day 1922 – scholarship

grandmaster handed out scholarship to a few of us at the annual celebration party. it’s his way of encouraging us to take the next blackbelt test. to be frank, this amount covers only a small portion of the large sum. i’m not sure where i sit with this decision because it doesn’t necessarily change anything for me. there’s many reasons i don’t need it, but also many reasons to just do it. i’ll give it a little more thought over the course of the next month and see what type of commitment it requires

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day 970 – kukkiwon validated

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this is an expensive paper that is proof that kukkiwon has another holder of taekwondo third dan status. it’s definitely a distinction i can be proud of because it’s an achievement i can safely say i worked hard for. it certainly wasn’t an ambition i thought i would ever attain in my lifetime when i first began my taekwondo journey. and one that had ample of obstacles along the way, but found a way to knock them down one by one. i waited ever so patiently for this certificate and card to arrive, and it couldn’t have been anymore timely. i needed my kukkiwon card really badly otherwise going to this year’s nationals would be an issue

day 780 – back to school

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took a long break off this summer away from my regular friday night class and now school is back in season, which also means i am back at training. made a quick appearance tonight and got bombarded with new set of step sparring that i must learn. the third dan step sparring completely blew my mind. i think i will need a lot of time to digest and wrap my head around these techniques and theories

day 676 – belt stitching

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my new belt came in today nice and stiff. it’s not much different than my previous belt, just a little darker shade of black than my worn one with a nice tint of faded black. it will still take some time to break into and get used to it and i must admit i do miss the feeling of my second dan belt. this is the beginning of another stage with lots of learning and growing to be done before i can say its fully earned. i will stay humble and continue to learn and train even harder

through it all

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with the completion of an ultra long blackbelt test, i went home and passed out from pure exhaustion. even after it’s all said and done,  i hadn’t really recognized what i had just gone through. it certainly took a few days not only for my body to recover, but also for my mind to digest what i just really accomplished. when i first took up this sport, i only thought of it as a short term activity with little or next to no goals. it’s funny when i began this journey, everyone questioned why i chose this martial art because my legs were already so beaten as it is. being my stubborn self, i did it to prove to those who said i couldn’t do it because my body won’t manage. thinking back, i do feel ashamed that i didn’t have much commitment from the beginning and set a very low goal going in; but a few unexpected circumstances and many small things propelled me to this point. little did i expect to still be practicing taekwondo so many years after and be going for my third dan today. what i also didn’t expect was to be an integral piece of the puzzle, in instructing, coaching and competing; and competing at a level that requires traveling across canada and even out of the country. through competitions, i have turned some heads, gained some respect and earned some recognition both provincially and internationally. i give my instructors a ton of credit for giving me that extra push and getting me to where i am now. i can comfortably sit back today and realize what i had just accomplished is far beyond what i, myself, and the entire population thought i could attain; something that many may never achieve. i know there comes a time when i must hang it up, but that time is not now. i still have some competitions and accomplishments ahead of me, i don’t want to call it quits and not use my skills to its fullest potential

day 660 – going all in

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it’s all or nothing, like gambling at the casino. the only difference is i am in total control of the outcome. i think i give myself too much pressure cause i have my own standards and cannot afford to lose. i’d be performing not only in front of the grandmaster, the instructors that’s taught me from the very beginning, but also the students that i have been teaching. saved up all my scholarships so i could use it altogether at times like this. saying goodbye to all the awards, now i am feeling poor all over again but at least i am using it for something worthwhile