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, August 18, 2006

Orange Belt

First test complete.

It went well, faster than I thought it would. The only catch to it was that I had to go through a pretty hellacious workout first, so I was pretty exhausted when the test actually started. The only real mistake that I know I made was accidentally punching myself in the nose when doing the double forearm block for my #2 onestep.

I don't think anyone noticed. :)


MILES: + 1.08
FORMS: - 4
RAOK: -34

Wednesday, August 16, 2006



PUSHUP: +129
MILES: -3.0
FORMS: -13
RAOK: -28

I'm nervous now. Last night I went through my form during class, and all by myself, kiaped on the first move of SA#2. Felt like a complete idiot. The confidence I had before is dwindling as the test (the easiest one I will take) approaches. It doesn't help that I'm going to be doing it alone in front of my class.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Rules

Again, I got this challenge from the back of a flyer at the Arizona Regional tournament. A lot more detail can be found at the UBBT Website. The real UBBT is a year-long program that, at my point, is impossible. We're talking 1000 pushups/situps a week, running 1000 miles in a year, stuff like that. Eventually, I'd like to do that, but for this one I cut the requirements down to 25% and shortened it to six months.

In order for me to stay on schedule, I need to be doing 70 pushups/situps a day, and running 1.7 miles a day. Obviously, I'm not doing that. So I have days like yesterday, when I did 235 pushups and 200 situps. That got me back on schedule for pushups, but I fell behind on running--so I ran 2.5 miles today. In order to get my first PV I need to keep that up. I really think it's doable.


MILES: -1.6
FORMS: -11 (ugh...I'm testing in 3 days)
SPARRING: -25 (ditto)
RAOK: -25

There's a catch--in order for it to be a test of my own discipline, nothing that I do in class or our squadron PT sessions (3x a week) will count towards my numbers. Everything is from me only.

Personal Victories

I need to accomplish six "Personal Victories" during the six month test. To do this, I;ve broken it down into one PV/month. I named each one after an aspect of my character or personality that I want to become. Here they are:

AUGUST: "Determined." To complete this I need to be 100% on-time or ahead in all events of my SOD test on 1 September. I figured I'd start off easy.

SEPTEMBER: "Reliable." I am notoriously late. Always late. And I forget to do things that I've promised people I would do all the time. For the month of September I will focus on being on time or early to 100% of the things I commit to.

OCTOBER: "Organized." I am a horrible slob, both at work and at home. During this month I will dedicate the majority of my efforts to being as organized as possible, both at home and at work.

NOVEMBER: "Financially Stable." My wife and I make a lot of money. We're not rich, just not for want of a whole lot. The problem with this is that we don't pay attention to our finances really at all, and it sometimes gets us in trouble. During November I will focus on our family's finances, create and stick to a budget, and balance everything we spend in our bank account.

DECEMBER: "Healthy." During this month I will quit all kinds of unhealthy habits that I have, such as caffeine and overeating among others. It will probably be hard due to the holidays.

JANUARY: "Sober." I couldn't think of a better word. All it means is that I won't touch alcohol for the month of January.

That's it. As each month arrives I'll get more specific on the conditions for success.


Ok, so I'm waaay behind on a couple of aspects of the "Spirit of the Dragon" (cool little name I came up with for my UWBT). Fortunately, their not the physical ones, just the additional things. For example, writing daily on here. Obviously haven't been doing that. In fact, I'm nine posts behind. That's an easy fix.

Random Acts of Kindness....ugh. I think the problem I'm having right now is (weak as this may sound) I'm having trouble finding opportunities when I'm planted behind a desk most of the time. I'm open to ideas....

Forms and sparring (3 one-steps/day) are the two others. I've barely done either of them. So--I'm going to try to at least knock out a couple journal entires today.

Friday, August 11, 2006


My first test Thursday.

Since I'm leaving for 5 weeks before the test, my instructor is going to let me do it before I leave. Unfortunately, this means I'll be doing front of the whole class. Lucky me.

I started doing my own little version of the Ultimate Black Belt Test (UBBT), but I dumbed it down enough for a white belt. Instead of a year, I'm only going to go 6 months, and I dropped all the numbers down to 25%. If it works out, then I'll do a harder version, all the way up to the actual UBBT when I make Black Belt.

Here are the basics:

250 miles run/walked
13,000 pushups
13,000 situps
10 forms/week
3 random acts of kindness per day
6 books read
Daily journal of progress
6 personal victories

We'll see how it goes. I'm doing ok so far, though it's easy to fall behind.

