Friday, July 06, 2007

West Texas Karate Kids

Have I mentioned that I have been training in Tae Kwon Do? Jeremiah and I started training together in April. It has been a lot of fun. We are both Yellow belts now, having passed our Orange and Yellow tests. For our tests, there are 3 parts. The first part is Poomse. We must demonstrate the required forms (Jeremiah is 2 forms ahead already. I'm having to slow him down so he can remember which one he will test on!). We must also demonstrate proper form on kicks, stances, and punches as part of the forms.
The second part is called Gyoroogi. In the second part, we spar to show proficiency in fighting. It was funny because for my sparring match I sparred a man 4 belts higher than me. Grand Master Sang Kim thought it would be funny to let us spar for longer than normal...needless to say that I could barely move afterwards! I held my own very well. It wasn't a win, but I could have been destroyed and wasn't. Jeremiah LOVES to spar. He sees it as a fun competition/game. Most of the kids he has sparred are higher belts, but they take it too seriously and end up crying. The other kids see it as a fight (usually) and take it very seriously. Jeremiah sees it as two friends playing together by reigning blows down upon each other. It's so much fun to watch him because he is just loving it. He spends too much time watching me to see if I'm watching, though...oh well.
The third part of the test is called Kyuk Pha, or breaking. And it's simply that: breaking boards with your hands and feet. During our last test, Jeremiah and I had to use our hands. He didn't do so well with his hand. He hit it and it didn't break, so the blow was absorbed by his knuckles. After that, he didn't hit the board hard any more. I had to break two boards, and actually moved the instructor (I hit the wood off-center and knocked the instructor into the wall). My wood didn't break, either, but my knuckle felt like it broke. We both ended up using our feet to break the wood. I learned my lesson, though, and will be successful next time.
In the mean time, two great things have happened. One is that Jeremiah and I are sharing a hobby that we both greatly enjoy. The second is that I have built a relationship with the Grand Master, Sang Kim. He was the US Olympic TKD coach in 1984 and again in 2000. He has great influence in the TKD world and among the Koreans of our area. We've been working with his wife on her English skills, and I have been working on his TKD web site. He has given me the title of Spiritual Advisor to the dojang. Last month I had the opportunity to lead 14 students to Christ. It was pretty awesome. Be praying for us as we continue to build relationships there. Pray for more opportunities to share and see people come to Christ. Pray for our knuckles!


Billy V said...

Have you ever instructed Jeremiah to sweep the leg? No mercy!

jordan said...

Hey man, that's great to hear. Stick with it. I only made it to yellow belt in 7th grade. I quit once I realized I was not flexible.

How old is your boy now?

The Bishop said...

Jeremiah just turned 7. I think he'll stay with it up to his black belt.