and vice versa?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Did Curiosity Really Kill the Cat?

In light of Taekwondomom's post about looking at different dojangs, I thought I would post about one of my recent experiences.
About a month ago, a new martial arts school opened up in my town. Its called, "Macon's Martial Arts", and the first thing that caught my attention was the fact that they didn't advertise the style that they teach. Paulette told me that the style was American Karate, an art that was recently begun. She noted that that didn't make it bad, but to some traditionalists it has a negative connotation.
So one day before tkd I had some time to kill, so I decided to check out "Macon's". I didn't go in (he had a student with him and I didn't want to interrupt), but I observed from the front window. The first thing I noticed was his black belt. It simply had the name Macon on it in gold; no school name or anything. It seemed a bit fake to me, like you could just order it on the internet (of course, my opinion is biased, but oh well)! In fact, everything about the dojang looked a bit fake. Like they were trying so hard to make it look real, that it just looked phony.
I talked to Paulette about it that night (we tend to share ideas and comments with eachother first, before we take anything to Mr. Coleman), and she told me that it was alright to be curious about other styles, but to make sure its ok with Mr. Coleman before I open that door and go inside. I know Mr. Coleman's policy is that no student should train at another school while they are still students at our dojang, but I wouldn't be training, would I? The last thing I want is for Mr. Coleman to be upset/disappointed/angry with me (he's like a second dad, and I would feel horrible if there were any negative feelings between us). So, I've decided to simply drop the matter for now. My curiosity can wait. I just wanted to see what everyone else thought about it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Drunken Kung Fu

Does anyone know anything about this style? I'm sure its a fine art, but I have to laugh every time I watch it. Click here and you'll see why:
Be sure to watch the entire video to get the "full effect".

Friday, April 28, 2006

Exams are OVER

Wow, I finally have time to breathe, now that exams are over! The past couple of months have gone really well regarding Taekwondo. I'm teaching tonight for Mr. Coleman. I've also been going to the black belt classes that we have once a month. The latest one was especially fun. It was just me and Max (an older black belt), so we did some take-down sparring drills (its like sparring, except more realistic. Less kicks and more grappling). Max outweighed me by a lot, so it was easy for him to swing me around, but Mr. Coleman told me I got in a few good shots as well.
Yesterday, I had a private lesson with Mr. Coleman (I'm doing a set of five this spring, and probably another set in the fall). I love the private lessons because its just one-on-one, and we can work on more advanced techniques that I don't learn in class. We worked on my form (Taebek) for about 45 minutes, and we nitpicked the heck out of it! He gave me something to work on for every single move in the form, and I loved every minute of it! I wrote all the notes down and I've been practicing nonstop. Mr. Coleman wants me to compete with it at the State Championships this summer, so yay! After working on Taebek, we did some wrist locks and arm bars on the mats, which I really enjoyed! I found out how difficult it is to take down a grown man, and how much I still have to learn. It really deepened my conviction about training with larger guys, because I could barely take Mr. Coleman down, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't going full force. So that's what I'm going to focus on for the rest of my private lessons: Improving my self-defense and learning how much force I need to exert in order to take down the average male.
As promised, here's some more about weapons: Out of all the weapons, the bo is by far my favorite weapon. I just take to it, and love the gracefullness of it sliding through your hands. As to Taekwondomom's question, "Is it hard to learn?", I'm not sure. I began training with it when I was 9 or 10, and can't remember much. I suppose it would be a bit easier for an adult to learn, because you've developed enough muscle to handle it, and your mind can grasp the concepts easier than a child. I'll write more later - my OC is over.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

New Schtuff

Wow, I finally have time to update! Last week, I was pushed headfirst into my new teaching role. My master called me Monday morning (sounding sick as a dog), and asked me if I could teach class in Troy that night. Teaching in Asheboro is one thing, because I know most of the students. But I hardly know anyone from the Troy gym, so I anticipated some awkwardness. Overall, it went pretty well. I established my authority, we did some kicking drills, bag drills, and self-defense.
Turns out Mr. Coleman was very sick that week, so I ended up teaching on Friday and Saturday as well. It was a little tedious (I didn't get to workout at all this week), but it gave me a chance to hone my teaching strategies.
Letsee, I've also been taking private lessons with Mr. Coleman. We mostly work on punching (jabs, hooks, reverses, uppercuts), and I'm learning a more realistic fighting style (less kicks, more grappling/punching). Its really fun!
As per Taekwondomom's request, I will now talk about weapons. Our gym offers Traditional Okinawan Kempo Kubodo Karate (we just call it Kubodo). We learn bo staff, sai, tonfa, ecubo, and nunchucku. My personal favorite is bo. I don't really have time to write much about it (i have to get to class), but I'll post again with more details on weapons.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

