Sick kids, holidays and what not are not putting training on hold, but blogging is behind schedule. More soon!
We did do Kata (poomse, forms, patterns...) last night and we did argue about forms last night. Which is a more critical dispute to resolve? Forms or Warm-ups?
Tonight I set out to resume my role as "Kata Queen". Wish me luck!
So I went to the gym yesterday and hopped on the elliptical trainer. I really love the elliptical. I feel like I'm working my whole body and I know that my whole body needs work! After a few minutes, I put on my iPod and listened to some tunes. Then, I thought I'd give this whole visualization thing a try. So I closed my eyes. It felt a little weird plugging away on the elliptical with my eyes closed but then the vision came. There I was in a gi. I had on a white tope and black pants - a privilege reserved for senior students only (the way training used to be). I was kneeling - exhausted - in front of my instructors but facing away from them. Dripping with sweat, breathing heavily, anxious but satisfied; I awaited my results. They were in. Paul told me to stand up and face the panel - the board of instructors scoring the test. Nervous, I summoned the strength and will to stand and face them. Mr. Sharp and Mr. Gordon smiled and handed me my black belt. It felt amazing. That feeling burns in me today. I like it. I am focusing on that and letting it push me onward. I wish I could go to the gym again today. I will go tomorrow. Those 45 minutes on the elliptical yesterday were awesome.
Join me as I prepare for my Black Belt test in Tae Kwon Do next year. I'll be writing about training, fitness and preparing mentally for the journey ahead to my black belt test and beyond.
What is Kuan-Ti? Here's a definition from Answers.com.
(East Asian mythology)
The god of war in Confucian tradition. A popular figure in Chinese folklore, Kuan Ti was a leading general during the period of disunity known as San Kuo, the Three Kingdoms (221–65). He is not, however, a Mars figure, warlike and implacable, but rather the god who prevents war. As Kuan Yu, a massive man, nine feet in height, with a beard two feet long, a ruddy complexion, and eyebrows like sleeping silkworms shading his phoenix eyes, which were a scarlet-red, he took up arms in the complicated civil war because he wished ‘to pay the state his debt of loyalty and give peace to his black-haired compatriots’. Ts'ao Ts'ao, the deposer for the last Han Emperor and the architect of discord, had once said: ‘I would rather betray the whole world than let the world betray me.’
Kuan Yu was killed by the Sun, a powerful clan established at Ch'eng-tu. Yet his valour and courtesy were a standing rebuke to his contemporaries, then engaged in treachery and violence. The apotheosis of his cult occurred in 1594 when the throne conferred on him the title of Ti, great supporter of heaven and protector of the empire. Kuan Ti had become the divine champion, always ready to intervene against all those who disturb the peace—rebels, sorcerers, demons, and foreigners.
In a nutshell, Kuan-ti is perceived by the noble classes in China as a God of War but the common people consider him a god of protection. I like this because it demonstrates the classic dichotomy of martial arts. While I like to beat some ass now and then, the reason I study martial arts and encourage the study of martial arts by everyone is because of the self-confidence that it brings and the firm belief that I am capable of protecting myself if the need arises. I enjoy the tradition, the ritual and the discipline every bit as much as I enjoy sparring. I am looking forward to deepening my knowledge of the history of Tae Kwon Do specifically and martial arts in general in the coming year.