Unpublished, Jan 2023: We’re Officially Black Belts!

This post has been languishing in my Drafts folder for nearly a year now.

There was clearly more that I wanted to say at the time, but didn’t quite manage to get into words. There’s even more to say now that a year has passed… but that’s a post for another day.

The date embroidered on Connor’s black belt is December 3, 2022; mine says December 17.

It may have taken longer than expected, but we finally have the tangible proof that we’ve earned the rank of black belt.

The interesting and perhaps unique perk of our dojo is that we now get to cross-train. Connor and I now attend a weekly all-ages Black Belts Only class, which introduces the kids with black belts in American Freestyle Karate to Krav Maga concepts, and the Krav Maga adults get to learn forms and katas.

Foray Into AI Art

A couple of months back, Connor told me about an AI art website he found that renders photos in an anime style. I’d never actually tried out any of the AI content generation tools that are out there, so when he asked if we could try it out, I was game.

I took a photo of Connor and uploaded it, then tagged it with Connor’s suggested prompts of boy, strong, and muscles.

After a few minutes, we got some results.

Despite Connor wearing a shirt in his source photo, all of the AI results were shirtless. They also all wore sneakers and had the wrong number of fingers. It was cool to see how the AI interpreted the environment and changed it to vibe with the anime style: the duffel bag hanging on the closet doorknob became a box or basket sitting on a pile of something, and the carpet and closet doors became wood planks.

It was a fun experiment, but I don’t see myself having a need to delve deeper into AI art anytime soon.