First Teaching Experience

I taught my first class today!!! Ahhh!! Mr. Coleman is in Virginia for the weekend for a teacher's workshop or something, so he asked me to cover both saturday classes. So I got to the dojang this morning around 9:15, and there was a sign on the door that said "Classes closed due to bad weather". (It was supposed to snow, but it only turned out to be rain). So I unlocked and checked the phone messages just to make sure that it wasn't some mistake. My mom called my cell phone and said that Mr. Coleman had just called her and said to take down the sign and have class. So I did! Gerald was there as an adult, because there has to be someone over 18 present during all classes, but other than that, I was on my own! Only 10 people showed up for all belts, which I was very relieved about. I took my time with warmups (Brian's advice was to stretch warmups out as long as possible the first couple of times you teach, so you would limit your time and not run out of things to do). Then we did some kicking drills to get them sweating. After that, I had them do forms, get a drink of water, then we kicked the bags. I tried to spice it up a little, so after kicking the bags, I had them all get in a line to do flying sidekicks, and we had a contest to see how far everyone could jump. Then I ended with a game of Instructor Says. Whew! It wasn't as nervewracking as I thought it was going to be! I also taught weapons, but I've done that before so it was no big deal. So.... Yay! :D

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I tested for my first progress stripe yesterday! It wasn't a large ordeal, because there was only one other person testing (neither of us could make it to the all-school testing in a few weeks). I sustained a total of two injuries from testing this time around. The first one happened when we were doing self-defense. My partner used a hip throw on me, and I landed on the hardwood floor directly on my right knee. OWWW!!! Mr. Coleman and Paulette helped me hobble to the back room, where we concluded that the most it would amount to was a painful bruise (and boy, it is!) So I walked it off, and joined back in. Doing my forms helped my knee to feel a little better, and it didn't hinder me either, so that's good. Then it was time for breaking. The pain in my knee was just a dull throb by this time, so I decided to try my 360 hook kick (my favorite kick at the moment). I was a little worried because we didn't have any 1/2 inch boards (the standard board used for hook kicks) so I had to use a full inch one. I broke it on the first try, but the pain was almost more than I could stand. My entire left foot felt like it was going to fall off! I went and leaned against one of the poles while the other student broke, trying to ignore the pain. We both passed, and I got my white stripe on my belt; the first step in a long wait for my 4th dan. Just a little less than 3 years to go! :D

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Good News or Bad News?

Well, I can't decide whether I'm relieved or disappointed, but I didn't have to teach this morning. I got to the dojang around 9:30 so I could open up, and saw that Mr. Coleman was already there. We had 30 minutes until class was supposed to start, so he gave me a pair of boxing gloves and we practiced jabs, reverse punches, uppercuts, and hook punches. Then he put on a pair of hand pads, and we.... Well, I guess you could say we boxed. That's what it reminded me of, anyway. He's never done anything like that with me before, so I didn't really know what to think.... but I liked it! Its the first time in a while that I've been so focused. In class, I find myself going through the motions sometimes, and not focusing my entire attention on what I'm doing. But this was a new, exciting thing, so my focus was intense, which was awesome!
For all-belts, I led warmups and stretching, and then Mr. Coleman took over while I assisted with the lower belts. I kind of like this new leadership position... Its neat. Then for Kubodo class, I taught the first 15-20 minutes. And now.... I'm exhausted. My hands are literally shaking as I type this! I think I'll go take a nap....

