Tag: taekwondo

3rd Kup

3rd Kup

At the beginning of December I achieved my next belt in Tae Kwon Do. I am now blue belt with a red tag, only 3 belts away from becoming a black belt.

I did a good amount of training before hand and was very confident on the lead up to grading day. I even attended a training session with Master Dew. You know the scary looking bloke I talked about in Blue Signifies Heaven

It turns out he isn’t that scary at all. He’s actually pretty funny and very helpful. We went through our respective patterns and he walked amongst us all giving tips and pointers and having discussions as to why we do certain blocks and movements. This really put everything into prospective. I knew which areas of my body I was protecting etc. We do learn this within our usual lessons however sometimes you forget and merely learn the shapes of each movement to retain the sequence.

Afterwards we went and had a quiet drink with him at the hotel he was staying at. We were to be on our best behaviour! It turned out our instructor was the loudest out of the lot – how ironic. But this showed him in a completely different light. He even explained that he has to be ‘stern faced’ at grading’s as that is his job. He is there to examine us all so he needs to concentrate. So when I saw him on grading day I wasn’t so scared anymore.

Grading day came and I am always up against Abbi who has got an A pass at every grading! I try to work my hardest to beat her or just get an A pass myself however I was rather distracted. My Nan was in hospital. I ignored my phone through the whole session so I stayed focused, but at one point I became rather disorientated and my mind went blank half way through my line work. I knew this meant the worst. I carried on through my patterns and answered my Korean theory still ignoring my phone. After grading was over and Abbi got another A grade (no grading trophy though so I was a little smug about that) I checked my phone. 3 missed calls and lots of messages. My Nan had passed away whilst I was grading. So my lift kindly rushed me home so I could be with my family.

I got my new belt and certificate at the next training session. That’s when I decided to take a break until 2018. I had an ankle pain that I was trying to ignore, but asking people to strap my ankle 3 times a week, I felt I was becoming rather annoying. I went to my rugby club physio and he said I have pulled a tendon. Therefore I have dived into revising my next lot of theory so I have still been connected to Tae Kwon Do in some way.



New Trophy!

Last night I got my lazy butt back to Tae Kwon Do. Feeling a little apprehensive of how unfit I’ll be (still) I was surprised to then be awarded with a cool new trophy.

This trophy is for the ‘Summer pattern challenge winner 2017’. I earned this by doing a pattern on the top of Palantine Hill in Rome. I had views of the Coliseum in the background and I sweated through 44 degree heat!

Other members of my club did photos of different moves or their patterns all over Europe too. We also have trophies that will be handed out at our Christmas Do in December so I’m going to commit and give my all for the next 3 months.

I still have a fair way to go to be grading ready for my next belt. I know my pattern and set sparring but I need to perfect the hip twists and distances. Also Korean theory.

However this trophy has given me a big boost of confidence so I’m gonna go kick butt!

Blue signifies heaven

Blue signifies heaven

For those of you that don’t know what Tae Kwon Do is it’s a self defence martial art from Korea. Literally meaning hand and foot. For more information and see where your nearest class is (UK) follow this link:


Saturday just gone I graded for my blue belt. In the sweltering heat. Britain was having one of its rare heat waves and in the middle of the afternoon in a school gym hall I was wearing my full dobok (training suit) doing patterns and sparring. Sweaty Betty comes to mind.

To help you guys understand the belt system in Tae Kwon Do the order is below

White with Yellow Tag
Yellow with Green Tag
Green with Blue Tag
Blue with Red Tag
Red with Black Tag

So I am already over half way to get my black belt – yay! But I do need to knuckle down to achieve my black belt before I am 30. I’ve worked it out I will be hopefully be grading for my black belt in October 2019.

This grading has meant more than most. I was introduced to the Art back when I was 13/14 and a few friends I knew did it. I enjoyed it and got up to Green with Blue Tag. However as a teenager, more exciting things were available to me like trampolining and rugby. So I gave up.
My dad was very proud that I learnt to do a martial art as it teaches people how to be courteous, respectful and how to defend yourself. So when I stopped skiing and I got back my evenings from work, dad reminded me of how Tae Kwon Do could help me become more flexible by regularly stretching whilst gaining something out of it.
After putting it off for a good few months, I found my old club and sent off an email (heaven forbid I had to speak to a stranger straight away) to request me joining. My parents were impressed as I was going through a spell of depression and anxiety so pushing myself to go into a room full of strangers was a big step. However I knew the location and I knew the basics so in a way I covered my back to not have too many things to be anxious about.
I was told if I could prove my certificates from my previous training I could come back as the same belt I left on. Unfortunately I couldn’t. Thinking of all the places they could be and frantically making a mess trying to find them I decided I must have been frivolous and thrown them away. All I had were my belts – damn.
But this meant I could relearn the basics and not have to worry too much about the grading’s as I had a good understanding already of what would be waiting for me.

So like I said, this grading was more important than the rest. It meant that I have now come further than my previous time. I was at a point of giving up again as I was getting a little bored to doing the stuff I already knew. But I didn’t. I graded for my blue belt.

Pupils have to do all their set line work, patterns and sparring in front of Master Dew. (second in from the right)


Here he doesn’t look that scary as he is smiling and has his dobok on like me. But pop him in a suit and a serious face I could easily crap my pants. It also doesn’t help that he could kick my ass at 73 years of age! He is 8th Dan black belt – one off of the top belt. So I get a little nervous when it comes to grading days. It did show this time around as I made a few mistakes however I passed!

As a student of Tae Kwon Do you also have to learn Korean. Mostly for body parts, numbers 1-10 plus kicks and blocks. For example:
Elbow = Palkup
Knee = Moorup
Side Kick = Yop Chagi
Double Punch = Doo Jirugi
We then also have to remember certain dates for when Tae Kwon Do started in Britain and Korea. Don’t forget the meaning of your belts and patterns, how many moves they have plus a 63 word oath! The higher the grade the more you have to remember as you’re expected to still be able to recall anything from previous grading’s. A massive game of pot luck but I managed to get 3.5 out of 5.

Next grading is not until 6 months time. I can rest easy for now.