Monday, September 17, 2007

Orange Belt Test

My kids and I had our Orange Belt Test over the weekend. Note: this means we were Orange Belts and we're testing to make sure we knew the Orange Belt curriculum so we could be Green Belts.

The test started out with the Student Creed. While I know the creed, I had forgotten to review it in my head and I drew a complete blank on how it went. Uggh. Panic time. I wasn't the only one though. Most of the class didn't know it but one of my daughter's did. This introduced a shadow of doubt in my head that persisted through the next couple of test items: the blocking set and kicking set. I started an incorrect block in the blocking set but caught myself and did a mid-stream correction.

The kicking set is a series of 3 kicking combinations in 1 direction, reverse the direction and repeat, finish off with a jump front kick/punch combo. Going the first direction, I did 2 of the combos and then stopped that direction thinking I was done...suddenly remembered I wasn't done, did the next combo and continued.

The next part of the test were the kicking combinations. There were 7 combinations we had to learn. At the beginning of it, I knew I had been messing up so I took a deep breath and forced myself to calm down. I knew this stuff. One of the combinations is a back leg roundhouse followed by a narabong (see note below). I have issues with my balance on the narabong where I over rotate. I knew this but also knew if I did it slow enough I would be ok. Well, that deep breath must have helped because I did this pretty well.

After that, we had to recite terminology which I knew very well. We did our escrima stick and board breaking as well. I got dinged on the escrima because I was laying the stick on my shoulder at times.

While doing everything up to this point, I couldn't really watch how my daughter's were doing but I think they did pretty well. They aced most of the test on their score sheets.

I was concerned about the board break (a skip side kick) for my oldest daughter. She is breaking the same thickness of board as I am and did have trouble with the "snap" at the end. Other kids were having issues breaking their boards before her as well. She snapped it on her third try vs. on the first two where she was more just pushing against the board. She did pretty well considering her anxiety over the kick. Our next break for the next belt level is an Axe kick which she's done already in a demo so she should be pretty confident about it.

At the end of the test, I still passed but the tester commented on my lack of confidence. I'm resolving to have all this down pat next time. My kids also passed.

Note: For those who don't know, a narabong is a like a round house except you start out spinning backwards. It's also known as a tornado kick. Here's a video of it in action. Note that the video of it is the normal version of it. We're doing a "ground version" of it where we don't get off the ground. We'll be doing the normal version of it in our next belt level.

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