Friday, January 20, 2006

Long Time

Long time, no post! My life is currently being simultaneously consumed by school and Taekwondo. I've been going to class everyday most weeks, and really getting involved. Last night was self-defense, which was unusually small, but still fun. After class, Mr. Coleman asked me if I would be able to teach both classes on Saturday. The response in my head was, "Come again? Both classes? By myself?!" Apparently, he thinks I'm ready to handle that. Personally, I don't feel the same way, but I'll trust his judgement. I've already got the whole class planned out, so I don't blank out in the middle of it: 10-15 minutes of warmups/stretching. 15-20 minutes of kicking drills. 15-20 minutes of forms, along with a water break. Then about 5 minutes of "Instructor Says" at the very end. I'll post to let everyone know how it goes!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The End of Kim's Black Belt Academy

Tonight I attended my last Taekwondo class at Kim's Black Belt Academy. Due to some changes in my master's personal life (Out of respect, I prefer not to post about them), he has decided to take on a co-owner (Paulette!) and thus dissolve the school. Our new school will be called Kim's School of Martial Arts, and we've all been assured that it will essentially be the same. I'm a little apprehensive, though. I've been with the school for almost 11 years, and I'm kind of sad to see it go, but I'm glad that we're expanding and growing.
Something weird happened during class. We were doing self-defense and I was having trouble with a wrist-lock, so Mr. Coleman came over to help. He took my arm and put the wrist-lock on, but sharper and faster than normal, which made it hurt a lot more. Now understand, I have faith that Mr. Coleman knows what he's doing, and I would trust him with my life, but the fact that he didn't seem to notice how much he was hurting me confused me a little. I was so distracted by the pain that I could barely focus on what he was telling me. It reminded me of something TaekwondoMom said in one of her posts about Master Hughes inadvertantly hurting one of his students. Hmm.... Comments??

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I'm Back Full Blast!!

Wow, today was the best Taekwondo day I've had in awhile. School was cancelled because of the ice, but Mr. Coleman said we would still have class. I was hoping for a small crowd//no one, because its always more fun and relaxed in small groups (plus, you get a lot more done). When I got to the dojang, Brian was the only one there. He said that Mr. Coleman couldn't make it, so I was going to have to help him teach class. Weapons was first, and nobody showed up for it, so the two of us spent a lot of time on the bo katas, then moved to sai, and finally tonfa. We finished up early, so we tried some self-defense moves on each other, which was really fun. We used a technique that Mr. Coleman just recently began teaching us, where the person that is attacking doesn't just sit there and wait for you to take them down. They grab you and shake you around and try to pull you away, so you have to find a way to manuever them down to the ground. I like it, because its much more realistic and can prepare you for potential "scuffles" that you may have on the street. I also enjoyed working with an adult who is larger than I am, because it helps me to figure out how much force I need to use when defending against the average male. I mean, come on; There will never be a time in my life when a five foot little man//dwarf attacks me. Its most likely going to be somebody significantly larger than me, and that's the main complaint that I have about Mr. Coleman at the moment. I always have to partner with little kids or other small adults. Anyway, I'm getting off-track. Self defense/sparring class was pretty fun. We had about eight people, so we all got a lot more individual attention. I hit Brian in the jaw.... twice.... But not on purpose! :) Brian had me lead warmups, then do some kicking drills and combinations before we started. It was good practice for me, and I think I'm improving a little more with my teaching skills. We just did drills during sparring; no freespar... :( But it was still a good workout! After class, Brian and I went over one of the harder bo katas a few times, then I helped him lock up. I think Brian's probably my favorite taekwondo person. He treats me like the young adult that I'm becoming, and doesn't make any allowances for my height//size. He doesn't go easy on me at all, and that's what I admire him for. We also have a lot of the same ideas//thoughts about where the dojang is headed and what kind of improvements could be made. Anway, its cool, and I'm really happy that I'm getting more and more out of tkd.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Wow, its been a long time since I've blogged! School has been evil to me, but exams will be over soon and I'll have a lot more time to post here. Umm..... Letsee.... Some recent things that have happened: I got my testing application for my 1st progress stripe! Also got my testing application for kubodo. Mr. Coleman said he wanted to move me up to the higher levels because I'd been doing it for so long (before they had a belt system for it). I've got a demo coming up in a couple of weeks at Brian's church (again!) they really seem to like us. Gotta go, my free period is almost over ("yay" for chemistry tests).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I got punched in the nose at tkd last night! My instructor was demonstrating how to get out of a bear hug, and after she broke free of my arms, she turned around to "finish me off" and hit me square on the nose! (I guess she misjudged the distance or something). It didn't bleed, but it hurt! And now I have a bruise on the bridge of my nose. Haha, I thought it was fun (yes, I'm a weirdo) 'cause now I can say that I've been clocked! That's such a fun phrase.... I'm rambling. :D

