Tuesday, December 11, 2007

green belt test - results

So, the truth is, when you get to the test, you've already passed unless you really flub up. You won't get recommended to take the test unless you know the stuff in class. It's really a "demonstration" of what we have learned.

Thank God for that.

I had said in earlier posts that I was going to have a mini-test that morning with my kids at home. Well, Saturday mornings being what they are, we ended up not getting to it until about an hour before the test. We went through all the curriculum fairly quickly as we were getting ready. I do believe it helped but I wish we had been a bit more focused on "rehearsing."

As part of the test, we have to break a board. We are given the boards ahead of time. My youngest daughter had a 3/8 inch board while my eldest daughter's and my boards were the thicker 3/4 inch boards. We have to write the theme word on one side of the board and a bad habit we want to break on the other. Well, my "bad habit" was "eating too many carbs". There's more to that story but let's just say that it caused a "discussion" between me and my wife. I got so caught up on leaving on time because we ended up being late that we left the boards on the kitchen counter.

Thank God for that.

At my dojang, the classes are divided by belt level but there isn't a class per belt level. All the green through blue senior belts (4 different belts) take the same class AND we all learn the same things in a given quarter. By the time you progress through 4 quarters, you've covered everything that would be taught for those belt levels no matter which quarter you entered the class. Therefore, we also all get tested each quarter on the same curriculum. However, there are so many students that they divided our class into 2 groups for testing. My kids and I were in the 2nd group and we got to watch the 1st group go through everything before we went..

Thank God for that.

So, when it came to our testing time, we had been sitting on the back of the dojang floor for about 30 minutes or so. My feet kept falling asleep from circulation cutoff. We got replacement boards for all of us but this time, my oldest daughter got 2 of the thinner boards instead of 1 thick board. She had that small look of "oh my" in her eyes but I knew she would be all right. She even took the 2 boards together and compared them to the thickness of my 1 board.

We started out with the student creed. I knew it no problems. I felt pretty confident getting past that part without messing up. Then we went to our blocking set, followed by our kicking set. These were all pretty easy and I was starting to feel pretty confident.

We then went on to our kicking technique where I did 1 mis-kick. The instructors switched the kick we were doing as we switched sides and I did the previous kick instead on the first kick. I caught myself and kept on going.

Next up, our kicking combinations. Kicking combination #4 is a double punch, back leg roundhouse, followed by a back leg side kick. You then repeat in the opposite direction. There were a couple people that messed up and promptly raised their hand to do it over (this is the protocol). The rest of us take a knee and watch them. Then we went on to kicking combination #5 which is a double punch, back leg roundhouse, followed by a back kick. This is also repeated in the opposite direction. I flubbed and did combination #4 instead on the first direction, realized I had messed up and then did the correct back kick on the way back. Well, I raised my hand like I was supposed to and had to do it again with 1 other person that messed up. Lo and behold, I made nearly the same mistake again but caught myself. It was obvious that I had caught myself though. I ended up getting a "B" on this part of the test.

We followed this up with our escrima set and our one step sparring. We then had a part of the test that I wasn't really expecting before we showed up that day. A fitness test where we had to do as many pushups and as many situps we could do in 30 seconds. The guy I was partnered with was a machine on the pushups doing 47 of them in 30 seconds. I only did 27 but that's about par for the class.

We then had a promise sparring section of the test. I'm not really sure how they grade that. I just tried to be aggressive and use different kicks and intermix some punches. During the middle of promise sparring, my partner was talking and mentioned how thirsty he was. After all that waiting before the test without a drink and then doing all that exercise, we were both getting a little parched.

We then finished up with our board breaks. Both of my daughters did very well on their board breaks breaking them on their first try. I do believe the double board for my oldest daughter was easier to break than a single thick board.

At the end of the day, my grader told me I had great technique. Just need to work on those jitters. My daughters also had appropriate comments for them, my youngest needing to focus and my oldest to show more confidence.

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