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

January 16, 2007


Filed under: Martial Arts — mlah @ 2:44 pm

so i’ve been a little under the weather lately. it has been cold, and heat has been hit and miss.

i’m feeling tons better, but still have that nagging cough i just can’t shake. it’s been a week since i went to tkd, so today i went. figured i’m feeling well enough, and i might get lucky and run this crap out of my lungs.

so i bundled up and rolled down to class.

boy did i get a surprise. there had been a test over the last week, and 7 people had been awarded their black belts. today was the presentation.

now in my first school. your belt just didn’t count if the master didn’t tie it on you the first time. you worked soooooo hard for the thing. when i moved and got my black belt in texas, it just didn’t feel the same. and when i got my second dan, i kind of felt like i cheated.

but let me tell you. if someone else was going to present me my black belt other than my master instructor, this is how i’d like to have it done.

i showed up to class today, and it was packed. everyone but me knew there was a ceremony. so the koreans, who only show up for class intermittantly, were in force. i walked into the dojang today and had to stand in the back of the room. there were 7 people across, and 9 or 10 ranks deep. nearly EVERYONE was a black belt.

yessir. i stood in a room tonight wioth an easy 40, probably closer to 50 black belts as the korean military CO came in and presented belts. the master instructor is i believe, the equivalent of a major, but a colonel handed the belts, and kukkiwon certificates out.

what appeared to me to be the entire korean senior staff were present and in uniform. the koreans moved to attention and ready stances with military precision. it was impressive. they had interpreters, official photographers for their newsletter. the whole shibang. after the ceremony, the colonel had everyone up for group pictures, which i will try to get a copy of. he then walked around and greeted all of the westerners. the 3 or so poles, couple of romanians, 10 or so americans. he had his translator with him and thanked us for taking tkd. he emphasized how it provided unity to his country.

i didn’t ask that nagging question as it was inappropriate. and i just didn’t want to.

then the staff left. most of the koreans filed out and we got down to business.

i’m feeling much better. some of my flexibility is coming back. and i felt strong today. i took some tylenol before class to try and alleviate coughing as much as possible, and it worked.

i got my lungs full of air tonight. and it felt good.

right now i feel soooo much better y’all just can’t imagine.

it was cool though. i actually got to take part in a real ROK military awards ceremony.


  1. Dude… that’s crap. They tested last week and the Kukkiwon got their certificates out there ALREADY??? I call bullshit! I have to wait like 5 months for mine! And I’m still jealous you get to train with the Korean army. That’s so friggin cool. I hear you can major in taekwondo in college over there. I would totally do that. If i knew Korean.

    Comment by medium john — January 16, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

  2. Wait…we have to wait 5 months?!?!?! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU….dge.

    Comment by Jeanna — January 16, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

  3. Yeah, don’t you remember first and second degrees? We always have to wait an inordinate amount of time.

    Comment by medium john — January 16, 2007 @ 7:29 pm

  4. Dad did a tour in korea and being married, wasnt much to do so he spent most of his time doing taekwondo. Came back with huge knuckles my mom said…i guess he trained with a master…i just know it sounded cool as hell

    Comment by Karamia — January 17, 2007 @ 2:07 am

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