Monday, July 28, 2014

July 2014 Karate Belt Test

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan

. . .

The karate world still looks shiny to me. Six months into training, and no has pushed me to wax a car or paint a fence. But I did earn my first belt recently (White!). I thought it was going to be intense, and I thought how crazy the instructors were to almost talk me in to taking my next belt test so soon after. I didn't understand until later that the yellow belt test consisted of many of the things I've worked on since January. But still, the white belt test looked like a midterm compared to what I saw the other day. Instead of testing alongside the other belts, I gratefully took the opportunity to spectate at Choe's HapKiDo's July 2014 test at Grayson, GA.

I am not sure how others normally view the belt tests, but I found myself watching the recent HapKiDo belt test as entertainment. As the event went on with the kids and adults taking turns for a new segment, it was like a ten-course meal—I gorged event after event, but without ever getting full! However, it wouldn't have been wise to blink. 

For an hour-and-a-half, thirteen hopefuls braved through various portions of the test, with the goal of passing on to the next level of training. 

Like watching a film, the audience became attached to the testers. Of course, the observing eyes belonged to the parents of the testers, but they have all been watching the other testers for the last couple years, along with their own. There were times when the audience held its breath, and a couple of times when they sighed in relief.

With every segment, I couldn't help but look over at the judges' panel to look at their reactions. I think they had reactions similar to the audience, but they had a more crucial role. However, the judges resumed their roles as Martial Arts instructors several times during the test. Maybe someone's technique was off, or maybe everyone's technique was off. Depending on the situation, sometimes a judge would leave the table to advise a student, and sometimes another judge would advise from his chair. But regardless, the judges/instructors wanted to see everyone succeed. 

I hope to be cool as them when I test next!
For more information on Choe's HapKiDo Karate & Kickboxing, visit:  Come in and sign up for a free trial!

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