Hello! Other than Disney and book posts, I’ve SUCKED at blogging! Mostly because I’m boring and don’t have a lot to say. But let me update you. Our life is mostly all about Taekwondo, so that’s going to be a majority of what I’m saying here.
Last time I did a regular entry, Em was preparing for her test for Black Belt. We went to Disney right before and she even practiced most every day while we were down there. She tested with 5 or 6 of her classmates in October of 2015 and passed. She was SO proud. She rocked both her regular form and her Ssahng Jeol Bahng (Nun Chucks) form. We had the belt ceremony in the evening at her school with a few students from another school owned by the same person.
Only a week or two after the belt ceremony, we get bad news. The owner of the school is closing it down. Suddenly. Like in less than a week. Let me give you some background. When Em started there, the main instructor was the owner (3rd degree black belt). His wife did all the front desk stuff. A few weeks after Em started, her current instructor (6th degree black belt at the time, now 7th), came and became the main teacher. The owner still did some classes or they did the bigger classes together. It was great. A few months later, the main instructor had a heart attack. It was weird and sudden because he’s a fairly young guy and at least looks to be in great shape. His wife was pregnant at the time and somewhere around the same time got in a car accident. She had to be on bedrest the rest of her pregnancy. While her hubs was recovering. So Em’s main instructor became her only instructor. Not too long after the owner recovered and his wife had the baby, they bought another school, about 20 minutes north of us. Suddenly, they checked out of our school. Our main instructor still did all the classes, while the owner did all the classes at the other school. For a while, the owner would come a day or two a week to teach, but that didn’t last long. Eventually, we NEVER saw the owner or his wife. They totally checked out of our school a long time ago. In fact, I joked that I literally saw them at Disney World more times than I saw them actually in our school. Seriously. So, evidently the school was losing money big time and they needed to reduce stress. I TOTALLY get that and understand. But did you really have to only give us a week’s notice? Not only that, but it was RIGHT before Fall Nationals, so any school that we went to would only be open a few days before being closed again because everyone was in Orlando! So, our main instructor, who we LOVE, went to another school not too far away. Most people joined him.
So, now we’re at this other school. We don’t love it. Our old school was a 5 minute drive away. The new one is about 20 minutes away and it’s in a lot of traffic. There’s no traffic light at the entrance and we have to do a U-turn into heavy traffic just to get to it. The location isn’t good at all and it’s up on a hill and no one really notices it. The mats and such are super worn out and not nearly as nice as what we had. The owner there is a 6th degree black belt (so a Master), but he’s had some health issues and isn’t particularly in “fighting form.” He’s also a rambler. He tells lots of stories that don’t have anything to do with anything and a lot of class is wasted. Luckily, Em’s old instructor is the main teacher and does most of the classes. We know when he’s usually there and just avoid the other guy. The owner is a nice guy and we do like him. He just gets off track REALLY easily and his classes are mostly a waste of time. So, it’s not ideal.
We’ve been at this new place for about a year. Em’s done 5 mid-terms on her way to 2nd degree black belt. She made the decision to put her journey to 2nd on hold to see how she could do in tournaments and potentially get a State, District, or even World title. Because of how the tournament system works, you have to either stop before you take your 6th midterm (once you do, you’re considered 2nd Degree Recommended and have to compete in a 2nd degree ring), or not compete until new season starts (June or July). So, Em has stopped taking mid terms. She’s working on making herself better and is still in class all the time, but she’s focused on improving what she already knows rather than advancing right now.
She’s doing well so far. We went to a tournament in Pigeon Forge at the end of the summer where she placed 1st in Weapons, 2nd in Forms, 2nd in Sparring, and 2nd in Combat Sparring. She went to a bigger one in Atlanta and got 1st in Forms and 1st in Weapons. Then she just did a smaller one in Atlanta this past weekend and got 1st in Forms and 2nd in Weapons. She’s currently ranked #1 in the State in Forms and #2 in the District. For Weapons, she’s currently #2 in the State and District. She’s on the board for Sparring and Combat Sparring and will probably get to compete at Districts. Sparring isn’t her strong suit. She doesn’t particularly like it, but she does try to better herself in it and always competes. Coming up, she’s got a tournament in Charleston in February, Sugar Hill in March, and Atlanta in April. Those are probably the only ones she’s doing this year unless something else pops up.
In other Em news, she’s in 7th grade this year. She hates it. All her friends are on a different team than she is, so no classes with anyone. She actively dislikes 90% of the kids in her classes and isn’t interested in being friends with them, even if they were interested in being friends with her. It’s gotten better since those first few weeks, where there were lots of tears, but she still hates school. She’s doing well though. She still has all As and is enjoying doing Beta Club, though I think just because of the status of it and not because they actually do anything interesting. She still pretty much has the same friends. One of her best friends that she made last year moved away and she was super sad about it. Her BEST friend (since 1st grade) is still her best friend and their great. Her other best friend of a few years is still the same. She has another friend that she considers a best friend. Em’s middle school is the joining of two elementary schools that will then split when they go to different high schools. This girl is from the other elementary school. Em knew her before then, though, because she used to go to the same TKD studio. But this girl quit once she got to black.
That’s about all I’ve got to say. *I* am super boring. Chris isn’t too much better. He’s still doing TKD and is up to Brown Belt Recommended. But he may have to put that on hold for a bit, but that’s a story for another day and not one I’m ready to talk about yet since we don’t know for sure what’s going to happen. Sound mysterious? ;-P