It has been quite a while since my last grading as I have spent this year focusing on the club and the students along with the other instructors. I was keen to move forward again, so my head instructor told me two weeks ago that I would be doing a triple grading, followed by a competition the week after that.
Yesterday was the grading/graduation. On the whole, it went really well. I graduated with three others, one beginner and two other advanced students. My wife and parents were there to support me which was really great.
The graduation started with kicking exercises which was a serious workout in itself. After the kicking exercises, we went into the patterns. We were asked to perform Gibbon Poomse and Taeguk Il Jang along with the beginner graduate. The other three of us were then asked to perform Taeguk Chil Jang and Taeguk Pal Jang. These last two are the ones that I have to perform at the competition next week. There were a few things that I could have done better with these yesterday so I will have the next week to work through that.
After the patterns came three and one step sparring. These are always a lot of fun, but I find it does get difficult to remember what comes up next in the sparring when there is so much going on. I have found that there seems to be a fine balance between thinking about what you are doing too much or not enough. Going to either extreme makes it easy to get lost and forget what is next. I find this with the patterns as well.
Patterns were then followed by the board breaking. I was going to be doing ten breaks, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough boards available. I was quite surprised with how well these breaks went. I started with a double elbow break, followed by a self held hand strike. The self held was the one I didn’t think I was going to get. I was the second person to do it after the first person got it first go and made it look really easy. Thankfully mine went just as well. Left and right back swing kicks were next and they were both good (I was surprised by left because it is a weak kick for me). These were followed by jumping left and right side kick. Unfortunately I didn’t get the right jumping side kick to break (very disappointed by that), but left was fine. The last two breaks were flying side kick and a tile break which I used a stepping side kick on. These last two breaks were pure fun. I was really happy that, apart from the jumping right side kick, all the breaks broke on the first attempt.
With the graduation done and dusted, I have now triple graded to a Red three tip. With a few sore muscles, sore right wrist and a very bruised and swollen small right toe, I just need to rest up and practise for the comp next weekend.