. . .
I couldn’t believe where I was Saturday night. As I sat down to join strangers and peers of Choe’s HapKiDo for a celebration dinner, the accomplishment of passing my yellow belt test that morning had finally sunk in. A test that I had been anticipating and obsessing over since having spectated July’s belt test…was strangely over. Somehow, the calm feeling that came over me the second I entered Grayson’s HapKiDo studio finally wore off by dinner time. A couple chairs down from me at the celebratory table, Instructor Gasstrom explained the feeling was the result of positive inner energy and strong focus, a karate concept that is also identified as ‘Ki’. He also explained how the energy could have easily turned negative.
There were good reasons to be nervous:
- The test required students to demonstrate in front of a panel of judges – all whom are the head instructors of different Choe’s HapKiDo studios.
- Not knowing how the judges were going to run the test.
- If you were a white belt (first belt rank in HapKiDo), this test initiated the first of many to be demonstrated in a public and collaborative setting. This reason applied to me and ten other students.
- Feeling not so confident with certain moves.
- Any miscellaneous reason or reasons that could affect a student’s performance. For some it was emotions; for me, I was testing with a elbow/wrist injury.
I am beyond glad that none of these factors affected my mind negatively.
My surprise of the day: One of the students who I competed against in a board breaking competition this past summer – we became pals during the test. There is definitely some comfort in seeing someone experiencing the same things as you. At Choe’s HapKiDo summer tournament, neither of us had a belt or the required uniform federation patches. And now we had the opportunity to test for our yellow belts…AND PASSED!
But my favorite part of the test, aside from passing, was getting to watch peers from Choe’s HapKiDo in Loganville test and pass too. These are students who I have had the pleasure of working with and hope to continue as long as possible. Watching them gives a younger belt a sneak peek of what to expect next. From what I saw, sparring is definitely something I am going to work hard at in order to not fear it so much…..Hopefully all works out!