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A testing time

On Tuesday night I took a pair of scissors to the blisters on my toe. I now have two or three fewer warts, but the large mass of warts on my big toe doesn’t seem to have been affected at all. I also have some big holes in my big toe. A thick layer of skin has been removed and below is almost raw flesh. Fortunately, it’s not especially painful.

The following day I went to taekwondo. And found the class before mine in a little white regiment on the practice mats, and in front of them, behind a desk, the ‘super master’ (I can’t remember the Korean term; my sabeomnims’ superior). They were evidently being tested – displaying their pumsae (and that’s not obscene – ‘pumsae’ (‘kata’ in Japanese martial arts, I think) is a routine demonstrating various moves). At the end of the session they were rewarded with certificates, and a few won medals. I didn’t see any belts being handed out.

While I was watching this a bevy of students turned up for the 9:10 class. To be tested. I’m in the 9:10 class. I was a little concerned. A week or two ago, Lee Sabeomnim had mentioned something about a test, but I was sure she’d said it would be on Friday. Anyway, I didn’t have any additional notice and I didn’t know exactly what was going to be expected of me.

With all the people milling about it was a little tricky to get my master to see to the gaping holes in my foot. As in previous classes she bound it up with some padding and plasters.

My fellow students – the ones I hadn’t seen for a couple of weeks, or ever – went through their forms in various groups. Then it was my turn. My sabeomnim basically told me what to do, translating into English when necessary. I performed a routine called ‘sinche sam deunggeup’ which just demonstrates parts of the body (sinche = body). Then she had me do some kicks, punches and blocks. I screwed up the axe kick somewhat, but not too badly – I just wasn’t sure whether to alternate feet or not.

When I finished everyone applauded, which we didn’t do for eveyone else’s pumsae. A bit later, the two girls who had been the only students attending with me for the past fortnight donned padding and helmets and sparred with each other.

At the end of the session the students received their certificates and medals and whatnot. I didn’t get anything, but on her way out, the ‘super master’ paused by me and talked about me (in Korean) and everyone clapped me again.

And that was that, really. The following lesson was back to normal – me, the two girls, the two masters. We did jumping on Friday and now I have aches in the muscles at the front of my thighs.

Categories: Health & Exercise
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