Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 72: Green Stripe

Promotion results were awarded tonight at the end of class.

In Jung Sim Do, the Green Stripe belt, or Third Gup, is three steps away from the First Dan, or Black Belt.  For me, it represents:

33 months of training 4-6 days per week, usually 2+ hours per day,
36 taekwondo actions
35 hapkido techniques,
30 fighting and judo techniques,
13 open hand kata,
4 weapons forms,
various falls, punches, kicks and hand techniques,
sparring and grappling
(plus the physical endurance to survive the test itself)

By now, I'm at the point where I am beginning to know how much I really don't know.  It's a humbling place to be.  For example, I may know the 38 or so moves in Pal Gwe Oh Jung, but executing them with proper stances, hand position, and power will take me much longer to master.  I'm finding myself needing to go back to basics in order to hit the level of performance above simply knowing what the moves are. 

There are other things too, like my side kick, which needs more of a hip twist to really be right.  Working on changing the technique of it sends me a giant leap backward now in balance and power, although I have been assured that those things will eventually come back.  Again, very humbling.

Fighting techniques are okay, as long as my partner throws a punch or a kick from the right, which is our default way of practicing.  Throw from the left and I'm compeletely awkward.  They need to be automatic from both sides, which will take a lot more work.

And of course, there's sparring.  As a yellow belt, I was just proud of myself for showing up and hanging in through 5 matches.  But as a green stripe, I need to learn to actually become good at it.  Ditto for grappling. 

Fortunately, I have many many people who are patient and happy to observe and teach and work on all of these areas with me.  With each new rank, I find myself thanking more and more people for all of their time and help in getting me there.  I hope someday I will be able to pay their effort on me forward to others.

Martial arts training has probably been the most transformative experience in my life thus far.  (Other than having children, of course.)  It has changed who I am in such a profound and positive way and I am eternally grateful for it, and for every member of my dojang family. 


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