Monday, October 03, 2005

Teaching Notes

These are some notes I took over the weekend to help me with my teaching; give me your perspective or add on to what I've got!
-Warmups: Use judgement; younger kids are flexible and don't need a lot of stretching. Always do jumping jacks, crunches, pushups, and basic floor stretches.
-Speak LOUDLY!!!
-Always go over basic commands and stretches when new students are in class.
- Try not to unintentionally degrade students. Tell them its alright if they need to review a form. Be gracious, but remember that higher belts are expected to remember their old forms.
- Don't tolerate disrespect; assign a pushup if someone doesn't answer "yes ma'am" or if someone is goofing off and not listening.
- Try to learn most of the student's names in order to make class a more personal experience for them.
-When correcting someone, always give an explanation.
-When correcting someone, try to address the entire class so as not to humiliate the student.
-Learn what kicks each belt level is expected to know.
-Variety; don't do one thing the entire class (i.e. forms). Mix it up so students don't get bored.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Weekend

I practically lived in my tkd uniform this weekend! On Friday, there were only two people in class (Brian taught), so I led warmups and helped the other student (Thomas), with his form. We did tumbling on the mats next, which is always a lot of fun. Then Brian set up an obstacle course for us: We had to run and jump over a rope, tumble, then kick the bag. It was a great workout and it really improves your balance and coordination. We worked on falling and throws next, which is also something I enjoy (Although I must say that after being repeatedly slammed on the floor first by Thomas, then Brian who was using me to demonstrate, I started to get sore)! After class I told Brian that Mr. Coleman wanted me to start teaching. He was really supportive and told me I'd be great at it. I still have some hesitation, but I think I'm getting used to the idea of teaching.
Mr. Coleman taught class on Saturday, and he had me teach the first 20 minutes of all-belts class. We had fairly large attendance that day, so I was a little intimidated. I started out with my usual warmup routine, then went over the basic Korean commands (we had new students in class). We did some basic kicking, and then Mr. Coleman took over. The next class was weapons, and only me and Nick (a black belt, maybe 12 or 13) stayed. Mr. Coleman had me teach the entire class!! We basically just went over the katas and concentrated on anything Nick needed help with. Mr. Coleman stood by and gave me advice and pointers every so often. I took some notes after class and will post them sometime tomorrow. Anyway, it was a really great experience, and a good way to start out with just one person in class. I think what really intimidates me about teaching is the size of the class. I was completely at ease teaching Nick, but when I get in front of 20 people, I freeze up. I guess it just comes with experience.
Sunday we had a demo (demonstration) at a church youth group. We have a demo team which I've been on since I was about 7, and we perform at the mall, at special events, in parades, and in competitions. I love it because it combines both of my passions: Tkd and acting. We choreograph little scenarios where a "good guy" gets attacked by several "bad guys", and the "good guy" kicks tail. I mostly play the "good guys", but I think the "bad guys" are more fun because you get to exaggerate how hurt you are (doubling over when you're kicked, limping, etc.) Anyway, we put together a little demo for this youth group. I was a "good guy" in one of the scenarios, I performed a sai kata (Shihoto Kyano Sai), and I broke a board with a 360 back hook kick. It was fun, and I have another one coming up in a couple of weeks, which is mostly going to be self-defense. Its nothing big (just me, Brian, and Paulette), but it'll still be fun! Wow, this has been a long entry; I'd better go to bed!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ooh, Shiny Special!!

