1. #1

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    'Father, son get a kick in learning martial arts' (pic)

    I don't know what to put this as, karate?!??


    T.J. Smith, front, and his father, Patrick, middle, take the Tang Soo Do Black Belt test March 19 at D&S Karate.

    I like how they already have their damned black belt already when taking the test. They must have paid their tuition on time.


    Father, son get a kick in learning martial arts


    04/07/05
    By Ron Cassie

    Five years ago, Patrick Smith was gently discussing the idea with his wife Kim, of enrolling their son, Tommy, only 4 1/2 years old at the time, in a martial arts program.

    At the time, Tommy, who also goes by T.J., was having some small difficulty with his speech and both parents were looking for a sport or activity that would help build the little guy's confidence. Dad also thought that martial arts training could potentially help their son deal with any teasing that might come down the road at school. Edit: Through violence?

    Kim Smith, however, did not want any part of the idea.

    "My initial reaction was, 'Great, he's got two younger sisters and now we're going to give him the skills to beat them up,' " she joked.

    A few weeks go by and the idea is on the table again for the North Laurel couple over an early dinner at Hunan House in the Cherry Lane Shopping Center at Routes 29 and 216. Afterward, they decide to walk over to the D&S Karate Studio just to peek their heads in.

    Once inside, Kim realizes she knows the owner of the school, Seth Ismart, from high school. Ismart graduated from Hammond High in 1992, two years after she did, in the same class as her younger brother. Call it a coincidence. Edit: Yeah I'm sure her husband believed that as well.

    Now, flashing forward quickly through years of classes and tests and orange, yellow, green, blue, red and brown belts, not only Tommy, who is now close to 10, but dad, too, is taking the three-hour exam to become a black belt in the Korean form of karate known as Tang Soo Do. Edit: Alright, TSD at a krotty school.

    In front of a big group of friends and family and with three other students March 19, K.C. Hersey, 10, Philip Garrison, 11, and John Maslow, 15, all from the Howard County area, Tommy and his 39-year old father, who is the building engineer at a Franciscan monastery in Washington, face six separate examinations of their skills.

    First, they go through the basic motions and different punches and kicks.

    Next are 16 combinations of those punches and kicks which they must demonstrate they have mastered.

    The third step is a test of self-defense techniques; the fourth is the aptly named "four corners," where one stands in the middle of the mat as others take turns approaching in various attack positions.

    The fifth step is a self-choreographed display of the Japanese martial art of Ju-jitsu, where students create and play out 10 attack and appropriate self-defense scenarios. Edit: Choreography is nothing without music!!!

    The final test is eight rounds of sparring.

    It should be noted that in the sections of the exam, like sparring, that require serious engagement with another person, students are matched with thers of similar stature. The 200-pound father doesn't get to spar against his son, for example. Edit: Couldn't seem to find 'thers' in the dictionary.

    By the end of the 180-minute exam, the nearly 40-year-old Smith, while clearly in good shape, has also clearly been through a workout. He's drained a bit. The younger boys, while tired, look more like they simple need a snack and a drink and they'd be ready to go through the whole process again. Edit: Sitting gives me the same effect. And that's HIGH INTENSITY sitting too!!!

    "I noticed Tommy was barely breaking a sweat out there compared to me," said Smith, who occasionally helps out teaching beginner classes, afterwards. Then he added with a grin, "By the time he is 18, I'm going to have my hands full."

    The studio has truly become a family affair for the Smiths since their innocent stumble through the door five years ago. Both of the younger two girls, Emily, 7, and Andrea, 5, rather than become prey to their older brother, as mom feared, are enrolled in classes themselves.

    Grace, 3, though too young now, surely will follow next.

    And Kim Smith, well, she doesn't take any classes herself, she just works part-time at the studio, managing the office work so Ismart can focus on teaching.

    "My feeling is if you raise three kids to become black belts," Smith said, referring to Tommy, and Emily and Andrea, who are on their way, "then the mom should get an honorary black belt." Edit: Shut up.

    Both Tommy and his dad passed their black belt tests, as did the three other students.

    "It means a lot. I gave up a lot of things to do this," Tommy said beaming afterward. "I was 99 percent sure I would pass; my dad really helped me."

    The first-degree black belt, which generally takes four to five years of regular study and practice to obtain, is not seen as the end of the road in the martial arts, but rather a beginning. It is a recognition of the basic skills and discipline from which a lifetime journey is to be pursued.

    The test also required students to answer questions regarding the significance of the black belt to each of them and their plans for the future in an essay.

    "Tommy wrote that he didn't want to stop, but wanted to keep learning different martial arts and their histories," Patrick Smith said. "And he said he wanted one day to be able to teach other kids, too. And that is what I'm most proud of today."
    Edit: Maybe learn a better one?

    E-mail Ron Cassie at [email protected].
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  2. #2

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    It's a brown belt with a black stripe. Man that pic's terrible. Either they were photographed at an odd moment, or their form really IS that bad. :confused:

  3. #3
    P-Dub's Avatar
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    "Dad also thought that martial arts training could potentially help their son deal with any teasing that might come down the road at school"

    Hey look, this kid's got a black belt! *wedgie*.

  4. #4
    Wounded Ronin's Avatar
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    Why is 8 rounds supposed to be some kind of grueling black belt level culimination? I routinely do 8-12 rounds every time I practice kickboxing, and I'm hardly a well conditioned individual as far as athletes go.

    I like how they say that he was in good shape, but that he was still exhausted by 8 rounds.

    Also, his son isn't chambering his inactive hand very far back. His son is also looking forward strangely.
    Lone Wolf McQuade Final Fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmrDe_mYUXg

  5. #5

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    Rather than pick up apart the glaring technical errors of a child, as a father who trains the same style as his kid, I'll say I'm dismayed.

    Mom getting an honorary BB. I know it's a joke, but that's not even remotely funny.

    Kids with BBs. We've already talked that to death, but this is a good example of why not to do it.

    8 rounds of sparring for a BB is not difficult. But at least they weren't breaking any boards.

    TSD at a Karate school? I've heard a lot of schools in the US are starting to use the term Korean Karate instead of TKD or TSD because of the bad reputation. This didn't suprise me much.

  6. #6

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    I like how threads where I say there is a picture, get a lot more views.
    You know I'd make fun of it somehow! :love5:

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