So as some of you may remember, the beau and I were invited to partake in Korea's National Hapkido Competition a few weeks ago. If you don't remember how it all started you can check out my post here.
I'm not gunna lie, I went into this thing with a good amount of confidence. For starters, Master Sim decided that I should take part in the kicks and falls portion of the test. This meant that I didn't have to learn 24 new self defense moves. One point for Tawny. I was also informed that I'd only be competing against other women and that none of them would be masters. Two points for Tawny. Master Sim even said that he thought I might actually win a medal in the competition. Little old moi? Wonderful. I love medals. Three points.
Chris kept asking me how I was feeling and I was actually quite apathetic towards the whole thing. I wasn't really nervous, nor was I very excited. I was just happy that I didn't have to compete against men my age that could quite literally kick my ace and take my name.
Oh... wait. What was that? Master Sim was completely wrong? I did in fact have to compete against men? Yeah. I was not a happy girl. Turns out, we waited at the competition all day for me to compete. We got there around 9am and I didn't compete until around 4 in the afternoon. Throughout the entire day we kept an eye out for any women around my age who would be my competition. We saw a few here and there but none of them really fit into my category. When my name was finally called I realized that I was the lone girl standing amongst 14 men. Big men. Men that have been studying Hapkido their entire lives. Men that looked like this...
So what did I learn from this experience? I learned that a lot can be lost in translation with Master Sim. I learned that Korean people are extremely generous and kind. I learned that hapkido competitions are intense and extremely long. I also learned that I can be a brave little toaster when I need to be.
And look, I DID get a medal!
Photo credit to Corey Jolley and Dr. Staudinger.