cris donovan's blog


after a total of 4 years of TKD (2x2) i've achieve my Cho dan bo- provisional black belt. i've worked my clacker off to get it, so it feels very rewarding. Injuries, accidents and illness did their best to hinder me, but perseverance has paid off. Now that i've achieved this, i actually feel like i'm back at the start again...which i like.

1st gup!

Saturday was D-day, i had little in the way of excuses, i just went for it.

An hour in to the class the Master called all senior students up to go through their forms- i knew this was for me, and i went through the 1st 4 well.

the next 3 i messed up- at one point due to nearly being kicked in the face by the bloke next to me. i was able to recover all but one and kept my cool and didn't let it faze me.

sense over pride

after a horrendous week of emotional turmoil last week it was with a lot of trepidation i trained on Saturday.

I knew the Master would ask to grade me and i knew i wasn't mentally up to it.


He did ask, i said i didn't feel right about it, and i asked what was my options, he said i didn't have any and gave me a Sabumnim to go through my stuff for 40 minutes and prepare for it in the 2nd hour of the class.

i was ok, but on reporting back to the Master the Sabumnim said i just needed to polish up my form a little more... reprieve!

fight in the face of adversity

so in the last few posts i've talked about my impending 1st gup grading- how ready i am, dealing with my back injury, sparing etc.

For me i always find memory retention the hardest part of a grading- anything like improvised self defence and sparring is easy, i don't have to "learn" anything, i just react and do.

helping others helps yourself...sometimes!

i get so much out of helping instruct other people, i learn the technique in more detail as i find ways to help others learn, i get to go back to basics and help consolidate things i hadn't thought about in a while, and it is rewarding to see others pick things up and start thinking about their martial arts.


but it does come at a price!

MA's reflect life

Nothing is in isolation in this world.

It would appear that i held what i percieved genuinly experienced and balanced martial artist as above pettiness and ego driven pursuits like being argumentative purely for the sake of it, or to drive their own ego-bus.

back in the running

So my back is slowly improved enough to actually look at my next grading.

I wasn't going to consider it as there is big sparring requirement and i wasn't prepared to risk it while it still feels quite unstable. So when i was asked on Saturday when i wanted to grade i brought this point up with the Master. He said he'd grade me then and there and was prepared to fore go the sparring componant due to the many bouts i've had in the last 18 months- in particular, those i've had for other peoples gradings.

back again, back again!

it feels like i am on a constant treadmill at the moment; a very challenging year it has been because of injury.

train, grade, injury (not at TKD, just living life!), recovery, re condition, train, grade, injury...yeah, you get the cycle.


so for the 3rd time this year my back has packed it in!

i get knocked down...but i get up again

missed training last night due to a heavy head cold; no biggy, but annoying.
Saturday i went through all of the stuff for my next grading- i could do it any time now as i know all of the components- but i over did it a bit and am so sore in the hamstrings it is hard to walk today!


 last month was amazing. not only did i grade to red belt, but at a social dinner an announcment was made (unbeknownst to all present)  for the 2012 Dragons. This is our clubs highest honour, only 2 are awarded a year, and it isn't done every year if the Master doesn't feel it is warranted. It isn't just about being a good martial artist, it is about attitude, commitment to the club, helpfulness and just overall development personally as well as with your martial arts.

Life sometimes gets in the way

after the debarcle of my mental meltdown it was great to walk out of the Dojang on Saturday with my red belt. What a trial it has been over the last 4 months to get to that point!

Falling off a mountain.

Monday night was D-day for my red belt.

tonights the night! or "learning how to wait that little bit longer!"

well, did the sparring componant to my 2nd gup gradding on Thursday night, pretty solid session against an senior chodanbo and a blue belt. both hard blokes but good fun and very physical but fair.

challenges and the long term

life is all about daily challenges; talking to a friend this morning who is having a hard time with his x the mother of his child he reminded me that he keeps it all in perspective due to the knowledg