Saturday, August 03, 2002

If you ever need some construction work done, just ask my kid. He took his belt test for Tae Kwon Do, or rather his probation test. His original test was 2 weeks ago and he passed everything except the board breaking test. It's a difficult thing to do, not because its breaking a board -- he's easily passed those tests before. It's the kick he had to use to break the board -- a back kick.

Basically, the kick is performed by pivoting backwards on your front foot and kicking the target with your back foot. The problem is you have to get your head and, more specifically, your eyes around quick enough to focus on the target. The kid wasn't turning his head fast enough, so his kicks were off-target. So, we worked on his aim and turning his head and eyes to the target.

Oh my God, did the practice pay off. Today, he broke a 1-inch thick board in half with such force and velocity that I'm a little scared to punish him for fear of a broken leg. It was glorious to see the smile on his face when he accomplished this feat. So, he now has a red belt in Tae Kwon Do, about 4 belts away from black belt. He should get that in about a year.

A 10-year old black belt. Can you imagine? And what's even more trippy is there are 5 and 6 year old black belts at the place he is taught. That would mean they were breaking boards when they were 4 years old. Seeing these little kids do something that I, an adult with a fair amount of strength, probably couldn't do is an amazing thing.

It makes me wonder why older kids need a gun to have confidence.

Tae Kwon Do is not just about self-defense. It's about self-confidence and self-disipline -- two things no child should be without.

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