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twistkick kid
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 12 Jun 2009
Posts: 171
Location: San Diego, CA
Styles: Tae Kwon Do, Shaolin Kempo

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:30 am    Post subject: A semi-surprise test Reply with quote

I got tapped to test for Yonkyu (Green Belt with Brown Stripe) sometime during 2017 back before I had my hip surgery (31 October 2016).

My school had a group of students who don't necessarily test well under the traditional circumstances for whatever reason (disability, scheduling, injury, etc) set up to take a test on 19 February 2017. Granted, I do test well under the traditional set of circumstances (big group, people there you don't normally work with, having instructors there that you don't normally work with, I can make my schedule work), but my instructors wanted me to be on the 19 February test. So I went along with it. It was a surprise because I was thinking "well, I just had this surgery and I want to wait till things have been healing for at least 6 to 7 months", so my goal to test was in April or May of 2017

It was way different from the other tests I had taken. Instead of having people there to look to when I got lost, I was the highest rank testing, and that meant everyone was looking at me when they got lost. Rather than being told what exercises to do for a warm up, the test's presiding instructor made me lead it. On the spot, no planning what to do beforehand. Part of why the presiding instructor did that as she explained later was to see how I would react. Would I look at her in abject terror? Would I grumble and complain? Or would I take it in stride and run with it?

There was the obligatory set of basics, DM's, Kempos, that everyone runs through together. Then forms. I got called out to demonstrate some of my upper rank material (advanced knife and club defences), my rank forms, and then material of my choice (a spear form I just finished, and 3 Bo Kata). That was the real test because the presiding instructor said "if you still remember your old forms from your previous arts of study, please show those to us" So I got back up on the floor, composed myself for a moment, and ran through as much of my old material as possible (all while thinking to myself, "thank gods they don't know any of these forms because I'm probably messing up left and right!")

At the end, everyone got called up one by one, lowest rank testing to highest rank testing, to break a board. Some of the younger ones had never done this before and were quite afraid. Afraid to fail. Afraid it would hurt. Afraid to mess up in front of their peers. One boy tried and it didn't break the first and second time, and he got supremely upset. There were tears. He ran over to me and was like "Joe, I can't do this. I'm not strong enough". I told him that if he wasn't strong he would have given up a long time ago. He's a tough kid, so he tried again, and it snapped on the third time!

Yes, I'm proud of myself. But I'm more proud of the effort of my peers that day. One student with sensory issues was able to keep his full gi on the entire 2 hour test. A student with Cerebral Palsy was given the task to work on a Bo Kata with me over the past 2 months and perform it on her own, and she more than rose to the occasion. 3 adult students who have a lot of scheduling conflicts and can't always make it to regular training through the week were able to rise to the occasion and do amazing things despite limited training time.
Shaolin Kempo, 1st Dan (earned 3 July 2018 in China)
ITF Tae Kwon Do, 2nd Dan (earned 6 June 2009 in San Diego, CA)

Almost 20 years of martial arts training in total
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KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28829
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's really nice, twistkick kid. Congrats.

Patrick O'Keefe - Administrator
Have a suggestion or a bit of feedback relating to Please contact me! Articles - Awards - Member of the Month - User Guidelines
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16475
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick wrote:
That's really nice, twistkick kid. Congrats.


YES; I wholeheartedly concur with Patrick!!

Let the testing cycle take care of itself. Testing Cycles can be quite overwhelming when one looks at the specifics of the required qualifications. More importantly is to do your best, and in addition, you don't have to score 100% of any given Testing Cycle. If so, there would only be white belts, and nothing else!!

You'll do fine...relax...practice...oh yeah...practice...and then...practice some more...and after that...yeah...practice again...and if I forgot to mention this...more and more practice...until the cow jumps over the moon, and then some!!

**Proof is on the floor!!!
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