Sunday, November 3, 2013

A case of the butterflies.

Yesterday was the long-awaited rank test and tournament for Dylan's taekwondo.  He felt ready and excited.  And for the rank test, he did great.  He felt great and did really well, earning his purple belt.  (Next step is purple-belt-with-brown-stripe, then brown belt, then brown belt with black stripe, then first level black belt.  I believe there are 8 levels of black belt.)

May I just say that I missed my sister terribly.  She went to grad school in Pocatello, so she would always come to these with me.  We would always go to The Works to get sandwiches to eat while we watched, and I would always spill my fountain drink.  It was a lovely tradition.  She's in Chicago now, eating exotic pizza and going to world-class theater productions.  So I ate a Philly Cheesesteak and Cottage Fries in your honor, sis.

There are two parts to the rank test, doing your form (there is a form - a kind of a martial arts "dance" - for each belt level), and then sparring.  The sparring in rank tests is supposed to be non-contact.  You save the contact for the tournament. :)

So here is my little man doing his form:
Forms are so beautiful.  And they get more and more beautiful the higher you get in the levels.  I loooove watching the black belts doing their forms.  If I was in taekwondo, I would love the form part and kind of shy away from the sparring part.

 And here he is sparring.  I think this picture is seriously so cool:
 A lot of people in Dyl's class have told me that he's really good at jump-kicks.

 Here he is getting his new belt from his teacher:

 He was thrilled.

And then he realized that the tournament was next.  And he fa-reaked OUT.  I don't know why.  He's been to two tournaments before - one of them a huuuuuge one in Boise - and it was never a problem.  This was a small little tournament - just for people in our region.  It's called a Friendship Tournament. 

And at first, I didn't realize what was going on.  He got really nauseated and white as a sheet.  I thought maybe it was because he was hungry, so we got him a nice bland sandwich and some coke to settle his stomach.  He still felt nauseated.  I went and bought some Pepto and had him take it.  We had about an hour and a half between the rank test and the tournament.  I had him lie down in the car and try to take a little nap. 

The thing is, I would have bagged the tournament and gone straight home, but he was able to play on his iPad while in the throes of his nausea.  I thought to myself, "If he really felt that nauseated, he wouldn't want to play computer games.  He would just want to lie down."  I told him that he obviously was too sick to play computer games, so if we were skipping the tournament because he was sick, we were going to go home and he was going to have to lie down in his bed the rest of the day - no video games.  Because he was obviously too sick to play video games.

He agreed to go in to the tournament.  Nothing is worth the inability to play video games for him.

Dyl sat down on the floor and pouted while we waited for the tournament to begin.  His teacher came over to see what was going on.  After talking with him, he really felt like Dylan was sick because he was nervous.  I gave Dylan a little pep talk about how Michael Jordan was really really sick during the 1997 NBA finals against the Utah Jazz, but he still played like a three-hour game and managed to make a zillion points.  My pep talk didn't seem to be doing much for him.

Then the time arrived for everyone to do warm-ups in preparation for the tournament.  And Dylan would not get off the floor.  I was whispering, begging, threatening...and he just sat there, frowning, staring at the ground.  Only when an older black belt instructor spotted him and said, "Come on up with us!" did he reluctantly get up and join everyone.

And then he was fine.  No more nerves.  Chatting with his friends during waiting times.  Joking around.  I took a video of his form, but it won't load onto here, and I didn't do a very good job filming him, so I won't worry about putting it on.

And then I was asked to keep score at one of the sparring stations and only got to see part of Dylan's sparring across the room.  It was a bummer, but they needed the help, and it was fascinating to learn the scoring technique.

Dylan got third place in both of his sparring thingeys, which is an accomplishment.  There weren't any other people of his rank at the tournament, so he was assigned to spar against kids two levels above him, so the fact that he even placed was a miracle.

Here he is with his classmates.  I forgot to bring his ADHD pills, and you can tell from these pictures.  What a spaz.

I'm really glad we were able to talk him into staying for the tournament, because really, taekwondo isn't just about getting your next belt.  I think it's also a good experience for him to compete and to feel that nervousness and not to always win first place.  He'll have to face scary things a lot in his life, and I think he needs to experience these small things in order to practice for the bigger things he'll encounter later on.   


Unknown said...

I miss watching him compete! And I salivated at the words 'cottage fries.' I miss you guys so much!
- Lex

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that he's so good at this!! I kind of wish my boys would be into karate or something cool like that, but I don't want to pay the money for it so I guess it's my fault. LOL

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