I didn't have school today and I don't have it tomorrow either (teacher workdays), so in my eagerness to get out of my boring house, I left for tkd about 15 minutes earlier than normal. No one was there when I arrived, so I just sat in my car for awhile. When it was about 5 minutes till class was supposed to start, I called Mr. Coleman on his cell phone; he said he was running a little late and was just around the corner. When he got there he asked me if I wanted to start teaching (One thing I've noticed in TaeKwonDoMom's blog is that she always writes about children leading the class, and that surprised me because only adults are allowed to teach the whole class at my dojang). I was taken aback because the most that I've done with instructing the entire class is getting them lined up and doing warmups. I said yes, but I think he sensed that I was hesitant, so he said that he would start to gradually let me teach more of the class. I thought about it a lot during class, and I think it would be a good learning experience for me (plus the extra money I'd be making).
I was the only one there for weapons class, so we got to work on whatever I thought I needed help in. We started with tonfa; I was a little rusty (I hadn't been to weapons in a few months) but it started coming back to me after a few minutes. I reviewed my old tonfa forms, then learned a new kata that Mr. Coleman had started teaching us. Its called "Matte ush No Tonfa Ich", and I definitely didn't spell that right! We worked on bo staff next (its my favorite weapon). We went over the Takyooku Shodan and Nidan, then I learned one called "Chunakun Bo One". I had started to learn it a while ago, but had forgotten most of it. Last, we went over "Shihunuke Bo One".
Master Lucas wasn't there for self-defense tonight, and Mr. Coleman focused a lot on proper blocking. We didn't do anything fancy, just different types of blocks that turn into wrist locks. I didn't find it tedious (like I did earlier this week), but found it enjoyable. I was in a group of 3, so whenever I wasn't in, Mr. Coleman asked me to go around and help the younger children. It was... An experience.... And that's all I'll say about that! :P
I stayed for sparring, and after we all had our gear on, Mr. Coleman told me to get them lined up, bow them in, have them pair up, and then start them with a patachagi counter drill. He said he would start letting me teach, but I didn't think it'd be so soon! I thought I did pretty well, considering I was caught by surprise. We did a few drills (I was paired with Blakely), then we freesparred. I don't know why, but think I actually did pretty well with sparring tonight. Sometimes I'm on, and sometimes I'm off. Tonight was great; my back kicks were straight, I got a crescent kick in, and I used my double round kick a lot. We did some ring sparring last (I didn't get to spar, but I was one of the coaches). All in all, it was a great class!
I'm helping out with a demo this Sunday at a student's youth group, so that should be fun. I've also got a demo with Brian's church in about two weeks, so I should have some interesting things to post about soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

In Which I Complain like a Little Kid

Why do I have to be so short?! I get so frustrated sometimes in class, when I'm not allowed to pair with someone of my rank just because I'm smaller. Tonight especially; Brian, Adam, and Jarrell were the adults in class, and when we paired up for sparring drills I got put with a 7 year old. Goody goody. I can understand that Mr. Coleman didn't have a choice with that, because no one else his size had any sparring gear, but when we switched to self-defense (where sparring gear is not needed) Mr. Coleman kept me with him. Even though there were several kids his size, I had to stay with him. And guess what I got to do while Brian, Adam, and Jarrell worked on advanced self-defense. I got to block, and punch. Block, and punch. Over and over and over and over. I didn't even get sweaty. Arrrghhh, I just can't describe what I'm feeling right now. I want to talk to Mr. Coleman about it, but at the same time I'm afraid that he won't hear me out. Maybe I should give him the url to my blog so I can tell him indirectly...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wow.... Just....Wow....

Wow... I am in awe.... This morning started out well with an all-belts class. There were only three of us, so Mr. Coleman had us work mostly on forms. I got to review my old forms and tweak a few minor things, which was good. Then we did something we usually don't do; we talked. Mr. Coleman asked us what our goals were in Tae Kwon Do, and life in general. I told him that I don't see myself doing martial arts as a profession, but its become such a way of life for me, I don't think I'll ever quit. I also shared that one of my goals in life was to drive through a toll booth and pay for myself and the next five cars that come through. It seems pretty random, but I've always wanted to do that, just to make a few strangers smile.
After class I got a quick lunch, ran a couple of errands, then was back at tkd for the four hour self-defense seminar. We spent the first 20 minutes or so, just talking about what self-defense was, and going over the three A's (Awareness, Assessment, & Action). Next we paired up (I was with Paulette, which I was glad about. She's very serious about martial arts, but knows how to have fun at the same time).
We started with wrist locks, which I've always found rather complicated (If I ever get into a situation, I think I would just panic and twist the arm in a random direction and just pray that it hurts them!) At one point, Paulette had me in a lock, but I didn't feel any pain; so Mr. Coleman came over, took my wrist, and I let out a yelp because the pain surprised me so much!
We moved on to arm bars and sweeps, which I'm more comfortable with. Its easier for me to have control over the whole body, not just the wrist. One of the distractions that Master Lucas showed us was a strike to the chest area, before locking the body up. Needless to say, that wasn't very fun for us women, and I think we'll all be a little sore tomorrow!
Next came my favorite part; working with weapons. We started with escaping from someone who has a knife to your throat from behind. I think I got "stabbed" in the back and "slit" my wrists a couple of times in the process of learning. Then we worked on disarming someone who is attacking you with a knife from the front. Master Lucas came over and corrected me when I let go of my attacker's wrist for a split second in order to change my hold. Its very important to always be in control of the weapon; you can strike and hit all you want with one hand, but always keep your attacker's wrist locked up with the other hand.
We practiced with guns next (no, not real ones!) and I definitley got "shot" a few times! We started with a gun to the center of your forehead. You don't make any sudden movements, or you're dead. You slowly raise your hands up and play the coward: "Hey man, what do you want? Do you want my money? Can I get my wallet out?" Then you turn to the side so the bullet goes right past your forehead if they pull the trigger, and grab the gun by the top, so they can't fire again; bring it up, and twist it upside down so the barrel is facing them, then bring your arms down and break it out of their hand. Another one we practiced was if someone has a gun in your back. Again, play the coward, but you have to look to see if its just your friend messing around, or if its for real. Then you spin to the outside of them and lock their arm. Strike them, kick them, then take the gun and clear the area.
We ended with a pizza party and question & answer session. It was amazing; I could do an 8 hour session of this stuff and not get bored! It was most definitley worth the $25, and I can't wait until the next one!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Cool Blog

