Look closely at Braxton’s shirt. It is a Northwest Martial Arts t-shirt. It can be earned, not bought. In order to get one you must do the splits during class warm ups and be completely touching the ground. (I know Braxton isn’t completely touching in this photo but he was able to do this quickly for me with no stretching beforehand. ) So far, Brax is the only person in his class to do this…in fact, no one else comes close. The idea behind being this flexible is that your kicks will be much higher.
Last week Braxton tested for his orange belt. He has been working hard during class. He also had to memorize Korean terminology for the test. He tested with his friend Jordan. They both started Taekwondo the same night and have progressed really quickly. Their instructor told me they were about 3 weeks ahead of schedule for testing but he felt they were ready.
Here is Braxton standing in the “ready stance” or “junebee” waiting for instructions.
I wasn’t able to get any pictures during the test but I was able to get a few during the board breaking. That’s really the best part anyway! Once they pass the first 3 sections of the test they have to break the board in order to earn the belt. Braxton was really nervous about this part because they don’t actually get to practice the board breaking. They are supposed to use the techniques they have learned so far to break the board using the kick the instructor directs them to use. It took 3 attempts (and me holding my breath for good measure) before he heard the snap of the wood but he was so relieved and so proud (and I was too!).
Here is Braxton receiving his orange belt from his instructors.
And here is the newly adorned orange belt. Next stop, yellow!…at least that is what Brax told me. I told him to slow down and enjoy learning. He is very good at it though and it is teaching him a lot about focus and respect so we are definitely encouraging him.