Superwife - Camo belt - D

My wife of 8 years and mother of our three kids. She started TKD after the birth of Odie, our third child.

Princess - Camo Belt - D

Our seven-year-old daughter. She was originally supposed to be a spectator to Cowboy, but jumped in and has proven to have an incredible talent for the martial arts.

Cowboy - Camo Belt - D

Our six-year-old son. He is small for his age, so starting him in TKD is what got us into this mess. He is very close to our Chief Instructor, and his spirit is twice as big as he is.


Our youngest son, born in April of 2006. By the time he is old enough to start, we should all be Black Belts.

Friday, July 28, 2006


From the "Unofficial ATA Forum:"

"I've been told that I stop breathing when my daughter competes. And also turn pale. I know that I clutch her lucky bear to my chest and rub its head like the buddha's belly for good luck and good karma while trying not to throw up, scream, or pass out. She's working hard out there in the ring - concentrating so hard on every movement. The focus comes out in a stony face and a fixed stare. I panic on the sidelines, worrying about everything that might go wrong. A slippery floor, a bigger girl, a momentary lapse in concentration that might get her hurt. I want her to be safe and have fun. I want her to be happy and reach all her goals. I want her dreams to come true. I want her to be well-adjusted and mature - gracious and sportsmanlike in victory or defeat. I want her to do her best and be happy with her personal performance, no matter what the scores, the type of trophy, or her rank. I want her to learn the importance of being a good example to all the other kids from our school that like to come watch her. Winning is a bonus if it happens, but it's not everything. I think she gets that. She's grown up a lot in the past 2 years of tournaments. She's not the same girl that she was when she started. There's a confidence and a grace now that she didn't have before, and she always makes me proud with her attitude. But, I still worry. I've been told the worrying never stops, whether she's 14 or 21 or 50. Did I do my best for her? Did I give her everything I could to help her through not just this tournament or this season but her life? Is she listening to the stuff I'm trying to teach her? I don't know if I'll ever know for sure. So, I worry. And I watch. And I breathe a sigh of relief when it's over, and she's fine, and she's done me proud again."

Princess has been taken under the wing of the 19-year old female instructor at the dojang. She is a good instructor--excellent with the monkies, extremely capable, and a world champion. We entered both of them into the tournament next Friday, and since then Ms. C has taught Princess the first half of Songahm #2, which we had signed her up for as a Tiny Tiger. The difference now is that she's in Karate for Kids--and Ms. C is trying to motivate her to perform the form on her own with no help. I'm sure she could do it--and we aren't pressuring her to do it--but both SW and I are terrified about watching her do this on her own in front of judges.

We've learned the whole form now, and even though I screw it up every time I'm considering competing only because I feel bad about entering Princess into it and expecting her to go it alone, and I'm not willing to do it myself. I guess we'll have to see.

Friday, July 21, 2006


My hip hurts.

I've had a problem with it for a while, but doing a #2 right round kick is getting pretty hard to do. I would stretch it if I knew how, but nothing I do seems to work.

It seems to be ok if I do anything but the right round kick, which is ironic because that used to be my best one.

Princess had her first K4K class yesterday and continues to be awesome at it. She has a full 40 minute BBC class today--I'm curious to see how they teach that part differently to the older kids. She learned the first five moves of Songahm #2 yesterday, which is nice because now she can practice with us.

I feel bad for Cowboy, though--I feel like he's being left behind. The instructors are being careful to keep him included with us as much as they can, which I appreciate. The monkies even behaved last night during our class.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Good Times

Last night rocked.

We're trying a new schedule in which the monkies have their class (probably plural soon, since Princess will most likely move up to Karate for Kids) just before ours and then wait while we do our class. That part didn't go too well, as class had to be interrupted twice to calm the kids (there were more than just mine out there) down. I guess we'll see how that goes. Short of buying a cot and putting it in the dojang, I'm not sure what other options we have.