Hey everyone, check out this very neat tkd blog, by TaeKwonDoMom:
I really enjoy reading her entries as they are so thoughtful and detailed. She also posts some really cool pics and videos.
I've been forbidden by my mom to go to tkd tonight because I woke up at 2:30 in the morning with a migraine, and ended up getting a grand total of 4 hours of sleep. I'm feeling a little better because I conked out on a couch during my lunch period today, but I'm still really tired. But no worries; by tomorrow night I'll have 5 hours of tkd to write about, so you'll just have to wait till then!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Alive and Kicking

Hey all, I've been sick for most of this week with a really random stomach bug. I didn't throw up at all, but I had a fever and felt nausous all the time... Weird... Anyway, I felt better today so I went for the self-defense/sparring class tonight. Brian taught class tonight because Mr. Coleman was sick. (I've heard TaeKwonDoMom talk about Brian A. from her school, and he always reminded me of the Brian from my school). He's not a very big man, but he's got a powerful presence and is great with kids. Rodney was there as well; I mentioned in an earlier post that he had hurt his leg while sparring. Well, apparently he hurt it pretty bad, cause he had a cast going all the way up his thigh. I feel bad for him 'cause I know he's going to miss training a lot; I hope he's back on his feet soon. Before class, Brian showed me a couple of self-defense moves that he likes, and asked me if I would help out with a demo that he was doing for the girls in his church youth group. Of course I said yes (I love demos!) so that should give me something interesting to write about later on. For self-defense I was hoping to get paired with Max, 'cause he always improvises his moves and makes it more of a challenge, but Brian put me with one of the new white belts named Matthew. I was kind of disappointed at first, but I ended up having a good time. He's about 17 years old, so he didn't have the ADD little kid personality, and he was very proficient in his moves for a beginner; I was impressed. We did pretty basic moves for self-defense, but it was still good to review the old stuff. Next was sparring, and I was paired with a purple belt, I'm not sure of his name; he's very quiet and never talks to anyone. So we started doing some drills and it was just weird. He was so constant in his movements and he didn't react to anything at all. He even had this little smirk on his face, like he knew that he was unnerving me. That frustrated me for some reason, and I started kicking harder and faster. I'm usually not very agressive at all, but I guess after three days of laying on a couch and doing nothing, I had gotten a little restless. I don't know why I got so frustrated with him, but it just kind of happened. We didn't get to free spar today, but it was still a really good workout. I can't wait for Saturday; Four hours of hardcore self-defense with Mr. Coleman and Master Lucas (and then a pizza party, but that's beside the point!)

Friday, September 16, 2005


I think I broke my big toe at tkd last night.... It hurts.... And I had to walk all over campus today and was in extreme agony.... But I'm going to tkd tonight anyway.... 'Cause I'm stubborn like that. :) In other news that is completely unrelated to tkd, I have a date to TWIRP this year! (Twirp is like Sadie Hawkins - I think it stands for The Woman Is Responisble for Paying, or something). Anyway, that's really exciting, and if you'll give me a couple of hours I'll come up with a long and complicated explanation as to how that is related to tkd! ;) If anything exciting happens tonight, I'll write.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

First Wish Granted!

