It's OFFICIAL: I am now an ORANGE Belt! I started on Sept.10th, at the tender age of 53, taking instruction at the Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan karate school in West Haven, CT .(www.tsdmgk.com) What I like about this school is that it is follows the traditional format. And, it will not promote any student to the next color belt until he has demonstrated the proficiency required to wear that belt. It is no wonder that their non black belt (actually midnight blue) students do so very well in the competitions they enter. Belt Progression is (with intermediate stripes): White Belt Orange Belt Green Red Black (mid-night blue) I am there for the exercise and stretching. [Note: my body has not known how to spell "stretch" for over 30 years!] If I develop some self defense karate skill along the way, then so much the better. My wife, 2 MDs, and others have been complaining about the condition and weight of my body for the past 5+ years. So, I figured it was time to do something about it BEFORE I got any heavier (295 lbs.). I should be somewhere between 185 - 200 (max). RESULTS TO DATE (11/11/07) Weight = 283 lbs. – Down 12 pounds (in 2 months) - I can do the warm-up exercise segment without getting faint and sweating too profusely (that now comes later in the session). - I can actually rotate my ankles to some degree (locked solid before). - I can spread my legs wider when standing and, in that position, can now touch the floor with the 2nd joints of my fingers (hope to get to flat fist/knuckles next month). - I can now front kick to the mid chest level (thigh level before - not even at belt level). - my balance is improving - not falling over so much doing Round House kicks* and Side Kicks*. - I can do 50 jumping jacks* - I can do 50 sit-ups/crunches* - I can do 10 push-ups (flat hands)* * For you thin guys between 150-170 lbs. Strap on a 125 pound backpack and do these * things. Then, you'll appreciate the amount of effort I am having to put out to do them. Ouff!