I am getting in better shape. One problem I have is that I have a difficult time going at 75%. SO when we are doing kicks across the room, I'm exhausted by the third run--even when we have seven that we're going to do. Even so--I managed to hang in there, and my kicks were higher than before. I'm still having some trouble with the mechanics of the round-house kick, which surprises me since that was one of my favorite kicks back in the day.

On that note--I'm starting to realize that I don't really have any advantage here by having taken Kempo 15 years ago. The abilities I once had just aren;t there anymore. The sooner I can get that down, the better.

Even so--I had a great time last night. We're about 75% of the way through Songahm #2, and it's starting to stick.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


We really got put through the ringer last night. The only thing that concerns me about it is that said ringer didn't include any stretching beyond going from one end of the room to the other doing stretch kicks. No worries--both SW and I are pretty flexible. I just want to get more flexible. Impatience again.

Learned the second few steps of SA#2. I ran over the first steps a million times this week, so it wasn't that big of a deal. I would like to see, just once, a BB go through the whole thing just so that I have an idea of what we're heading for. The next few steps were just a block/punch, rechamber, and block/punch. Nothing too difficult.

We had a new kid in class, too. You could tell this guy was NOT happy about being in a class with three adults. I tried to pump him up but there was no getting to him. Hopefully he'll come back.

We're considering going tonight since we have the monkies open house for school tomorrow. We'll see.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Slow Down

One of the problems my wife and I have identified is a lack of practice facilities. Our instructor is trying to get us to compete in the regional tournament in August as white belts. The concept of competing as a white belt seems strange to me, and we're not too crazy about the idea, but we're entering the monkies into the tourney so we'll be there.

After we discussed how we could practice our forms I approached our school owner and asked if there was ever a time that the school was open without classes going on so that we could practice. His response deflated me completely. He not only said that there wasn't any designated "open time," but he told me to slow down and not be so eager. Ok, those weren't his exact words, but that's essentially what he said. I understand what he's doing, he doesn;t want us to get burnt out, but my mindset is that if we're in this for the long haul, then there are going to be plenty of times that we're not motivated. Right now we are, and I want to take advantage of the energy/motivation surge for as long as we can. I mean, if it was up to me, I'd be going every night I'm having so much fun.

It was just demoralizing to have that guy say that--especially after we had just signed a contract giving them vast VAST amounts of money for us to be able to do this. It kind of made me want to say "fine, then--I won't practice."

I saw a video of Songahm #2 in its entirety the other day. It was pretty overwhelming. We've only learned the first five moves. The breakdown I downloaded from here has a couple of dozen more moves.

And he thinks we'll be ready to compete in 3 weeks? I don't think so...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Back to Earth

So much for feeling good about myself.

We're still working on Songahm 2 and roundhouse kicks. While I thought I was doing well the previous night, I felt like a complete ass last night. My whole self-image thing is a HUGE obstacle, and trying to kick and move like I did 15 years ago isn't helping much. The problem is that I honestly don't know how to slow down, or to do things like a beginner. I have to learn.

Next class is Tuesday or Wednesday. After last night I think a night off in between classes wouldn't hurt.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I'm loving this.

Ms. C taught the majority of the class last night, with us working primarily on Roundhouse kicks. One thing I can say about the marital arts is that once you do it, it sticks with you. It's been over 15 years since I last did anything and a lot of it is still there. What's not there is the physical conditioning part, which is a HUGE detractor at this point. It kind of takes the wind out of your sails when, after doing real well in your head as far as how you think your kicks are going, you see your fat belly in the mirrors that are everywhere. I just try to keep telling myself that it's getting better, even though I can't see it.

I'm a pretty competitive guy, which would lead me to believe that I'd be chomping at the bit to get better, progress in rank, etc. But for some reason I don't feel that. I'm really just having a great time, and whenever I see myself trying to compare my abilities with others in the class I have to stop myself.

I'm going away in August for a month, but there's a school right down the road from the base I'll be at. I'm planning on going as much as humanly possible during my time there.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Class #2

Next class tonight. We didn't exactly tear up the training circuit this weekend due to the holiday--but if we don't get in shape, or at least lose some weight, this will be all for naught.