Home > Employment, Health & Exercise > Last night at the dojang

Last night at the dojang

Last night at taekwondo there were two brand new students in the class along with me and the two master. The new students were young women – in their early twenties – wearing straight-out-of-the-bag dobok (uniforms), complete with creases, and white belts. It was a little strange to be the senior student, not just in terms of age but in experience too.

I arrived late because of work, did a few warm up exercises by myself, then joined in with a bit of punching practice. Then we did some simple kicking exercises. The new girls, having started the class earlier, finished earlier than me and went home. I carried on with some further kicking exercises – like a front-roundhouse-side kick combination that I’d done once before. I also practised taegeuk 1-jang and 2-jang – apparently, I will be tested for blue belt at the end of the month.

At the end of my training, I spent a few minutes talking to I Sabeomnim. She told me the new students had told her on a snowboarding trip together that they thought taekwondo was easy. I suggested we do sparring next lesson. I also asked whether she thought the new girls would be interested in English lessons. She said one of them was studying English at university, and she would ask her.

The new schedule at work is basically the same as the morning schedule we were doing in January, but starting at 4pm instead of 9am. Except that there is one class of kindergarteners (I think – they’re very young, anyway) that starts at 2:30 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – and I have to teach them. Yesterday, I arrived at work at two o’clock and the fifth floor where the staff room is was closed, so I had to get a key from the admin staff on the fourth floor.

I’m starting what will hopefully be a habit of giving students detention for being noisy in class. This will take the form of lines: ‘I will be quiet in class’ x 50 or 100 or whatever I deem appropriate. I gave a few such detentions yesterday and, unfortunately, the students in question were fairly blasé about it. Little bastards.

On a positive note, I have a few more of the older classes now – consisting of older middle school students. These classes can be pretty painful because the students are very quiet – but they can also be quite relaxing compared to a class full of rowdy elementary school students. And – a lot of these older students are girls – which is nice; they seem to respond well to me – even if that just means giggling.

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