As we have discussed I have several passions, Porsches, weight lifting, Tae Kwon Do, Hap Ki Do and Ju Jitsu. About 2 months ago we were readying for a tournament. In fact the entire family was working at sharpening up techniques in order to compete. Last year I took third in my division in the Midwest Championships. My goal this year was to take first.
As we headed in to harder and harder sparring matches I had noticed one evening that my ankle was the size of a golf ball. No pain really, just rather large. During a sparring match I had made contact with someone’s head which in turn had caused a fracture across the lateral of my ankle. I figured there was no way that it could be broken based on the amount of weight I was still lifting in addition to the fact I was still able to move on it and not experience any pain. 4 weeks later Mrs. PhD had convinced me that no ones ankle swells that long unless something is wrong. So off for the diagnosis of a broken ankle I went.
So now that the tournament was out of the question, I went back to teaching. I really was not allowed to do any kind of moving around in class – not by my wife nor my Masters. I was finally cleared by my doctor 10 days before testing and was quickly approached by Master Johnson. He asked if I was testing for my belt this time around. I told him probably not since I haven’t moved around for 6 weeks and had zero wind. I was thinking along the lines of a December time frame. Master Johnson leaned over and looked at the file cabinet where the calendar was and popped back up. “That gives you 10 days, plan on testing”. I had no choice but to say “Ok,” but not really convinced that I would be ready.
For the next 10 days I pushed myself to the limit in order to build my wind and mobility back up. Karl and I rolled (Ju Jitsu training) for almost 45 minutes to an hour at a time. Folks, if you have never rolled for wrestling, grappling, Ju Jitsu or other ground sparring, this is extreme training to go nonstop for that length of time. An average match lasts 3 or 5 minutes. On the nights that I was in TKD I was a student, no teaching this time, just sparring. Not just sparring but sparring with Master Johnson. Again, 2 minute rounds turned in to 5, 6, 7 minutes at a time, 4 times a night. We did not stop until both of us were incapable of breathing.
Saturday morning rolled around and I packed my uniform, belt and pads up, rounded up the family and we headed off to testing. Jett our oldest will be testing in December for his Black Belt so he did not test that day. But it was testing day for Quinn who advanced to Brown Belt and Mrs. PhD to middle Brown belt.
As an instructor I am required even if I am testing to help with the testing day. We have 6 schools that funnel in to the main AKTA (Choon Lee’s) academy. As I was holding boards I look out into the crowd to see my dad, Roxanne’s dad, and one of our friend and employees there to watch. No pressure right?….right!!! The day progressed and my testing came and went. It consisted of two forms, Choong Moo and Kwang Gae. One form is 30 movements and the other is 39movements. You are allowed one mistake during your entire testing! Additionally I am also to perform 6 knife defense techniques, 5 attack/defense techniques, board breaking with both feet and one hand technique and of course many rounds of sparring. It takes no less than 5 hours to complete this and makes for a very long day.
At the end of the day I walked away feeling great! 10 days of hell had paid off. Afterwards a select few always make their way with Mr. Lee to the Chinese Buffet where we relax and unwind.
As of last night the results were posted. I am officially now a 2nd Degree Black Belt