The 4th July weekend always offers its challenges, fireworks create mayhem with our dogs especially as they are now legal again in Huntington Beach. We had started the day with an early rise as both children were representing Victory Martial Arts in the Huntington Beach Parade as part of the Demo Team. The overcast day was a reprieve from the searing heat of most 4th July Parades we have walked, especially as we were in the last quarter of the participants. Marching, co-ordination of moves and balloon breaking entertained the crowd as we worked our way along Pacific Coast Highway and then down Main Street.
The crowd were appreciative of the team as they went about their business with waving flags and shouts of encouragement. Breaking balloons sent baby powder and glitter floating into the air, covering the team members with a fine dusting of powder. Continue reading Victory at 4th July Parade
The Jimmy Kim Invitational Tae Kwon Do Championship at the Walter Pyramid had seen the end of the Poomse part of the program and we were deep into our sons sparring where he had gone two, one minute rounds with the score cards at two points a piece. His opponent was a red belt and Jackson at present was a brown belt, theoretically this should give his opponent the edge with the more experience.
Victory Tae Kwon Do club starts their students sparring at the point when they reach orange belt status so if this is the same for most clubs his opponent would have four to six months additional experience with sparring even though their ages would be very close to each other. For Jackson to gain a win he would have to be quick on his toes and mindful of what his opponent was up to.
With the conclusion of the second round the referee conferred with the judges to decide which course of action would decide the outcome of this bout. From our position in the stands I could only conclude that when the referee brought the two coaches together it had been decided that there would be one more round and the person who scored the first point would win the match. With this information the coaches strategized with their students and for me my nerves were going haywire so I can only guess at the state of mind for the guys on the mat. Continue reading The Sparring Sudden Death Round
With the first part of the JKI tournament under his belt Jackson was now in a waiting game until his group number would once again be displayed. We could tell by his uneasiness that this was the one part of the competition that he was most nervous about. The display board highlighted group numbers 300 through 307 and with his at 346, there would be a while to go before he’ll make his way down to the holding area.
We decided to watch several sessions of the sparring to see how quickly they would call the group numbers, then knowing the time lapse we found it an ideal time to get something to eat and drink and at the same time it would reduce the stress level for both him and us. The usual selection of event food was available so we opted for the pizza with Gatorade which would give him energy when the time comes.
Once he started eating he definitely started to perk up, he needed that energy boost and not a moment too soon as we noticed that the groups were moving a lot faster than before and it was time for him to don the protective pads. The gum shield had been reformed during the past week since his adult teeth were in and all other pads had had their day with the washing machine as they had taken on a distinct gamey smell after all the practice during the previous weeks. A quick trip to the bathroom and fitting of the groin protection cup hid nicely beneath the uniform giving little indication to the spectating public, unlike some of the competitors who opted to display their cup outside their uniform! Continue reading Sparring at the JKI Taekwondo Championship
The last weekend of September was a major event for our son Jackson, it was his first Jimmy Kim Invitational Tae Kwon Do Championship at Long Beach. This annual event takes place at the California State University, Long Beach at the Walter Pyramid, this was its 20th year.
He had gone last year just to see what the expectations would be and it had left a lasting impression on his young mind, for one he had only been at the club for a total of 4 months and he was a yellow belt. He had watched the Poomse part of the competition but once the sparring started that was when the image left a lasting imprint on his mind. The black belt competitors had been super aggressive and it had frightened him to the extent of never wanting to compete in that part of the program.
Now a year later and attaining the level of brown belt he was going to be part of that event but would he enter for both sparring and Poomse. Continue reading Jimmy Kim Invitational Taekwondo Championship
This last Christmas, one of the presents my young children received from their uncle was a starter kit for fishing and being the type of person that he is he let them open it early. Now this wasn’t planned but as they were going fishing to the Irvine lake what better time to christen the gear. Jackson, my son had a “Spiderman rod and reel combo” at four feet six inches long and his sister Madeline had a “Barbie rod and reel combo,” all of two feet six inches!
I had been fishing at the lake maybe once before with not as much as a bite but hey, maybe they will have some fun and it’s out in the open with plenty of fresh air. The children’s lake where they would be fishing had been restocked for a special “tagged Fish” event that would span over the entire Christmas period from December 15th through January 6th with the opportunity to win prizes for each tagged fish that were caught. This would result in each tag being exchanged for a spin of the “prize wheel” and the prize being determined by where the pointer stopped, in addition the child’s name would be placed in the draw for the grand prize which was an Xbox 360. These prizes ranged from a free days fishing to fishing lures and the grand prize draw set for January 6th at 2 p.m.
Continue reading Irvine Lake Grand Prize
Today marked a milestone in the life of our son, Jackson, today was his first day at kindergarten. We had already been to the orientation with him yesterday to meet his teacher Mrs. Chalabian and to see what to expect. To be quite honest I think I was more nervous than him, how would he react, how would he take to the new surroundings and the other boys and girls who he had no association with. I’m sure I was not alone with those feelings as I looked around at the other parents. They all had that proud yet apprehensive look about them as the reality started to sink in, “My child is going to school,” that was yesterday, today is the real day.
I had decided that I would take a couple of days vacation after the long Labor Day weekend as those two days would be the beginning of the school year, with Tuesday marked as an orientation day and today, Wednesday, the first day at school. This morning started off sharp with the alarm set for 6 AM, not that I manage much sleep last night so getting up proved easy enough even though my normal routine requires an early 5 AM rise.
First thing is to get showered then get the pot boiling for a wake me up cup of tea. We’re tea drinkers rather than coffee, my wife cannot stand coffee which is fine with me although I do occasionally need one for my early commute.
With the mornings being that much darker the children are sleeping in longer which allows us to get ready before the mad rush. Children have a whole new speed when it comes to getting ready and that is SLOOOOW and knowing that, we made sure that everything was preset to remove as many obstacles as possible. The backpack already had his scissors, crayons and large glue sticks packed. His name had been inked on the scissors to reduce any melt down at school should there be two of the same, which no doubt will be the case. His small cooler that fits in the backpack has his nutritious mid-morning snack and bottled water so with that all set we can wake him up and let the fun begin. Continue reading First Day at Huntington Seacliff Elementary School
Well what a turn up for the books, my youngest son from my previous marriage e-mailed me to say that he had got married to his long term girlfriend. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her yet but by all accounts she appears to be just what he needs to keep him stable in this uncertain world. Continue reading Pleasant Surprise!