Well it’s a few weeks ago now, but I’ve actually made it to red belt … certainly pleasing, but also a bit worrying in that I don’t yet feel like a senior belt in terms of my ability to execute different techniques. Hopefully that will come over the next few months.
Grading Day began with Black Belt gradings for four adults who I’ve been training with since I began taekwondo – I must say it is very rewarding / inspiring to watch how people have grown and improved over the two years I’ve been learning, and it was great to see them grade successfully. I used my new camera (Canon G5) for the first time, and was very pleased with the resultant pictures from the grading.
Having spent the morning focussed on supporting and photographing the Black Belts (and acting as sparring fodder …), it was a bit of a shift in mindset to prepare myself mentally for my own grading. Not only did I need to do a mental shift on the day, I have also been spending less time training recently due to work and family commitments so although I knew what I needed to do, I wasn’t confident in all my techniques and I wasn’t sharply focussed on patterns.
Despite all that, I managed the fundamental movements and patterns without too much problem (although there were a couple of technical concerns in ToiGye with my slow elbow thrusts and my wedging blocks) but I had a bit of trouble with my board breaks. I managed to break first time with 3 of 5 techniques but had trouble with the other two techniques despite doing them successfully on quite a few occasions during training. I was extremely disappointed with that aspect of my grading, but overall I guess I was content so long as my next grading performance is much sharper.