Just When I Thought I Was Out

I’ve been trying to quit Tae Kwon Do for about a month now.

I signed up for Tae Kwon Do back in December. I was taking with my kids and it was fun… ish, but then it turned out that even though I was in a class with my kids we were learning different things. They needed one skill set to get their yellow belts and I needed another, adult, skill set that involved blocks and things I don’t understand. So I would be separated from my kids in class if there were two or more instructors.

If there was only one instructor that day I would just do whatever the little kids did.

Just as I was becoming more and more frustrated it was time to test.

I was not ready for my yellow belt testing. The kids were all set. They could count to 10 in Korean, they knew the focuses and they knew the pattern/yelly thing that probably has a name that I don’t know and they were prepared to break some boards.

I just wanted to use that 30 minutes to walk over to Trader Joe’s to get something to make for dinner.

I kind of stopped going, but the master shamed me into coming back.

But it gets better – or worse. It costs $50 per person to test for a belt.

$50 x 3 = $150

Each person needs their own sparring gear once one advances to the yellow belt. Each set of sparring gear costs $190.

$190 x 3 = $570

Here comes the math joke.

$150 + $570 > Sarah is willing to spend to make an ass out of herself in front of people.

I don’t mind spending a lot of money for something my children enjoy. Hell, I don’t mind spending disgusting amounts of money on things that I enjoy. I figured I was not getting $240 worth of enjoyment out of Tae Kwon Do and so I should quit and spend that money on a nice gym membership.

So I tried to quit again.

Again, the master shamed me. Do it for the children!


But I went home and thought about it. How is he going to argue with me if I don’t have the money, because really, isn’t that why he wants me there in the first place?

After The Goon Squad earned their yellow belts I took my children to the little kid class. The ones adults aren’t supposed to go to. I am very tricky.

The master asked me why I wasn’t coming to class.

I told him it was too much money to buy all of the equipment for sparring and that I didn’t know my blocks and I just wasn’t feeling it.


He told me that I didn’t have to test and I didn’t have to buy all of the equipment and that money should not be the thing stopping me from setting a good example for my children. He said if it came down to it and I really couldn’t afford it I could help out by answering phones there in the studio.

He was so nice! He was so reasonable! I don’t have to give him any money!

The problem is that I really, really just don’t want to do it. It isn’t that I am lazy. I have been out walking almost every day and I do my elliptical at least five times a week. I just don’t want to do this.

Goon Squad Sarah do-bok

And I have no idea how to quit.

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  1. Just quit. Don’t let him punk you. LOL! That is hilarious.

  2. This reminds me of the Friends episode where Ross wants to quit the gym…so he brings Chandler with him as moral support. Chandler ends up joining the gym. Then they decide to close their bank accounts so the gym can’t get anymore of their money…


  3. Aww, he so got you!

  4. I got nothin. Sounds like you’re stuck.

  5. I think you are setting a good example to your kids if you try something with an open mind then stopping it if you do not like it while doing something because of peer pressure is not setting a good example. Tell Master to stick THAT in his craw.

  6. I think its rude of him to keep trying to force you. Would he prefer you took them to another Master that didn’t argue with you at every turn about what’s right for you. I’m 100% sure you’re setting good examples for them outside of this place. He makes me angry for you…stop him next time before he guilts you again.

  7. Man, are you kidding? I am such a quitter. No, wait I mean Quitter. I wish I could stay with something. I wish I could be persuaded to stay.

    Naw. I’d rather quit.

    Just say seeya.

  8. You have to get sparring gear with a yellow belt? He is sneaky. Eric had been going for almost 2 years before he had to get all that. But then again, he didn’t get a yellow belt until after a year & a half (they don’t get real belts until they are 7 at his school).

    Bribe someone to take the kids for a while so that you don’t even have to go. Or drop them off out front & run!

  9. “No” works really, really well.

    If you need someone to shame you and make egregious comments about your example for your children I will pretend to do it for free.

    Also if you answer a single phone for that man I will never speak to you again. He’s a master alright. Of something.

  10. Lumpyhead's Mom's friend Sarah says:

    He’s using his zen-master skills on you. Perhaps after you have studied with him for several years, you, too, will have that power and…then you can quit.

    Or you could do what I might be inclined to do, and tell him you have a herniated disk and therefore can’t do it at all anymore.

  11. funny how awesome a “sucks to be you; sorry about yur luck, maybe next year” would have been in this ONE instance. dammit. this is a tough one!

  12. I’m really surprised you have to pay for belt testing. I take martial arts at the same studio as my kids. Well, my son. My daughter stopped for gymnastics. I’ve never been in the same class as my son. He takes tae kwon doe and I take thai kickboxing, but there is a belt progression for both. We don’t have to pay anything for belt testing. I’m also surprised your master is pressuring you so much. If you don’t want to do it, you don’t want to do it. You’re an adult, not one of the kids. He should respect your ability to know what you do and don’t want to do. And to bring your kids into it to guilt you? That just doesn’t sound very consistent with what I understand the martial arts mentality to be. Just say No. (and if you ever want to change dojos for your kids, I know an outstanding one in Kensington)

  13. Oh, and one more thought. If he is putting this much pressure on at the yellow belt level . . . oh holy crap, it’s going to be unbearable when you get to the upper level belts. . . .

  14. You’re an ass kicker!

  15. I’m torn on this one. I did (and still do) TKD with my son, we tested for black belt and second degree together, and I’m an instructor in my spare time. As much as we encourage the parents to get on the floor (it really is great exercise and you will get stronger, faster, and more flexible), we don’t pressure them. If you don’t enjoy it and don’t want to be there, it’s not going to be fun; while yes it’s work, it should still be enjoyable and something you look forward to doing. He really is giving you a great incentive to stick with it, which would be awesome if you actually wanted to do it. I’m sorry you aren’t enjoying it, but martial arts aren’t everyone’s thing. And that’s totally okay.

  16. Can your husband take them to the class for a little while? Maybe the instructor will get the hint? Or maybe all four of you will be in training after that 😉

    I wouldn’t even know what to do with myself in this situation. I’d be so tempted to switch schools (but wouldn’t because of the kids). Good luck.

  17. I was going to tell you the same story about Ross and Chandler that Wife and Mommy up there already told. So instead, I will tell you that this guy sounds like a used car salesman. Or something else bad.

  18. Maybe you could get your yellow belt by chop-blocking him in the head.

  19. I don’t think TKD is so much the mob as it is Brokeback Mountain…you just can’t quit it. Having dealt with a few TKD instructors myself, I feel for you. It’s harder than quitting Columbia House…and don’t tell me you’re not old enough to remember what that is.

  20. Ok so like, when they progress further do you have to start cleaning his house and stuff?
    Oh and Papa Bradstein – I used to work across the street from Columbia House. One of their VPs offered me 10k to marry his son, so his son could come to the US. And a mercedes.
    True story.

    Off topic, but true.

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