Hello world! I have never used a blog before so this is new territory for me! I have decided to keep a diary of my Tae Kwon-Do training and share it here on the website of the club that I run with my partner, Gary Plant.

I became a 1st Degree Black Belt on May 8th 2011 (the proof is here!) The training period between 1st and 2nd Degree Black Belt is 18 months minimum so I set about learning my three new patterns. Then along came the wonderful news, the following May, that we were expecting our first baby! I bowed out of my training straight away, mostly because we wanted to keep the ‘bump’ a secret for as long as possible, and it seemed easier to find excuses not to be at training than to find excuses to avoid the full-contact aspects of the class! (Somehow we managed to keep it quiet until 17 weeks!)

Baby Ava arrived a little early and a little small, but just perfect. I waited until she was 12 weeks old and then began helping out at Bridgnorth Tae Kwon-Do on Monday nights, earning my title as ‘Assistant Instructor’. I taught the newest children at the class, as we’d had a lot of new recruits. I was teaching them the syllabus including four-directional punch and Chon-Ji Tul. I was confident doing that to get me back into the Tae Kwon-Do ‘zone’, as my basics were fine and I don’t think you would ever forget how to do a stance or a block. However, I was regretting not keeping an eye on my Tae Kwon-Do books during pregnancy as I was amazed by how quickly the more advanced stuff had drifted away from me. I would go home and practice my patterns over and over in the living room while Ava slept; shuffling backwards and forwards in the too-small space and tripping over baby equipment as I went! However, things soon came back to me and I taught students of any grade as and when, to fit in with the class.

I am not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions, but in January 2014 I decided that the time was right and the motivation was definitely there – I was going to resume my training properly and set myself the goal of finally being a 2nd Degree Black Belt. I absolutely love being Ava’s mummy, but this feels so special because it is for me. Not to please anyone else, just for me! It has been tough but enjoyable so far. This blog will keep an eye on what we’ve done in class or outside of class to get me closer to my goal. The other ‘blogs’ will be shorter than this but I wanted to explain the reasons behind my training and behind the training diary too. As they say, watch this space…

Fitting Tae Kwon-Do into a busy schedule
Note the ‘Black Belt in Training’ magnet! Fitting Tae Kwon-Do into a busy schedule!