Red Stripe Week

It is red stripe week and the tensions are running high for many of the students. A red stripe means you know your material and are ready for a test. You have to have a white stripe (18 classes) and a red stripe (curriculum mastery) to test next Saturday. The kids get really nervous and some of the adults do to but really it is just to be sure you are keeping up.

I got on the mat yesterday a few minutes late (I left my uniform at home duh). When I got there the kids were already doing forms and the Grandmaster directed me to take the two advanced green belts and work with them. Now both knew their form but were getting sloppy so my job was to fine tune. I felt like I made about 8 corrections for the one kid and about 3 for the other. The one who had the fewer corrections really was trying but the other seemed to think it was a joke. Fortunately the Master Instructor came over and he was able to straighten himself up and make the corrections I had offered him. It was good he learned but really you have to ONLY do it when the Master Instructor is present. After that we went to line drills and I had a good group. They did know their moves and one guy was super powerful. He is really making some good progress so that was nice to see. Additionally, he loves when I do the whole really loud yelling thing to him and he yells back to me so we have fun. The other students did participate in the yelling but not as strongly as the blue belt did. So much fun and even the Master and Grandmaster smiled at my line. By the end of class most had ended up with their red stripe if they did not already have it. Two did not but they knew they were not ready so it was fine.

Next up were the Mighty Mites and they were all in a good mood. All of them for some reason had to show me their boo-boos before class. The other SWAT member just chuckled as each one proudly showed me their skinned knees and elbows. I just shrugged not really sure why that was a thing but all right. They started with some line drills and had a fun time running, bear walking, crab walking and of course baby crawling. They  laughed a lot and had to be regularly directed to stay in their lines. They then moved onto targets and each had to work on combinations. Most were really good and super focused but three were struggling to pay attention. The one was spoken to by the Master Instructor because he was the highest belt on the mat. The other two I talked to and they seemed to straighten themselves up. They weren’t doing anything “bad” per say just fooling around in line which they are not supposed to do. Good class over all and they did have fun so that is always good to see.

The lower belts older kids were up next and there seemed to be a plethora of them. Fortunately there was also a bunch of SWAT so it was not too bad. We did some warm ups and moved onto forms. I was assigned a high green belt and he did know his form. He was in a silly mood though and it took a bit to get him focused. He did focus though and showed me a pretty good rendition of his form. I made some smaller corrections because it can always be fine tuned but he knew what he was doing so it was really simple. He also did try to make the corrections but was just inconsistent about it. After we went onto line drills which was a lot of fun. I was talking to the kids in my line and challenging them to go harder and faster. They did respond and one guy even knocked me off balance so he got high praise. It was wonderful to see him smile and yep he did it I was not acting.

Higher belts were next so I was off the mat. Their drill looked pretty much the same. Their warm up was a bit more intense though as they are higher so it does make a difference.

Our class was the final one for the night and it was a tad intense. Our warm up consisted of running back and forth 5 times each, then lift kicking, then round house kicking, then stretching kicking, then running 5 times again before we finally got to stop for 5 minutes of stretching. Yuck what a gross pile of sweat I was. We moved onto forms and I managed to practice two of the three that I will have on the test. While black belts don’t get stripes we do get test papers or not so I do understand I have a week to learn the last form. My daughters tried their forms and one got her red stripe and the other did not. She knew it but kept  making mistakes so they told her to practice more and she could get her stripe next time. I will have to practice with her as she knows what to do but lacks confidence. Everyone else also got their stripes so it was good in terms of that. After forms was a gauntlet approach to line drills. Half the folks hold targets in a line, the other half have to kick down the line. This ungodly amount of exercise lasted a whole brutal 10 minutes. Everyone was soaked at this point as she kept increasing the difficulty I think just to tire us out. Ugg so glad when it was over!!!!!

In the end I was one of three people to get their test papers. I do not feel ready for the test but when I tried to talk to her she dismissed me. Yep sometimes I lack confidence too!! So off with me to watch videos of Tae Guek 8 so I can do it for the test without looking at  my neighbors.

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