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.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


What a crazy cycle this has been.

We all went to our graduation in early March, right after Nationals. My attitude (if you haven’t been able to discern so far) had been on a steady decline and it continued as I watched our graduation with more of a “this is a waste of time” attitude than what it should be. I guess I’m just more of a testing type of person—rather than “you do the time you get the belt” type. . We learned all of CJ1 to compete at Nationals, but were only permitted to do half of it since we were only promoting a half belt. At Nationals itself, as at the graduation, Cowboy didn’t even know what form he was doing. In any case, my attitude was, and has been, a violation of the “loyalty for my instructor” tenet of our oath.

As the cycle progressed, it didn’t improve, but rather it continued to crash. Couple that with the fact that I increasingly found my time more and more in demand for other activities than TKD. I missed over half of the classes, and two times I missed entire weeks. The family got to keep going, but they missed a lot as well. We’ve just been busy with traveling and selling our house.

After we got back from one of the week-long hiatus’s, we came back to find that one of our instructors, the female assistant, had left. This ground me into the earth—mainly because of how I felt about her as an instructor. She is younger than any of the other instructors, but while our Chief Instructor is well-versed in many other martial arts (including black belts in Judo and Wu Shu), she is ATA through and through. It has it’s advantages and disadvantages—a lack of breadth traded in for a increased depth. Top ten for the last few years, State Champion more than once, and a kick-ass fighter in the ring. What bothered me was that they (the school owner and Chief Instructor) never let her teach. She was relegated to teaching the Tiny Tigers, and the lower-rank color belts. If I was in her shoes, I would have been miserable. I guess she was. No warning, no goodbyes, just *poof*. Away she went. I was even mad at her for a while, since Princess idolizes her and she didn’t even say goodbye. Princess came back from Disney with a set of Minnie Mouse ears for her that she never got to give her.

Attitude continued to crash after that. I found it hard to get motivated to go to class, and even harder to stay motivated in a class that I felt was not only unchallenging, but not teaching the skills that I wanted for both me and my family. Our Chief Instructor was relegated to the role that the female instructor had as our school owner took over senior instructor duties. We had one great class, taught with the level of intensity I wanted, working us to the point of exhaustion. At the time our Chief Instructor was on vacation back in his home town in California. I wished he could have seen it just to see how motivated and capable we really could be if pushed.

That’s when the last blow came for this cycle.

Our Chief Instructor came back to announce that he, too, was leaving. In May he is going back to California to open his own ATA school with his brother. Standing outside the door was our new Chief Instructor, a 5th degree triple crown winner from Pheonix. I immediately recognized him from our regional tournaments.

My jaw dropped.

That was last week. Since then our new instructor has shown his colors—teaching brutal, but motivating, workouts to the adults, and having a great time with the kids. I am really going to miss our old one, since he is particularly close to Cowboy. We haven’t told him yet—because I don’t think he’s going to take it very well.

I’m pretty excited. Right now I think the new guy is just getting a feel for the class, but I see great things on the horizon. Unfortunately also on the horizon is our departure for another change in the ATA world. At least we’ll have two months to get ready.

Finally, my attitude is changing.

I started the "Soul" challenge--and abruptly had a lot of family activities to get in the way. Fortunately it's still early on, so I should be able to catch up relatively quickly.


PUSHUP: -1006
SITUPS: -1126
LUNGE: -884
MILES: -25.1
OTHER CARDIO: -360 minutes

Comments on "Turbulence"


Blogger Windsornot said ... (4:38 PM) : 

I'm really sorry to hear that you had a bad cycle. I still don't get that half belt thing, and I found out just yesterday that NO school should have students wearing half belts at a Regional, National or World Championship, as has been deemed by the ATA. So maybe somebody will get a clue! Young 5th degrees seem to work you very hard for sure. I usually can't keep up with that as much, but I should go just for the challenge. I know my instructor's business partner is a 5th degree, and he has a whole different way of doing things than she does, and some of it irks her to no end, and some of it she learns from herself. You are just learning that there are instructors who have VERY different styles of teaching, as much as the ATA tries to make things as uniform as possible. I'm sure it'll be different when you move too, but make the most of what you have now with that instructor, and make sure you let him know that you liked what you had, as that will help him adjust too.


Blogger Lucky said ... (4:41 PM) : 

Where'd you hear that? I'd love to be able to point that out to the instructor...


Blogger Windsornot said ... (9:54 AM) : 

I just found it out this past Wednesday about the half belts. It was a letter that was sent to all the school owners very recently, as there have been many breeches of this. Even my instructor, who is RCT (Regional Chief of Tournaments) for my region admitted the faux-pas on her part with this one. She gave us the highlights, and that half-belt point was something that struck home for me, as I help her organized the half belts for the little ones at our school, and even my son is a half belt right now.

See? It helps to know someone who is slightly on the inside track. It's an ATA rule now. There have evidentally been a lot of uniform no-nos at the big events, and not all of them have been called on. For example, when you become a black belt, you are not allowed to wear red gear anymore. My boss usually didn't get picky about that,(it's expensive to get new gear!) but some judges, I heard, at my last regional were not allowing some kids to compete in sparring because they still only had red gear. So you know what I'll be asking for or saving up for in the near future! Stuff about shoes, designations on the uniform, no jewelry except wedding bands, all sorts of things were outlined in this letter. My instructor read it to my instructor class the other night because most of them in there are certified judges as well as competitors, so they needed to know.

Like I said, it was a letter that went out to the school owners very recently, so for all we know, your school owner hasn't read his/her mail yet...


Blogger hardheaded is my middle name said ... (3:14 PM) : 

The half belt thing has actually always been a rule - some instructors have taken it upon themselves to alter the rules the way they see fit. Kind of like only teaching people half of the form unless they pay to join a different program. Songahm TKD has copyrighted forms, and on those PDF documents it tells you what is required to test for your next belt.

We only half rank tigers, and we do it with animals. First, you get your orange belt, then you become a cheetah, and get the patch and headband. Now, officially, belts must be one color, and you may only have 3 knowledge stripes, all in black, on the left side of your belt.

The gear thing is fairly new - though I had been hearing for awhile that black belts were going to be required to wear black gear. I guess it is in the interest of uniformity. The new mandate on black or grey chest protectors only is kind of grandfathered in, and people will have time to replace those.

If you want the "New" rules, I can email them to you. They really aren't new, just reclarifying old rules that people have been ignoring.


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