Saturday, March 28, 2009

Black Belt in the House!

Black Belt in the House
At the karate studio, everyone has to bow when a black belt walks in the door. We bowed for Mathboy we he came in tonight after his test, but we warned him not to get used to it at home.

Do I feel safer now that I know that there is a Black Belt in the house? Maybe not. But I am impressed. He really worked hard today.

The test started today at 1 pm. Perhaps foolishly, we had made dinner reservations at the restaurant of Mathboy's choice for 6:30 pm. There wer 8 kids testing, and there was no way, I thought, the test could go past 4 pm--or 4:30 at the latest. I mean, what can they have to do for more than 3 and a half hours?

Well... let me tell you what they did. This was like the Final Exam for karate. The Bar Exam. The Medical Boards. These kids had to show everything they learned in karate class over the past 4+ years of classes. And, as you may expect by now, it went past 4:30. Way past. These kids were finally presented with their new belts and sparkly new uniforms at 6:30 pm. Then there were pictures, and a lecture about how with great power comes great responsibility. So ...we are going to the fancy Japanese restaurant tomorrow night. It gives Catgirl one more day to get ready (when she first saw the menu for Fuji, I think she cried. She gets pickier everyday.)

These kids did 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 jumping jacks, then they did technique drills for about an hour and a half, then they did laps of kick drills, then forms, then sparring. Then they did the breaking drills.
Breaking concrete

Mathboy broke this slab of concrete with the heel of his hand. And it is real concrete--I had suspected the karate school of using some kind of soft quasi-concrete, but thi is real. Then Mathboy elbowed and kicked his way through a slew of boards. At one point, Catgirl turned to me and whispered, "We should have brought a bag for all the boards, Mom." She was right. Mathboy had quite a pile to carry to the car at the end of the day.

Breaking a lot of Lumber

The final task of the day was that they had to do push up position, on their knuckles, on the concrete pieces that they had previously broken, for FIVE minutes. There were some tears by the end, but they all made it. During the last minute, the teacher walked around and put each candidate's specially embroidered black belt in front of them so that they could focus on what they were working for.

Black Belt in the House 2
This is Mathboy's name and the karate school name in Korean. The other side is embroidered in English: Mr. MathBoy, if you please. All the lower belts at karate will have to refer to him by Mr. from now on.

In other news, I finished the vest for Mathboy. I don't have a shot of him modeling it, but here it is in repose:
This turned out great. I used the Dr. G's Memory Vest from Through the Loops,and Cascade 220 Heather yarn. I did go down to size 6 needles to get gauge, and I liked the way the knitted fabric looked on 6s anyway. It fits him very well, but there is sufficient length and stretchiness from the dense spingy fabric that it should fit him next year as well.

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