Monday, May 3, 2010

Salt mines

Good morning! This weekend was a busy one. Would anything less surprise you about the Dungans? No, probably not. The weekend was jam packed as usual though. When we weren't off having fun, Lynley had us buried in the salt mines. It started Saturday morning, I was relegated to digging up and fixing some broken sprinkler lines. Yes, it would have been nice if the sprinkler head had been the culprit or the little pipe that screws into the main line but no, I had two separate pipes actually break. Ironically these are the same pipes replaced by the city when they dug up our yard to fix a main break. Regardless, I got to grunt a little and was even rewarded with a trip to Lowe's. Of course, Lynley also made me go to the flower section but that is not really the point. I didn't pay much attention to them anyway.

These little chores were followed by a quick lunch and a trip to watch the GSX black belt testing. Having never been to one we really did not know what to expect. I mean, we have been to color belt testing before but this was something truly unique. Sure the forms presentations were interesting and all but I think we were all blown away by the one step defenses, the sparring, and the board breaking.

The one-step defenses were cool in that, at this level, the black belts are taught how to disarm attackers with weapons. It was amazing to see their speed and effectiveness at disarming someone with a knife or a gun. Yes, a gun. It was really something to behold. At that level they definitely have the skills to do it. I just wonder if confronted by that situation if that is what they would truly do?

As you know, we see sparring all of the time. In fact, Sydney and Graham are participants 4 times a week. We know the veracity of the black belts. We see them in practice and in competition. Our eyes have been trained and at this point it takes a lot to impress. However, their were many newer faces watching the belt tests that had not seen it before. They were blown away. You could see it in their expressions and by the flinching that was going on in their seats. What impressed us was something that we had never seen before - 2 on 1 and 3 on 1 matches. It was amazing to watch those trying out for 2nd and 3rd Dan fend off groups of black belts. This is the type of stuff that you see in the movies all of the time but this was real life. I don't know how else to say it. It was really cool.

The board breaking was exceptionally "cool" as well. We witnessed most of them perform 5 different breaks back to back. This included breaking up to 5 boards with a single punch, flying side kicks which included a leap over two people, a blind folded break on a target that was above head hieght, and a leap off of a stack of mats, then off of another person, to break a board that was some 9 foot in the air.


This was not just belt testing. This was entertainment and frankly some better performances than I have seen of television.

That was definitely the highlight of the weekend. The remainder of the time was all buried in chores. On Sunday we were back at work. Lynley dragged us to no less than two nurseries and Garden Ridge. The kiddos had me hanging a new swing from the tree and Lynley had me delivering truckloads of donated goods to the Team GSX garage sale. We are in the process of raising $6000 for the team to go to the US Junior Olympics. We have to cover fees for our coaches, new uniforms, and new electronic chest gear that are required this year (they are $500 a piece). Finally, at about 7:20PM Lynley allowed us a break for dinner and bed.

It was a busy, busy weekend. But, in true Dungan fashion, it was also a lot of fun.

It felt purposeful.

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