Friday, June 19, 2009

Little Grasshopper

"To advance from one rank to the next, students typically complete promotion tests in which they demonstrate their proficiency in the various aspects of the art before a panel of judges or their teacher. Promotion tests vary from school to school, but may include such elements as the execution of patterns, which combine various techniques in specific sequences; the breaking of boards, to demonstrate the ability to use techniques with both power and control; sparring and self-defense, to demonstrate the practical application and control of techniques; and answering questions on terminology, concepts, history, and so on, to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the art. For higher dan (black belt) tests, students are sometimes required to take a written test or to submit a research paper in addition to taking the practical test.

Promotion from one
dan to the next can take years. The general rule is that a black belt may advance from one rank to the next only after the number of years equivalent to the current rank. For example, a newly-promoted third-degree black belt may not be allowed to promote to fourth-degree until three years have passed. Some organizations also have age requirements related to dan promotions, and may grant younger students pum 품 (junior black belt) ranks rather than dan ranks until they reach a certain age. Black belt ranks usually have titles associated with them, such as "master" and "instructor". Taekwondo organizations have their own rules and standards when it comes to ranks and the titles that go with them."


"Little Grasshopper, think of all you know, think inward of all you learned and then beat the shit out of something. Good luck."
--Merryfish via FB

I am in a bit of a freak-out mode. In less than 24 hours I am testing for my 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo. I know I'm ready. I know that I've trained for this for quite some time, but I guess I wasn't prepared for the enormity of it. There is a saying that anyone can get their first degree--that they are a dime a dozen so to speak. But once you move beyond that--well, you're in it. A second degree shows commitment, attention to the art, a skill level that means business and in the grand scheme of things fewer people, let alone women, attain beyond that first degree. I'm not saying that there aren't a lot of women out there with 2nd degree or more black belts--but how many do you actually know? I know a few because I practice with them--but there are only 3 of us at my school. That's what I mean by the enormity--it is an accomplishment--if I pass, that is.

I am mentally trying to rid myself of my freak-out--some of my teachers are telling me that I'm over-thinking & that I need to get out of my head. I know I'll need to meditate a bit, write a bit, & call my sister.

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