It is official. I am now outnumbered and quite possibly out powered. My two eldest twerps have officially achieved their yellow stripe belt.
This is their first step in a long journey to take over Dungan household and quite possibly the world. It was a unique experience and a great learning one for the kiddos.
First off, this was a belt test for everyone that received an invitation. That meant that there were many people present of different skill levels. This was the first time that Sydney or Graham had seen this. Sydney was taken by total surprise. In fact, it caught her completely off guard and sent her into a state of complete nervousness. She was frozen with fear that people would laugh at her. That was an unwarranted concern as everyone was just as nervous and concerned about their own belt tests but that was of non consequence to her. It actually took a private conversation with Lynley out in the hallway to convince her to step on to the mat. For me, I liked this kind of challenge. This is exactly what Sydney needs. While I hated to see her struggle through this, I also knew it was the only way she would learn to overcome this type of adversity. It is one of those things you have to experience in order to learn to succeed.
Once on the mat, it was an utterly different story. First, I should probably paint the scene. There were approximately 20 Tae Kwon Do'ers participating in the belt test. Additionally there were probably another 40 to 50 people in the gallery watching the belt test. All of the instructors were in full dress. It was very official and very different from their normal class of 4 or 5 white belts. The pressure was on. If that was not difficult enough, Sydney, Graham, and another little boy were selected first for their belt tests. Their they stood, the 3 of them alone in the middle of the mat facing the 4 black belt instructors as everyone looked on. I would have been nervous. How about you?
Surprisingly, both Graham and Sydney were in the zone. From outward appearances you would have had no idea that they were performing for a room full of 60 people. Both Graham and Sydney did wonderfully. As usual, I could not have been more proud. Their technique was smack on. They were sharp. I was even amazed to see that both did an excellent job on their roundhouse kicks. Sydney's kick was six inches higher than I had seen it before and Graham had done away with the awkwardness that we had seen before and had instead replaced it with a respectable roundhouse kick. There was not a moment in which I thought they could have done better. I was one proud papa. At the culmination of their demonstration they instructors awarded and changed their belts. This was a defining moment for the Tae Kwon Twerps. They have learned that hard work pays and that you must face your fears. This is but two steps in the right direction on a very long road but one in which I am confident that they will be prepared to succeed.
I was not alone in purpose yesterday.