Saturday, May 28, 2011

OT Taekwondo - wish me luck ... because I sucked

I just took a belt test for the next taekwondo rank. And I totally hosed it up. I am pretty sure I passed, but I think that ONLY because I didn't get the third try I would have been permitted on the form if I'd done it wrong twice already. So the second try must have been good enough.

My son (the one with Aspergers Syndrome) was taking the test and standing next to me, and he took off like a rocket at the beginning ... which made me think "oh god, he can't be chambering for those strikes if he's going that fast ..." and that's the last thing I remember about doing the form. It totally went out of my head, and I was operating only on muscle memory. I didn't know what I was about to do; my body just moved into the next position. And apparently I had it down well enough to do it on autopilot like that, but with no technique whatsoever.

Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. I am never going to test standing next to my son again -- it's too distracting because I worry about how he's doing instead of concentrating on what I'm doing.

Anyway, apparently my cerebellum learned enough taekwondo to get me through when the cerebrum shuts down, but I suspect that this was the raggedy-assed D- of all time.

What really annoys me is that I'm actually really, really good at this form. I can do it in my sleep. Which is basically what happened.

Sorry for the non-gaming post; I had to vent.


  1. Just tell yourself it was a Zen moment. :-)

    When I was practicing Goju-ryu, my best kata were the ones where I blanked out a little.

  2. It's never as bad as you imagine it, Matt. After testing for my black belt I laid awake all night replaying the test in my head, and it got worse with each replay until I was convinced I had failed. Much to my surprise, I passed. Similarly, I was unhappy with my 2nd Dan test until I watched the DVD a friend had recorded, and I looked MUCH better than I had imagined.

  3. Well, I must have passed it; I didn't get a chance to do the kata for the third time ... but part of the chagrin is that I know I showed the judges absolutely zero technique as far as I can recall. I didn't know what my body was about to do, I just did it, moving to the next strike before I could even figure out if I'd done the last one right. My thinking-brain couldn't catch up to where I was in the sequence. Maybe the technique was programmed in there as well, in which case I might have not sucked as badly as I think I did, but I don't think so. I think I turned in a performance that was crap compared to what I can actually do with that particular form (kata).

  4. Isn't the point of repetitive training and Katas, that your brain just gets in the way?

  5. Believe me, Matt, everyone is MUCH harder on themselves than we instructors are on you. Your teachers have watched you for months in preparation for the testing and you wouldn't have been there for the _formal_ testing if they didn't already know you could do it. You have to total screw the testing to NOT pass. I'm sure you did fine, despite what you think. Take the constructive criticism you get as feedback and learn from it, then move on.

    And yes, next time separate yourself from your son. Sure it's hard - you want to watch him and be sure he's doing OK. But this is your time to test too, and need to be focused to do it well.

    Congratulations - I'm sure you passed, and deserved to do so. :)

  6. Been there got the T-shirt. If you were asked to test then I am sure they already thought you had the muster good sir. I had to keep telling myself that when I got asked to step up for my 1st Degree Black Belt test. Just keep doing what you are doing. Fall down 7 get up 8.

  7. As Miyamoto Musashi Teaches us "The heart of Emptiness is in the absence of anything with form and the inability to have knowledge there of."

    Sorry I do not have any Korean teachings. I stopped taking Karate when I was nine. Then went on to boxing. Now I am training my mind and may possible learn Judo. I wish there was a WuShu Master near me.

  8. Which pumse it was? I practice TKD, so I'm curious.

  9. wachinayn -- in order not to jinx it, I'll tell you after I know for sure how the test came out :)

  10. I suspect your technique was better than you think. You've thrown thousands of kicks, blocks and punches up to this point. You've worked on your form for years, so that in the event of a "mindless" situation, you'd have a solid foundation to stand on.