I was thinking of entering a tournament in FL since that's where I'll be training while I'm away. We'll see.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Wow what a good time. Make that great time.

I am glad that we didn't sign up to compete, because it was mass chaos for a while there and we had our hands full trying to simultaneously watch both monkies (same division) and manage Odie while this was going on. Of course, everything had calmed down by the time we would have had to go on--but it was nice to just go and watch to get an idea of what happens.

Got there late on Friday night, with just enough time to see the 4th and 5th degree Black Belts compete. Amazing doesn't do them justice. Our form takes about a minute and a half, and that's with me stumbling to remember parts of it. These guys would go for 10 minutes--doing techniques that I couldn't dream of doing. Maybe someday.

Saturday we showed up on time, but it was crazy until we figured out where the monkies were competing at. The opening ceremonies were cool, with a lot of theatrics and finishing with a demo team performance in front of roughly 500 or so people. After the ceremony Princess came up to us terrified--I thought she had just figured out that it was serious and a competition. Come to find out she thought that she was going to have to compete in front of everyone like the demo team. No wonder she chilled out when she saw that she just had to go on a mat in front of about a dozen people.

It was a challenge trying to be superdad and monitor both Cowboy and Princess's events, since they were going on at the same time at opposite ends of the arena. I just parked myself in the middle and waited until one went on. Of course, as I was taping Princess Cowboy stepped out onto the mat, so I just got to see about 30 seconds of his. When Princess was doing her form, the judge that was helping her apparently figured out that she knew what she was doing and stepped back. She was so focused on what she was doing that she just kept going by herself. To say I was proud would be an understatement.

After they were done we watched our classmates compete on the mat that we probably would have been on had we entered. The judges take great pains to get you to relax--at least at this level. We had classmates medal in several areas.

Lastly we went and watched our instructor compete in her Black Belt division. Female twenty-somethings are amazing to watch when they do this stuff. Men are pretty exciting, too, but the women are extremely fast and vicious. She ended up not placing (which is abnormal--she's won a lot of events) but it was awesome to see.

Overall, it was a great weekend. Next stop is the National Tournament in Disney World if we can scrounge up enough money to go.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I love our instructors. We have three. The problem is that quite a bit they're difficult to read.

Mr. F is a 5th degree black belt, and the school owner. He rarely teaches class, but is usually in the school whenever we're there. He's the hardest to read--I don't know if I'm pissing him off or bugging him or what. Sometimes we have great conversations--other times I feel like he's angry with me for asking him a simple question. SW's suggestion is that we don't talk to him unless he talks to us first.

Mr. N is the school's chief instructor, a 3rd degree. He normally teaches all of our classes. He's normally pretty nice, but lately he seems to be losing patience with us and is in a bad mood pretty often. I think he's about as old school as you can get--studied at the Shaolin Temple, been taking martial arts pretty much his whole life, not very concerned with rank--the only problem with that is that we don't have the time to dedicate that I think he expects. And whenever we ask ATA-specific questions (like "can I enter the tournament in forms only?") he gets irritated. Again, kind of hard to figure out.

Ms. C is the youngest intructor, a 2nd degree and World Champ. She is easily the most approachable--partly because she's only 19, and partly because she has grown up with the whole ATA experience. She absolutely loves our kids, and is a perfect mentor for Princess. Lately, though, even she has been a little impatient.

All in all, I really like our instructors--but they appear to be overworked. For example, in last night's class they were teaching us the #2 One-Step, and were annoyed that we didn't know it. I'm assuming that they didn't realize that SW and I had never been taught it. It would be nice if this was our only commitment in life, but that's just not the case. We're overstretching ourselves as it is going there three nights a week.

We leave for the Pheonix tournament tonight. Princess will be doing her form, with help, with the Tiny Tigers and I have decided to wait until the next tournament to enter as (hopefully by then) an Orange belt. I'll pass an update (hopefully with pictures) on Monday.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Three weeks or so until our first test.

They're going to give SW and I a special session for testing since I'll be gone to Fort Walton Beach for five weeks. We've gotten the form and one-step down, and although it's excrutiating, my round kick is coming along. I thought that any pain from my hip would be slwoly getting better, and it has.

Then we tried side kicks for the first time on Tuesday.


One thing that I am fortunate enough to have is power. I almost knocked the bag over every time I did a side kick. The I would limp back to my place at the back of the line.