Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Brown Belt Test

I started really preparing for my test in January and for the months of March and April I was at the karate school in class or practicing four time a week (an hour and a half on Saturdays). The test was April 16th. We were told that it was supposed to start at 7:30 pm but that it might go late, because the juniors were testing before us, and that it would get over when it was done. (When the panel of black belts were satisfied with what they had seen.) Well, the test didn't start until a bit after 8:00. There were eight of us testing for 3rd brown, the lowest level of brown, three testing for 2nd brown, one testing for 1st brown, one testing for 2nd black, and one testing for 3rd black. We tested in front of a panel of black belts that included two ninth degree black belts (the highest rank there is), our instructor, a 4th degree black belt, and multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree black belts. We started with a bit of a warm-up and some basic combinations with some bags. We then presented our forms, about ten of them, four people at a time, and then moved into self defense. I was prepared with 60 different self defense techniques, but was only tested on about 25 of them. We were separated into four different lines and took turns attacking and defending ourselves with techniques that were called out. We finished our test with sparing and then waited while the panel discussed our performances individually. That took about 30-45 minutes. They then presented us with our belts. Each of those that tested were promoted, which doesn't always happen. In fact, the last adult brown and black belt test, all four of the people failed. The presentation of the belts didn't occur until around midnight. I was really glad that I managed to take a nap that afternoon. I felt really good about my performance overall and I was really grateful for those that were able to come and support me, Jayme, Peggy and Reed, and my dad, who took over 500 pictures of the event (I will post some of them at some point.) And thanks to my mom for not coming (she had strep). I also wanted to thank all those that have babysat Katarina over the past year so that I could continue to go to karate. I couldn't have done it without the help of so many people, especially Jayme, who was patient with my after hard workouts and picked up the slack when it was needed. Karate is one of my passions and I am so glad that I am able to continue learning and developing myself in that area. Just two more belts before I get my black belt!