The past couple weeks have been interesting. Three family members have been injured in Tae Kwon Do.
My brother tripped over a fellow student during a kicking drill and broke a toe two weeks ago. I am pretty sure he has broken that toe before. Think it stopped him from sparring at the black belt testing last weekend? Nope. One of the black belt instructors was testing and asked my brother if he would be one of the sparring opponents. My brother agreed.
I rolled my ankle just after warm-ups last Wednesday night. I managed to finish the class, but the next couple days after that were fun. Fortunately, the black belt testing is a two-day event, which meant there were no sparring classes. This means I did not have to convince myself that aggravating my ankle further was worth the stress relief I get from that class.
My ankle injury was not the worst injury of the evening, unfortunately. Just before the end of class, Mom’s knee gave out and she went down in a heap. She had to be helped out of class. She managed to drive home, with me not far behind, but a doctor’s appointment the next evening revealed the injury to be serious. She has learned via a MRI that she tore both her ACL and Meniscus, and likely faces surgery down the road. We are still waiting to discuss that option. My mother was close to tears when she heard that she would be out of Tae Kwon Do for some time. To complicate things, this injury occurred just days before she was to fly to Chicago for a seminar. She still went, but it is hard to get bad news when one is far away from their support network. She returns tomorrow night.
The black belt testing was held on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Friday night went better than I expected. Most candidates passed. All passed the written test(s) the first time around, which is not something I have seen in some time. I saw some interesting spelling from the younger students. My favorite was when “achieve your goals” became “archer your ghouls” (actually spelled “acher” or “achev your gouls”).
Saturday went smoothly. I saw no major mistakes during the forms. We had a couple demonstrations. One of the demo teams came from Korea to perform. Like our own demo team, one could tell which kids put more effort behind their moves. I still enjoyed the demos, though. We had two injuries during the sparring portion. One guy (the one who requested my brother’s attendance) took a hit to the face. Another of those who were asked to spar for the older candidates took a bad hit to the head a couple rounds later. He has since been told by his doctor that he cannot attend Tae Kwon Do classes for at least two weeks. I was a bit worried about him over the weekend, but it sounds like he will be okay, so long as he follows the doctor’s recommendations.
We were supposed to have two board breaking portions. The first is referred to as the mystery break. A group of black belts circle the candidates and holds boards in random positions while they have their eyes closed. Then they are instructed to open their eyes and break all the boards. This is the portion I have most issues with. Time was running short, though, so it was decided they would only do the power break. Those are always interesting, because the students choose how many boards (or, in the case of the highest rank testing, bricks) they will break. Some might have overestimated their abilities. At least one student was not interested in challenging themselves, which was a disappointment. But, I enjoyed observing and assisting with the testing.
Also on Saturday, some idiot who was under the influence of whatever hit Dad’s truck as it was parked outside the house. Fortunately, no one was inside the truck. We were not home when it happened. I was at the testing and Dad was taking Mom to the airport in her car. Our neighbor heard the crash and went to investigate. She found the guy in front of her house, realized he was under the influence, and called the police. Dad came home as they were impounding the knucklehead’s vehicle. His truck is not currently drivable. We are hoping it can be fixed, but we will see.
Work continues to be interesting. Most of my co-workers are taking time off at some point this month. The reasons vary, but it makes things really interesting when it comes to who I might be working with on a given day. I also have swapped a couple shifts to allow two of my co-workers to attend functions they would not have been able to otherwise. One of those days will allow me to spend time with my brother without us having to worry about one of us having to go to work that night. I am looking forward to it.