Saturday, September 8, 2012

Black Belt Testing Part I and II

PART I: The Fitness and Knowledge Test

It was nerve-wracking just getting there 'cause it was on a Thursday I had to miss one of my evening classes at Mont Co to get there. Thankfully I can always make it up later. Anyway, I had my uniform and gear bag in my mom's car so we could go straight to the Exeter school straight from campus. When we got there and I was able to change into my white uniform, the test(s) started in the gym/studio.

First: The knowledge test. They had two-page packets separated by thick binders so no one could see each others'. I was relieved to find out it was a written test instead of being asked the questions right then and there, 'cause you gotta answer in about a second. This time I could think a little. I was worried I had gotten about two of them wrong, but when I got it back, it was a hundred percent! :)

Second: The fitness test. There were five stations set up, each one being watched by a Black Belt, and they were all different. We were each supposed to carry a small piece of paper that the Black Belt at each station could write down how many of each exercise we did. The first station was crunches, which I liked. Now, the second was pushups. You had to go down low enough to make a pad squeak, or it didn't count as one. So i did about twenty-three, very painfully. The third station was punches on a pad, which I didn't mind except I was close to worn out and my knuckles were getting sore. No bruising or anything, though. The next station was kicks, and I was really getting worn out there. The last one was punches and kicks on a bag, and by the time I was done I was beat. Literally, when I had to slide myself over a few feet to move the line when more students went through the stations, I had to drag myself and then I'd fall in a heap. I'm so glad the rest of us were sitting instead of standing. The muscle pain was gone but I literally felt like a heap, my limbs little more than noodles and my head full of rocks.

After that we did a twenty-minute workout, and then we were dismissed after being told that the hard part was over. You have no idea how thirsty I was.

PART II: The Test

I didn't have college the next day (Friday) except in the morning, so I wouldn't have to miss anything. This time, my stomach was knotting for hours 'cause of the nerves, but I was thankful to just get it all over with. Ok, so here's how it went. Me and my parents go to the rec center where my other belt tests have been, and it was SO hot! I'm not joking, it was boiling and there were four giant fans set up. The only ay to get cooled off was to stand in front of one of them, or go downstairs to the basement where it was a bit chilly. At six when all the recommended Black Belts like me (and not to mention first, second and third degree Black Belts) were there, we were all lined up and then we all were put in a corner with our gear bags and the two wooden boards we were each given. They had our names written on them in black marker (they spelled mine wrong on one of them! It said Derrick B. instead) to not get mixed up, thank god.

The Black Belt tested, and it took a while cause there would be six of them on the floor at a time. Eventually, me and the other Red-Blacks tested for form and self-defense. When that was over, we all got our sparring gear on, which got us even MORE hot and sweaty. I was relieved when I finally got to spar against one of my friends from the Exeter school (I go to the Pottstown school, but in the summer last year I went to the Exeter for a while), 'cause I didn't wanna sit and stand around in line anymore.

We were dismissed from sparring and then the Black Belt tested for their board-breaks, which of course, involved real wooden boards. Me and the others sat on the floor watching, and for a bunch of the Black Belts, we clapped (and stomped, that "We Will Rock You" beat, which at one point I started by stomping with my feet and clapping) and cheered when the boards were successfully broken.

Finally, it was my turn. I handed the boards to both holders, readied myself, and then, CRACK! I split the first board clean through with my right forearm, and then I went to the other one to kick. Unfortunately I couldn't break it. But the cool thing is, those of us who couldn't break were given another chance after were were all done. So when I finally got to go again, my right foot shot straight through the wood, something I had never guessed would be possible for me.

I had never sweated that much in my life. We don't get our new belts until some ceremony on Thursday, and thankfully we don't need our weapons/gear bags. It's at six, ("Of all days of the week, WHY THURSDAY?!") so I will need to make that up, too. It shouldn't be too hard. Plus, the hard part is over, so I'm ready.

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