How About Another Belt?

It’s been a while since I posted about the kids, so I figured a lazy Sunday would do the trick. On Friday night, Kevin and Princess P had a belt test for their martial arts program. Both Kevin and Princess P have their junior black belts, so Kevin was earning his black belt with green stripe (above), and Julia earned her black belt with yellow stripe.

The test was very rigorous, took an hour, and they both performed very well. Julia seemed to be kicking much harder than Kevin, but Kevin was punching so hard, I thought he was going to put a hole through the punching bag. They also worked with other students, sparring, and using self-defense tactics.

As you can see above, Julia had a bad hair day after all the fighting, and Kevin was really sweaty. It was all worth it, though, because every belt test is closer to an adult black belt. It’s something both Kevin and Princess P love doing, and it keeps them in shape.

Their sensei – to the right of Kevin – has a video of Kevin working, kicking once in regular time, and jumping in the air before kicking in slow-motion. He looks like Neo from The Matrix.

I’m very proud of them both.

Always Bet On Black Belt

In case you were wondering, I was scarce yesterday because it was a very special afternoon for our family. My youngest son, Kevin, was scheduled for his junior black belt test at his martial arts school.

We were lucky enough to have the school to ourselves thanks to the Wuhan virus, and Sensei Dave said it was the first time he ever had one student for a junior black belt test.

Since the virus had everyone – except Kevin – wearing a mask, the instructors had Julia spar with the boy. She’s only a few belts lower than Kevin, and her size is comparable to Kevin’s. As you can see in the top photo, Kevin didn’t take it easy on her, and vice-versa.

Unfortunately, at about fifteen minutes in of the hour test, Kevin gave a roundhouse kick to the dummy – at right – but missed the dummy and his foot connected with the solid base. He dropped to the ground in pain, and hobbled off the floor. The foot squarely hit the hard plastic, and Sensei Dave had him take a few minutes to recover.

Kevin hopped back onto the floor a la Daniel LaRusso and continued his test. Of course, Kevin being Kevin, he got hurt again after his knee connected with Julia’s nose. The tears started, partly from the pain and partly from the stress of the test.

Sensei Dave told Kevin he didn’t come all this way to turn back, helped Kevin with his composure, and continued the test. The pain stirred up some anger, and Kevin started punching harder, moving faster, and blocking Julia’s blows quicker. Near the end, I was asked on the floor, so Julia and I could attack Kevin one after another. Julia would throw punches, then I would grab him in control holds. Kevin worked his way out of them all, and after finishing with 600 punches – all aimed at me while holding a striking pad – he passed the test.

All the sweat, exhaustion, and pain was swept away the moment he knew he passed.

Kevin started martial arts in 2016, passed his first test with a cast on one arm, and climbed the ranks over three and a half years. When Kevin started training, he was the shy, quiet kid who threw soft punches and average kicks. Now the boy is on the Leadership Team, much more mature, and his punches really, really hurt. (Believe me, I know.)

I have never seen him happier, or smile more, than when he received his junior black belt. His name is embroidered on it in “Burnt Texas Orange,” which is apparently a real color. (You can see it on him in the above photo.)

We have never been more proud of him.

Orange Is The New Black

kevin-receiving-his-orange-belt-and-bo-staff

My youngest son Kevin has taken up Krav Maga – which is apparently different than Karate (the Dane Cook of martial arts) – at Premier Martial Arts Counterstrike Kenpo. The boy has really taken to it, and passed his first belt test – while fighting with a broken arm – in September. Last night Kevin, a yellow belt, took his orange belt test.

He aced it.

His punches were strong, his kicks accurate, and his overall form was very good. Kevin passed the test easily, and was rewarded with his first weapon: the bo staff. God help his brothers and sister.