Saturday, April 13, 2013


If you are looking for my Bead Soup Blog Party reveal, click here.

You may have heard me mention here and here that I've been training for my black belt in Okinawan kenpo.

Our school emphasizes both the traditional aspects and the practical applications of karate.  Knowing and demonstrating the material is only one part of the test.

Students must also spar and demonstrate the ability to break boards and/or bricks during each test.

I don't like sparring, but I have come to accept it as a necessary part of training.  I am slowly getting better.  I can't even say that I was dreading the sparring portion of the test because, like anything, I knew I would do my best and let the pieces (hopefully no teeth or other random body parts) fall where they may.

The breaking portion of the test, however, had my stomach in knots for the last week.

Our instructor requires black belts to break a brick.  

When you see someone do this, it looks easy.  Heck, some testers break two, three, even four at a time.

I, however, was struggling with one.  It was like hitting my head against the wall (or hand against a brick) over and over.

Each time, I was wondering how I could possibly have trained for all this time and *not* succeed.

Well, there is something about stress and fear that can make you do what needs to be done.

That broken brick?  I did that!

Thanks to all of you who offered your support a few weeks ago.  Your encouragement meant a great deal to me and I'm so excited that I was able to make all of you proud.


  1. Wow - way to go girl! That is a wonderfully broken brick you got there!!! AWESOME JOB!!!!

  2. I was looking for your bead soup reveal but got so captivated by your martial arts story that I couldn't resist. Bravo on your awesome accomplishment of earning your Black Belt! Even more awesome than breaking the brick though is the fact that you faced your fears . . . it is the lesson that you were to learn in that exercise. I am a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo and tested for that degree a week before playing my doctoral audition for a degree in classical piano. I needed to break three bricks at once with a hand strike . . . I was so afraid of screwing up my career opportunity if I failed and broke my hand. The hardest thing about getting through those bricks was confronting that fear and committing. When I did, the bricks broke easily. It is a lesson I carry with me and apply often throughout my life journey. So kudos to you Tanya . . . you are amazing!!! Now I am going to go see your jewelry which I am sure will be awesome also!

  3. YAYAYAYAYAY As soon as I saw your title I knew it I just knew it. I got all excited and the cat shot me a dirty look for squealing and took off. Awesome, so very awe-some. I just can't imagine it, how that must feel. I hope it will have a spot of honour in your home. I can flash forward and see your hubby greating gentleman callers for your little one (who won't be little) and doing the old head lean to it saying - It's my wife you should worry about - or some such. :)

  4. WOOOO HOOOO!!!!!! Good for you!!! That is such an amazing accomplishment -- you've conquered this, and now, there's no stopping you! I am in awe.

  5. I am so freaking excited for you!!! I, too, knew what you did when I saw the title of your blogpost appear in my email inbox! Congratulations!

  6. Awesome!!!!!! We knew you could do it! Way to go!!!! Now I am sure you will be able to move on to bigger and better things! Keep up the good work!

  7. Oh I'm so happy for you!! Way to go girl! What an accomplishment. Congratulations!

  8. YIPEE Tanya,
    I am so proud of your accomplishment. I remember feeling the same way when I had to break some bricks, the boards never thought twice about them. So what is next for you, what weapons will you be training with?

  9. Woohoo!! I am proud of you! You know what? I had been thinking on and off about this, after you had mentioned it once.. Thankyou for the update! I know its a BIG thing what you have done. Here comes a strong lady, watchout!!

  10. Congratulations Tanya!! What an accomplishment!

  11. Good for you! Congratulations. Do you know Diane Long of dzstash on etsy? She is a published jewelry designer, a grandmother AND a black belt. You should contact her if you don't know her. She has another etsy shop but I will have to look that up for you. She lives in St. Joseph, MO which is not all that far from you or me. I live in Kansas City, MO.

    You go girl! Now, when you tell your husband to sit down and shut up, you are prepared to make him.

  12. Woo hoo!! You did it!!! Congrats, you should be very proud of yourself!