mlah The “culture” that has evolved here isn’t conducive to sissies

February 29, 2004


Filed under: Martial Arts — mlah @ 12:29 am

Dot winds up to break a brick

ever wonder what it takes to get a black belt? if you haven’t ever taken martial arts, you probably don’t have a real clear idea. lots of work? of course, but how much do you think is a lot?

2+ years for me so far. i’m a blue belt. i work out for an hour 4 days a week, and have a 2 hour extra workout on saturday morning. yesterday morning we did 20 windsprints. then we ran a hill for 10 minutes. i’m 38. that was just a quarter of our workout.

there’s a red belt at my school who recently tested for her blcak belt. i’m not going to identify her, but her initials are dot a.. she completed all of her requirements except for three.

she broke her boards. multiple boards at a time. different kicks. punching, palm strikes. she did speed kicks, meant to test her endurance. she demonstrated all of the required kicks and blocks. she performed all of her forms (kata). but three things eluded her.


fortuneately, our school’s master instructer knows how grueling his tests are. so for black belt, the culmination of many years of work, he’ll cut you a little slack and let you complete a few tasks after the fact.

dot’s three personal nemisis’ where doping 50 pushups, and 8 minute mile, and breaking a brick. the second pic is just one more handburger attempt at breaking a brick.

she did the pushups shortly after her test, she was just exhausted during the test, and needed a rest.

that leaves 2.

now, y’all don’t know dot. at least most of you. she’s all of 5 feet nothing and around 105-110 pounds. she claims never to have been a good runner. and she just doesn’t have the body mass to throw at the brick.

Success and she doesn't even know it.

she’s been working on her run, and getting slightly closer, but the brick was just beating her badly. as in, she has made 40+ attempts and accomplished nothing more than learning that it hurts to fail. in more ways than one. well, friday night, after our 8-9 pm practice ( yes you have to give up some time to get your black belt too) dot finally found the right point of attack, and hit the thing hard enough.

she broke the brick; and funny enough, she has failed sooo many times that she immediately assumed she had failed again. she clutched her severly hurt (yet again) hand and turned away, only to have to look back to see why everyone was cheering.

this is why.

over at the right –>

you can even see a little bit of discoloration on her right hand.
Dot winds up to break a brick

a nice clean break.

one of her own persoanl demons has been exorcised.

now she just has a mile to run. one mile of hell before she gets to put her own black belt on.

yeah, it’s a tight knit bunch. we went out to eat on friday, like we do on most fridays, but mainly on this night, it was for dot.

she had chocolate cake. didn’t even pretend to look at the menu before she ordered it.

makes me wonder what i’m going to have to do. what task i’ll have trouble completing. chien (our instructor) likes to push us at test time. hard. to see if we’ll quit.

some schools; at least i’ve heard about schools like this, will pretty much advance you if you are willing to pay the fees. you can, in effect, ‘buy’ your black belt. so long as you have the cash.

we have a bit of a tradition at our school. you NEVER wash your belt. doesn’t matter how funk nasty it gets. that funk is all of your hard work. and you don’t just wash that away with the regular laundry.

this is kg, one of my own personal demons. she started after i did. and she’s a blue belt now. ahead of me. trying to keep up with the jones’ is killing me. she happens to have the same birthday as chien, so he taught her the ‘secret’ jido kwan taekwondo hand signals ahead of schedule. i don’t know them yet.

Our own gang signals

js is sitting in the back. he’s a blue belt too, right behind me, and no doubt trying to catch me. oh, and he used to be a triathelete. there is no rest for the weary.

i guess on the plus side, my doctor tells me that i’m as healthy as a horse now. i wasn’t when i started.

guess i’ll just have to keep running windsprints.


  1. Yeah… sorry about those windsprints. That was kinda my fault. I told Mr. Chien that I didn’t like the mile run, so he obliged and allowed us to get our cardio through windsprints and hills. But I had fun.

    Comment by John — February 29, 2004 @ 5:32 pm

  2. yeah… bricks suck. It took me forever to do mine. Surprisingly, cinder blocks are easier. I’d much rather do two of those than a brick.

    Comment by John — February 29, 2004 @ 10:00 pm

  3. Congratulations Dot! Just one more to go – 8 minutes!!!

    Comment by bj — March 3, 2004 @ 11:47 am

  4. One of the best parts of watching a belt test is to see my fellow classmates (and of course, the kids) perform all the different techniques required for them to reach the next level they have so hard worked for. It also gives me the opportunity to see what’s next and/or what difficulties lie ahead that I will have to negotiate successfully myself in order to avdance. One has to wonder how difficult it’s going to get or will the requirements change in for one to be pushed further than before? MLAH, heard a rumor that 100 push-ups may be the requirement when it’s black belt test time for us. I guess if it was easy, everyone would have a black belt. I guess that’s what makes it so special when you finally do reach your goal. Come on Dot, just one more nemisis to go!

    Comment by bj — March 3, 2004 @ 12:21 pm

  5. Is it true Dot is looking to get pregnant?

    Comment by Wild Thang — March 3, 2004 @ 3:56 pm

  6. yes thang. wanna help her out?

    Comment by john — March 3, 2004 @ 6:13 pm

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