I have a grading at Taekwondo tomorrow so I went to my club last night to get in some much needed practise. I found, by chance, something of a short cut on the way there. On the return journey I was knackered (it’s a 6-2 week and it was about ten at night), stressing about my grading tomorrow, looking for the new found short cut, and though I saw the speed camera I just didn’t register it until I suddenly had FLASH! FLASH! in my mirror.
Bloody, bloody hell!
I was reading that new drivers now have a probationary period of two years on their license, within which time amassing six points or above automatically leads to disqualification. From what I can gather it is new drivers per se. I became a driver (well, rider) back in ’85, and passed my car test in ’05, so I’m hoping one of those will be the one that it is reckoned from. I only passed my class II in January though (gulp) and am still striving for my artic license.
If I can’t get a job for the three years that (I think) the points stay on my license I am going to be gutted. If they take away my HGV license (and I’ve wasted the worst part of five grand) I am going to be suicidal.
This time tomorrow the grading will be over and I’ll be a lot less stressed. Then I can work up to a new fever of stresed-ness for my next test, then sit around waiting to see if I have picked up the points and the fines and how that will bugger my job prospects.
I have no idea how long the fines take to come through, so I’ll be on tender hooks whenever the post arrives, for as long as it takes.
PS, Day after, done my grading. I made one embarrassing mistake. Grand Master Loh
(the head of the whole of the U.K., eighth dan, so, no pressure) told me to go into sitting stance with a punch. Those were not his exact words (his accent makes understanding him difficult, and I flap under pressure so I’m not sure exactly what he did say) but instead of widening my stance and dropping down a little, I stepped back into a fighting stance. I knew I’d done something wrong but couldn’t think what I should be doing. Sah bum nim Caroline (who was standing next to Grand master Loh at the front of the hall) had to say it again and do it herself before I got over my flap and carried on. Also I went down onto my knuckles for press-ups, but had my hands in a vertical plane not the horizontal. Like my knuckles cared.
Hey ho, done now for another few months. Seventeenth of October to be precise.
Hopefully I will have passed. My poomse (kata in Karate; a sequence of set moves) was right, and showed good spirit, my kicks were higher than some of the most senior grades there (which is more to their detriment than my credit to be honest) and apart from the two simple mistakes above I thought I did alright.
Grand master Loh was not in a good mood though.
Lots of people were told to sit down before they had even completed their moves. It was quite brutal. If all of them failed there will not be many people getting new belts from this grading.
On the bright side, when a pair of the senior grades were grading, they were told to execute Kwon moves (fist, or punch) and some of the blocks and counter attacks were actually good, effective moves. Very reminiscent of the Karate from which Taekwondo is alleged by some to have originated (though not by anyone from Korea, and not within hearing range of anyone who is, I would suggest). Stick at it then. I have always maintained that a black belt in any martial art is more than a match for your average untrained lager lout, but I was concerned that being virtually solely kick based TKD was purely a sport form of a martial art. Looks like it just appears that way to us junior grades. Cool.
Done now. The driving stuff is a distant threat, so I can relax for today.
By the by, I forgot to mention; since I’ve been back from my jolly hols I’ve been trying to set up Freenet, a P2P network that is secure and censorship (and government spying) resistant. In doing so I have successfully forwarded a port all by my little ol’ self. I don’t know what that means, and I was following instructions from a specialist site, but I did it! Go I.T. techie me!
Still not got the Freemail (secure email section of the site) up and running, and to be honest unless you want to overthrow the government in bloody jihad, or join the Animal Liberation Front’s sabotage campaign, it doesn’t seem that good a network.
I approve of the principle though, so I’ll try it out for a while. Damn the government and their control of information. Rise up, you have nothing to lose but your chains!