Black Belt Test!

Last August Cade started Taekwondo. If you had asked me if he'd be testing for his black belt the following May I would have said you were crazy. After his very first class I really was thinking he'd be one of those kids like in soccer going for the wrong goal, but they're still having fun getting some exercise. But his very next class he had remembered everything and looked like a completely different kid. He has loved it and taken to it very well.

Now for those of you who have kids in Taekwondo in America, don't be wondering why your kid isn't a black belt yet. They just do things a little differently here. Cade meets 3 times a week and I would say they work on the different numbered forms for 80% of the class. They test every month for belt advancement, and if they are doing well on the required forms he ups them. So Cade advanced to blue belt within like 3 months, and then at blue belt there were different levels, so 3 months later he was a red belt. When Master Kim found out we were moving in July, he fast tracked Cade to test for the black belt since they only do the tests in May and October. At first I felt like he was just giving Cade preferential treatment, trying to get the cute 5 year old american kid a black belt. But by the time the test rolled around Cade had really learned on his own all that he needed to for the test. I don't regret it one bit.

So the test itself was quite an experience, and definitely an awesome Korean moment for our time here. All the other belt tests were done in class, but this one had to be done at the Taekwondo Headquarters in front of judges. Korean judges. The entire test would be administered in Korean, but of course Master Kim speaks Korean in class so it was only a little different for the kids. There were easily 1-2,000 kids there testing for their black belt, in varying levels.

Here is Cade's group warming up before the test.

Here is Cade getting his number from Master Kim. Cade was the last of the Americans to go because he was the youngest and the shortest! :)
Before the test started they had a Taekwondo presentation that was pretty awesome.
They were breaking boards, splitting apples, jumping and yelling.

This guy was the craziest and most talented of the group. So cool!
The kids were taken to holding rooms to await their turn to go. Groups of about 25 kids went at a time and tested forms 2, 8, punches, sparring and breaking boards.

Doesn't he look a little nervous? This is right when he came out with his group.
Now he's having fun!

Here he is waiting for his turn to spar. I don't think they needed the head gear for the little guys, lol.

I was too far away to get still pictures of the board breaking, but you can see the whole test in this video, and it's not long, I promise. Cade did make a few mistakes that he never had before (he seemed to be disoriented a bit since he'd only ever done Taekwondo in his classroom), but he still passed! Congratulations Cade!!

About a week later he received his belt. In Korea, kids under 12 who have a black belt receive the red/black belt. In America he can purchase an all black belt.

We will continue Taekwondo in Coloroado Springs, at least for a little bit, but I think this kid has a future in martial arts or wrestling!


Shennie said...

This is a great post! I love his smiles.

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