Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Purple Belt

Tonight I received my "purple belt" in kickboxing. New belts at my current martial arts gym are never very exciting. My old gym in Hartford really made you earn a belt. When I talk about Plus One, I feel like an old woman talking about the days when I'd walk to school uphill both ways in a snowstorm. Testing was usually done in a group setting, but the trainers sat down and watched each student and took notes. They made sure you could complete the guidelines. There was also a certain amount of Thai you had to be able to speak.

Testing at Aiki, for kickboxing at least, is a breeze. The worst part is a minute of push-ups. At Plus One we had to hold the plank position for at least a minute, and they would put medicine balls or kettlebells on your back, and kick your stomach. I vividly remember grimacing and shaking and thinking how awesome it was to be pushed, and the pride I felt when I was moved up to Advanced Muay Thai, or when I received my white sash.
When you received your sash, or were moved up, you were brought to the front of the class, presented with your sash and certificate, and then ceremoniously punched in the stomach.

Now, all I get is a piece of paper, not even a belt. As much as I like Aiki for its kettlebell classes, and just a nice place to practice kickboxing, I really miss learning new techniques, sparring, and being pushed by my trainers.

Sawatdee kaa.