Bean's first belt test for Tae Kwon Do was today. He's been looking forward to testing for a couple weeks now and has been really practicing his form. It paid off because he earned a yellow belt and I felt confident that he really earned it and it wasn't a formality.
At the last test date when he knew his friends were testing he said, "I hope everyone moves up a belt." I responded that I hope everyone tries their best and if that deserves a belt, then I hope they get it, but if not, then I hope they don't give up, but try again next time. This seemed like a perfect time to remind him of the importance of trying your best, but that you don't always get credit for effort but sometimes you have to earn it by showing mastery or at least improvement. I also wanted to re-emphasize the value of perseverance, which we do a lot anyway in our house.
Here he is sparring.
I wish I recorded what his sparring used to look like. He would hop all over the place, run away from his opponent or turn his back on him or her. He was also slower and less agile. Today he was fully engaged and diversified his kicks. He did all four that he knew, but I started recording after he had already done some others. I'm surprised they didn't have him do his poomsei, because Bo and I have really seen some improvement there. I might need to have him do it and I'll just record it.
In the meantime, look at this proud little man in his yellow belt :)
|Lemon frozen custard to celebrate...cuz it's yellow|
Today was his first day of class as a yellow belt. He got to state his name in front of the class and give everyone a high-five.
Today also goes down in history as the first time that when I asked the question, "How was Tae Kwon Do class today?" he said "Great!" In general, his response to most questions like that is "good" despite the fact that Bo and I discourage the use of that vague word. It's it's like pulling teeth to get any clarification or descriptions about it too. He said today's class was great because he got to learn new things and he specifically mentioned a new yellow belt kick. Eureka! Has he realized that if you pay attention and focus you can actually have fun learning something new from someone else? Time will tell.