A couple of entries back I said that I wanted to spar an adult who was larger than me. Well, my wish came true tonight! I went to the half self-defense, half sparring class, and stayed for sparring, which is unusual for me. Max (an adult) was there, so I asked Mr. Coleman if I could spar him. He kind of looked at me for a second, then just said "no". I was disappointed. Especially when I ended up in a group of three with Max and Paulette, and Mr. Coleman told us to switch off from me and Paulette, to Paulette and Max. So I spar a couple of rounds with Paulette, and when I'm not sparring I stand to the side and watch. Mr. Coleman comes over and tousles my hair (actually, I was wearing a head-guard, so I guess he tousled my helmet)... I think he was trying to make me feel better because I looked really disappointed. I guess it helped a little.... A few minutes later Paulette asked to get a drink of water, which left me and Max. I was unsure of what to do; I didn't want to disobey my instructor, but I wanted to spar with Max. It was decided for me when Max pulled me around by my hogu (chest protector) and started sparring. It was really fun, and I got a few good kicks in (I actually kicked him really hard in the butt by accident)! Heehee! Mr. Coleman stopped that match early and paired me up with Blakely and Jessica (both are probably 12 or 13). I couldn't tell if he was mad at me or not... Next we all sat on the side and had a couple of single matches with referees and judges, like in a tournament. I sparred with Blakely and won, 3-2. It was a good match and I really enjoy sparring with her. After class, I was trying not to look Mr. Coleman in the eye, because I was afraid that he was mad at me for sparring Max after he told me I couldn't. But he acted normal and said goodbye to me and everything (I was expecting a strict lecture about "obeying your instructor")! So that's my story for today... Yep... Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Over the time that I've been in TKD I've collected a lot of memories. This is one of the funnier ones that randomly came to my mind during Chemistry class:
I was six or seven years old, probably a yellow or blue belt, at an all-belts class. There were about 10 minutes left, so the instructor decided to have a little fun and let us have a go at him, one at a time. When I was that age, I was fearless; I thought that I could take out the biggest guys with all 60 lbs and 3 1/2 feet of me. When it was my turn to spar the instructor, my 6 year old mind thought that I could catch him off-guard by charging full-blast at him with a flying sidekick. Of course, with me being 3 1/2 feet tall, and him being almost 7 feet tall, that didn't quite work out. He ended up catching me in midair and holding me upside down by my ankles!
Heehee! Well, that's my entry for today, and if you don't learn anything else from this blog, remember to never charge your instructor with a flying sidekick; you'll just end up having all your blood rushing to your head! :)

Friday, September 09, 2005

My knuckles hurt...

I went to all-belts tonight, and got a good workout. Blakely, one of the younger black belts (maybe 13), did warmups for the first time, and did pretty well considering it was a large class! Mr. Coleman (Sah Bum Nim) taught tonight, so I knew I was in for a hard workout. I'm always somewhat more focused when Mr. Coleman teaches, rather than an assistant instructor... I guess because he's taught me since I was six, and I have a huge amount of respect for him. Not that I don't have respect for the others, its just that they've trained more with me than over me. As you can tell from the title, my knuckles hurt. This is because I made the choice to do knuckle pushups on cinder blocks. Now I know you're all thinking why anyone in their right mind would ever do that, but its supposed to improve my punch (although I'm considering just doing regular pushups on the blocks 'cause my knuckles are getting seriously messed up!) While we were practicing kicking, I noticed Master Lucas observing the class from the back and I stepped up my game; maybe to impress him? I'm not sure, I just know I stepped it up. I polished up my 360 back kick tonight, and worked on my form (I'm still mixing up my hands on the last two blocks, because I learned it the wrong way and can't seem to break the habit). Then it was sparring time! I don't usually enjoy sparring, but I did tonight for some reason. I practiced some drills with Blakely and then I free sparred with her. She's a good opponent and it was quite fun to try out some new combinations. Then Mr. Coleman asked who wanted to spar Rodney (one of the adults). I wanted a challenge so I raised my hand, but he picked someone else. These past few months I've started wanting to spar someone significantly older and larger than me and not have them go easy on me, just to see what I can do. I know they don't mean anything, but I feel slightly offended when someone goes easy on my just because I'm a girl or because I'm smaller than them; just because I'm small doesn't mean I can't handle myself. Anyway, he picked someone else, and about 10 seconds into the round, Rodney hurt his leg really badly and couldn't walk; he had to have a person at each arm to help him out to his car. Hope its nothing too serious... Well, that's all for today. I'm going to the 10:00 class tomorrow morning so I'll write if anything interesting happens. 'Night!