We test for red belt today. I'm doing much better than I used to do early on for the lower belt tests, but as time creeps on, and as I'm less and less able to turn my thoughts away from it, I get more and more nervous. The answers to the oral Qs aren't scaring me. I've known them all for a long time now. For those it's just a matter of focusing and not letting the pressure get to me. The kicks don't scare me. I know I can do them all, and I know I can survive the length of the test because I can survive an hour long class followed by an hour of sparring - even 3-step which is constant kicking back and forth with a partner. So why am I nervous? I don't expect to fail. Maybe it's nervous excitement more than anything.
Red belt is a big deal to me. After Red comes Senior Red, then Bo Dan (temporary black), then Black. Red is some kind af plateau, I guess - the last new colour belt before Black.
Here's one of the Qs I'll be faced with today (and its answer)
How do you show respect?
Showing respect while on and off the training floor is part of being a student of Tae Kwon Do. Respect must be shown at all times, including to one's opponent. One must never lose patience because that is a sign of weakness. Maintain self-control and self-confidence at all times. Showing respect to your instructor: At no time are you to refer to your instructor by their first name. If he is a 5th degree black belt, he must be referred to as Master at all times. If a Master or Grand Master enter the training area, it is respectful to call the class to attention and bow. If a Master ranking below your instructor enters the Dojang, no attention needs to be given. When approaching or being approached by your instructor, it is respectful to come to attention and bow. Always begin and end your conversations with "Sir" or "Ma'am."
(don't hassle me about grammar incontinuity, I just memorise it, I don't write the stuff. ;o) )
Hey, I could add that to my list of Bond Girl abilities. I can memorise long(ish) rambling speeches. Good for doing lines, eh?
I wonder what we'll have to break with. (At the end of the test, if we've passed, we have to break a board as the final test to get our belt.) I'm guessing Spinning Back Kick or Spinning Hook Kick, but I'm not sure. My favourite so far has been breaking with Axe Kick.
I think there will be 4 of us. 3 of us are testing for Red, and 1 for Senior Red. There was a new guy I saw a couple times. He may have been coming on nights we don't go, so he *could* be testing. If so, he's going to luck out and get to stand and watch a lot while we do all the upper level stuff. That's a nice break when you have higher belts testing cuz you get a wee break while they do their form, blocking set and 4-sided hand technique.
Ramble ramble - yep, I'm nervous. Sigh.
I have a permanent soundtrack running through my head. Can you guess which one? It's there for everything (yes everything.) I suppose it will be with me at testing.
Well, I have to get the kids rounded up for sparring. T minus 3.5 hours. *big breath*