It's finally dawning on me that if I want to get my 2nd dan taekwondo black belt I'll have to do it largely by myself. It is a similar story to when I got my hapkido 2nd dan as the motivation has to come from within to improve but there are some differences
Two weeks ago our class time changed from to 1:40pm. This is good and bad. Good because there is no excuse to not go to class unless I am very sick. In fact my body is fully awake by that time I am ready to go. Bad because we will be training with kids.
Before the time change we had the Winter vacation where we trained at 11am with the kids because school was closed for a month or so and we hardly did any training. We played a lot of fun games but there was no intensity and naturally the kids don't and probably cannot take the classes seriously. I admire my taekwondo Master for his patience! It was cold at the time so I didn't mind too much. Vacation is over but we're still practising with children.
For an hour the kids are running around, playing shouting and being kids. I once had a dog that in the evenings ran around the house tiring itself out. This is exactly what the kids at taekwondo are doing. I half think that their parents send them there so that they can burn off all their energy making them manageable in the evenings.
This is OK, but class is now very difficult. The warm up has changed from fifteen minutes of good stretching to five minutes. My body needs a lot of daily stretching otherwise I will pull a muscle or just not be able to move freely so to counter this I am stretching first at home. The kids also don't respect your space when you are practising.
The intensity has gone. As most of the children don't take the class as seriously as I do so we are not pushing or being pushed hard enough. It's a fine balance that our Master has to find. I need to improve technique now but it's not been happening lately. I am now hearing what I heard a lot in my second year of hapkido, "self training." This is fine but difficult when a bunch of kids are running all over the show and throwing balls and bumping into you. At least I have the motivation to improve and a goal to reach for. If I get the chance to take the test AND pass then I will feel like I've earned it.