Child Harbat is now officially a Tang Soo Do white belt.  What’s Tang Soo Do?  Click here for a whole lot of information and back story about it but here’s one teaser:  the founder of Tang Soo Do walked from Korea to Manchuria in 1936 and scaled the Great Wall to sneak into China.  So…kind of a badass.  What’s it all about?  Confidence, control, calm, responsibility, respect, readership.  Darn, I was on a roll to have all those words start with C or R.  I meant Leadership.  And there’s also punching and kicking and yelling loudly to scare off attackers.  Last night I sat in on her class and in 1 1/2 hours they did:

  • jumping jacks, push ups, crunches, twisting crunches, tricep pushes
  • forward and backward rolls
  • balance beam work
  • dummy strikes
  • punch blocking
  • sparring with pads including dodging, punching, and kicking
  • a complicated takedown where, in a single fluid movement, you can disable/break someone’s arm and throw them on the ground
  • practice of the forms with students teaching other students
  • speed/agility competition similar to tag or flag football

All this by children under 13, and there was a wide variety of skills and sizes.  You haven’t really been impressed until you see a thin spectacled 11-year old girl throw down a 200-lb teacher.  During one game, the tag chase, CH was caught and cried.  The teacher tried to console her but she cried in the corner for about 3 minutes then wiped her tears and rejoined the group.  This is so good for her and it’s in a safe environment, even with the punches and kicks and hi-YAHs.  As expected, CH is very excited about having a special outfit for class, complete with badges we need to sew on.  By we I mean someone more experienced with a sewing machine, unless CH doesn’t mind going to class with flaps of bloody skin sewn into her jacket.  Actually, that might be kind of cool in a bounty hunter/Mad Max sort of way.

My wife is taking the class too and I’ve been audience to a few demonstrations at home.  So far I haven’t been kicked in the crotch yet or had my glasses broken but stay tuned.  Now stand back, a Tang Soo Do warrior is about to get real up in this piece!

CH kicking

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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