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.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Yellow-Orange Belt

I'm officially a half-belt now.

The test was kind of a let-down, in that we did all of what was required in about 2 minutes, since we only did half the form, one one-stwp and one self-defense technique. He also had us demonstrate our ground-fighting technique, which was at least humorous since me and my partner had it down but it caught the three women completely off guard.

The biggest let-downs, however, were what they didn't do--meaning that they didn't "promote" anyone to Black Belt Club--again. I was obviosuly disappointed for us, but I was angry about my son. He's young (5) and small for his age, but there are a good number of students that aren't as talented and misbehave constantly. Cowboy, on the other hand, has been working his butt off to be the best behaved kid in the school, and was flawless in the past few weeks. Even with that, we wouldn't be upset if we, as his parents, weren't pumping him up to try harder to get into BBC just to have him be disappointed. I think we're going to talk to the owner about it tonight.

On another note--I found out today that I'm being reassigned in August to Montgomery, Alabama. So, when it all comes down to it, we have less than a year to go before we switch schools.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Welcome ATA Forum'ers!

I've linked my blog to, a great resource for learning stuff about the ATA as a whole. There are some great posters on there, and it's done a good deal towards my education on ATA and Tae Kwon Do as an art. Definitely worth checking out.

That having been said--I tend to rant on here quite a bit, and I never in any way mean any disrespect to my intructors or school. When it comes down to it, my school and the ATA are some of the best things that has happened to my family in a long time and has brought us closer. My instructors are great, as well as the classes I've been taking. If I rant or complain about things, it's just a flaw in my life that I am working on--as well as patience.


PUSHUP: -626
SITUPS: -1708
MILES: -40.5

Friday, October 06, 2006

More Frustrations

Ok. Last night I was close to dropping it altogether. I'm better now.

With 3 weeks to go until testing, we still haven't learned (here, I learned them all in 4 weeks in FL) the second one-step or the second half of SA#3. After class, our instructor kind of non-chalantly mentioned that we'd only be testing for Yellow-R. We respectfully left, but were ready to riot once we got into the parking lot.

What this means for me is that now I won't be able to free-spar (something I was seriously looking forward to) in a tournament in January. And most likely, BBC and Leadership are a loooong way's off.

It wouldn't be so bad if we didn't expect to test for the full belt, or if we didn't know that the owner's other two schools all had leadership and BBC. Or, even if for just one night, our instructor would be willing to answer questions about the school or ATA in general. Right now we feel like we're being trained like the kids are.


PUSHUP: -1260
SITUPS: -2592
MILES: -46.2

Thursday, October 05, 2006


This has officially become an obsession.

It feels good, really, to have something like this. When I stopped flying to do my current job I lost something that I was very passionate about. I tend to be a passionate person--too much so in a lot of cases. I've floundered for a while now without anything to really dedicate myself to outside of my family, and I think I have found it.

There are issues, however.

When I was in FL I trained at an ATA school there. The place was incredible. The workouts were intense, but always focused on making you better, rather than just aimless workouts. We did an amazing amount of legwork, and the end result was that my kicks had dramatically improved by the time I got back. This, I think, directly contributed to my taking first place in forms at the AZ Regional tournament the day after I got back. My wife took second. Princess, who was competing in her first "judged" tournament, had to go to her ring alone since we were all competing at the same time. She took third in forms and sparring. All in all, a good day.

When I got back to my school, however, the differences in training were dramatic. The instructors in FL were very personable, very helpful and encouraging, and truly seemed more interested in my doing well than in any money the ATA was getting. I'm starting to feel that the school I'm in simply goes through the motions. We're two weeks from testing and we still haven't learned all of our form. We only have learned one one-step, and one self-defense technique. In three weeks in Florida I had learned all of SA #3, all three one-steps, and both self-defense techniques. Couple that with the fact that students there join BBC when the sign up (there were two White belts with black stripes in my class), I also had learned the entire Bong Mahng Ee freestyle form. Here, when I meekly (since our instructors aren't very approachable) ask what the possibility of starting BBC for us is, I get an answer that "it's coming."

It gets a little frustrating, especially considering that we're paying twice what the students there are paying.

I keep telling myself that we'll only be here for another year or so, and then we move to another location and, God willing, another school. In the meantime I'll take what I can from here.

While gone, as expected, the challenge fell apart. I haven't given up--I just dropped a lot of the requirements I placed on myslef and restricted it to solely the physical portions. Even with that, I am way behind--but catching up.


PUSHUP: -1482
SITUPS: -2802
MILES: -49.2

I'm hoping, if I can keep this up, that I will be back on track sometime around the end of the month or early next month. I refuse to give up on this.