If all goes well, I’m hoping to test for my 4th degree black belt in ITF Taekwon-Do sometime later this year but I have a lot of work to do in order to be fully prepared.
All through the fall, my practice was restricted because I was having trouble with my leg and my foot but things are improving and I have been able to resume my regular home practice.
I’m fairly confident about the patterns I have learned for previous black belt tests.* And I feel good about one of the three I need to learn for this test but I haven’t yet fully grasped the second pattern that I need to learn.
So, I am taking my own advice from my Go Team! posts and creating a plan for a small, specific practice to really get this pattern, Yoo Sin, into my brain and into my muscle memory:
I’m going to practice Yoo Sin for at least 5 minutes a day, every day, from now until the end of February, or until I can perform it without hesitation, whichever comes first.
This is what Yoo Sin looks like:
I have been through the whole pattern step-by-step a couple of times with guided instruction but at this point I can only get about 1/3 of the way through the pattern without stopping to check the next move.
I’m not sure if 5 minutes of daily practice will get me where I want to go with the pattern in a month but it will definitely move me in the right direction.
And, as I know from my own Go Team! pep talks, I can reassess and do some course correction at any point in the process.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
For the record, this isn’t the only TKD practice I will do in February, it’s just how I plan to add this pattern to my repertoire.
*If you aren’t familiar with how things work in the martial arts, getting your black belt is not your end point, it’s the point at which you know enough of the basics to start deepening and strengthening your practice. I earned my first degree black belt in 2014. I learned 3 new patterns for my second degree belt in 2016, another 3 new patterns for my third degree belt in 2019, and I have to learn 3 new patterns for my 4th degree test. This is on top of the 9 patterns that I learned for the various belts leading to my first degree black belt.