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patfromlogan
11/15/2003 10:11am,
I test in two hours. I'm working my way up the belts in another karate style. I'm nervous and I'd better go study the written material (twenty pithy sayings: 'Success is only determined by the size of one's thinking' and so forth and so on, which is the area I'd better cram. The techniques SHOULD go well. Wish me luck!

Choke
11/15/2003 11:21am,
Good luck! You've done this all before so it should be no sweat.

Sam Browning
11/15/2003 2:25pm,
Good Luck Pat

HAPKO3
11/15/2003 3:20pm,
'luck

PizDoff
11/15/2003 3:37pm,
guck

patfromlogan
11/15/2003 4:39pm,
GUCK!

That's kinda how I felt. Yes, we are to spit out word for word, dozens of these "Attitudes." Brent, the founder of the system (Chirioku Rikaji), is a good karateka, but also a bit of a 'Win Friends and Influence People" kind of guy. They (the attitudes), are corny; "It's better to wear out than to rust out," or whatever.

So first thing after warm up, I take off my black belt and put on my yellow for testing. The instructor had told me to wear yellow when testing, then back to black to help test others. First, this tiny nine-year-old white belt stands next to me and spits out the attitudes like a machine gun. Then it's my turn and I **** up the first one! "Success is uh, duh..." Complete blank! So I went on to some other quotes and went back and finally got the GD first one right. Screwed up or forgot a few. Nothing like being a 53-year-old senior black belt and being shown up by a fucking kid that comes up to my belt!

Then I made a mistake in the order of movements in the first kata, the most basic one, and the easiest one that I've been teaching to the noobs. After that it got better, thank God. I made it through the rest of the kata and techniques just fine except I forgot to breath and at the end of each part I was huffing like a steam engine. Christ! Like I've told noobs ten thousand times, "breath, relax the shoulders, whip the movement, breath, relax..." But get me in front of three black belts sitting behind a table with score cards in hand, (all three I could probably take on at the same time), and I turn into Jell-O brain.

The instructor told me after that he thought testing was good for me. He said I looked a lot younger out there. Yeah, that's 'cause my inner maturity of a 12 year old was shining through.

Anyhow, I now am a proud wearer of a purple belt. I wear my black belt and act as an assít instructor in two branches of this school. They seem to like it that Iím making the effort now to test up in their system, but they never told me I had to do it. Iíll wear the purple again in three months or so when I can test for green. The brown test is a total rite of passage grueling beat down of one-on-one sparring followed by multi-opponents who punch and kick the testee around like a ping-pong ball. I canít wait!