Belt test time again

Lex got a surprise belt test invite the day before the rest.  He was so proud that the instructors thought he was ready.  

He looked great out there!

Demonstrating his kata.

He demonstrated a weapons kata as well. I love the nunchaku in the belt!

New belt!!

This afternoon he participated in a Foam Weapons Sparring class.  He loved it!! 

Sparring

Belt Tests!

Lex and I had belt tests last night. Lex tested for (and got!) his solid blue belt and I did my first belt test and got an orange belt. Lex hasn’t tested since last October (an admitted oversight on their part) and he was very happy to be testing again!

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I love his concentration face!

Lex did several katas on his own. He is soooo brave!

The weapons katas no longer “count’ towards their belt progression, but they are encouraged to show them if they know them. Lex brought it!

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New belt, blue belt!

Eve is taking a break from karate this month while she’s doing Girls On The Run (they are on the same days and she was exhausted after doing both for awhile!) so she didn’t test today. She was mentally ok with it ahead of time, but kind of fell apart during and after the test. Turns out seeing Lex progress without her was harder than she expected. We talked about ways for her to catch up and I *really* hope she gets back to karate next month!

The kids’ belt test ran long, of course, so we ate a super rushed slice of pizza for dinner then hurried back to the dojo for my belt test! Fortunately there were only seven adults testing, not nearly 50 like the kids, and we were all very low belts, so the whole thing was over and done with in 20 minutes, not the two full hours that the kids’ test ran!

Eve and Lex, once settled after our rushed dinner, were happy to watch me and cheer me on. Lex wanted to make an iMove of it, but the iPad is old an out of space (sooo sad!), so he just made some videos on my phone. He is a funny photographer!

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Me in my white belt. I can’t deny Lex when he asks for a picture, since I take so many pictures of him! :)

That’s me on the far left, and my buddy Mike right next to me.

This is my first kata that I had to do all by myself!

I earned my first new belt! :)

I was so spaced and rushed (and hot!) after Lex’s test that I forgot to get a picture of him in his new belt. He took a picture of me in my new belt, but he didn’t get the belt in it and I look terrible, so you all don’t get to see it! :) But we got them and we are both very happy and ready to get started learning new katas!!

New weapons in karate

The dojo finished up the Tonfa sessions and moved on to Nunchaku, or nunchucks!  These look like the hardest weapons to learn! 

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I was amazed no one smacked themselves in the head with these things!

I think the kids like the coolness factor of sticking them in their belts.  :-)

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That's Lex on the right.

Also

Also, I told this kids this morning that I joined karate and they were super excited. All thoughts of embarrassment apparently forgotten. Eve offered to teach me the first kata and Lex said I would be great at it. They were so sweet. When they got home from school Eve asked how my karate class had gone and, when I told her I had trouble with one of the blocks, she demonstrated it for me and had me try it with her. So sweet. Lex did ask, hesitantly, if we would be belt testing together, but I reassured him that grownups test at different times than kids. I asked if he would come to my belt tests and he said “yes, definitely!”

Blue/white belt! (part 2)

Lex finally got his belt test tonight.  They took him from the regular lesson and brought him into the small dojo for a private belt test.  I really appreciate how understanding they are and how willing they are to work with the kids.  Lex was so disappointed that he missed the belt test two weeks ago and he was worried he’d have to wait for the next one.   It was so nice of them to do this private one for him.

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They invited me in to watch. Lex did great. He was worried that he was rusty on a few of the katas, but he did them well anyway.

He rejoined the class after the test and at the end of class they gave him his new belt while everyone watched. There was lots of cheering. Sensei said that to earn a striped belt you need to demonstrate that you know all of the moves for all of the katas up to that belt, and to earn a solid you need to know them solidly with sharp movements and defined motions.

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I love this picture because it looks like Eve is cheering for him. I don’t know if she was or if she was just jumping around (I was focused on him at this moment), but in the picture she looks like she’s giving him a big hooray! :)

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Funny angle and zoomed. There were so many kids in the group today that I couldn’t get a good shot. Oh well. He’s got a blue belt with a white stripe now and a huge smile!

Karate

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Straight-jacket? Giant marshmallow? Michelin man? Nope – just me and my new gi!

I signed up for karate today. That’s my big news of the day. They offer a buy 2-get 1 free (BTGO?) deal and since I’m already paying for the kids to go, I started thinking maybe I should try it too. It has been so beneficial for the kids and I’m at a point that I really need to do something with this body. I know a few other parents who have joined recently and I’ve been chatting with them.  They promise me it’s fun and they promise the Sempais won’t yell at me ’cause I can’t do proper push-ups.  :)

On the drive over today after work I was SUPER nervous. For no good reason. I almost backed out a dozen times or more. I even had to turn the radio off and have a serious chat with myself. What if I don’t like it (stop going). What if it’s too hard (it won’t be). What if the kids are better than me (they will be, at first) and I’m embarrassed (I will be, at first). What if I don’t have time (I don’t). Why am I being so lame (ummm…) I’m at a point where I really need to do something though, because my mind/body connection is out of whack.

I eventually talked myself in to going, or at least prevented my self from turning around and going home. Everyone was glad to see me and one of the Sempais that we know well gave me an hour long intro class, just one-on-one. It was embarrassing, and slightly uncomfortable, and just fine. Before and after we watched a bit of the adult class that was going on and we talked about how it was similar and different from the kid classes I’ve been watching for the past two years. When I was in the changing room at the end, a few other women were there too and they were all so nice and encouraging. One of them is someone I’ve seen around because her three kids do karate too, but I had’t ever really met her.  Now I have.

It was a good decision. I’m going to go back again on Wednesday for the next adult class. If I don’t chicken out! Wish me luck!

PS.  I haven’t told the kids yet.  Shhh…..  When I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was thinking about it, Lex said, “Mooom, that would be so embarrassing!”  I told Sempai Spencer the story today and he said, “Just tell Lex that my dad does karate too and it’s not too embarrassing!”  For those who don’t know, Spencer’s dad is the owner and Sensei of the dojo.  Big boss!  I will tell my little bosses soon enough.  I’m sure they’ll be happy for me, eventually.  :)