Sunday, March 29, 2009
Michael is consistently working his way closer and closer to a Black belt in Tae Kwon Do. A couple of weeks ago, he earned his Brown Stripe belt. This is the 10th belt that he has earned in 18th months (White, White-stripe, Gold, Gold-stripe, Green, Green-Stripe, Blue, Blue-Stripe, Brown, Brown-Stripe) and he displays them all proudly on a belt rack he got for Christmas last year (which is now too small as his next belt will put him beyond the size of his rack)
There is one major level to earn in his belt progression with new material - Red Belt. At the Red Belt level, he learns a few new techniques, but mostly he goes through the process of relearning everything he learned at all the lower belt levels and must demonstrate all of these skills and techniques in order to earn a Black Belt. His Master Instructor thinks that he'll probably earn his Black Belt around October.
One thing Michael has to his advantage is that he has a great memory. He remembers lots of things so I think it won't be difficult for him to remember all of the forms that he has learned to get to this point. A form is a sequence of moves that are put together in different orders highlighting increased knowledge and skills as they move up belt levels. I think the biggest challenge will be remembering which ones are in which forms, since he's had so many, but I have no doubt that it will all come back to him quickly. I hope he earns his Red Belt before the early summer and then he can have the summer to do the 10-week focused training that they do for Black belt. The summer is a lot less busy for us and he'll be able to focus more on it.