Black Belt Testing-1997-part 1

So I have been thinking about my life lately…How amazing life is.

More than 15 years ago, I tested for my first black belt… August 1997, under my master, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim.

There were only 4 of us testing.  Me and 3 guys.

Being the only female testing just made it more challenging for me.  I never liked to be considered a “girl” anyway.

I had started training at Jung SuWon on July 1, 1991.

In August 1991, I witnessed my first Black Belt Testing at Jung SuWon.  I was still a white belt.

When I was training in Taekwondo at Dartmouth College, I witnessed a “black belt” testing in 1989…the Master had the student, a red belt Korean guy, do a few fancy kicks… the whole testing didn’t even last 1 hour and he was awarded his black belt.

At Jung SuWon, in 1991, there were 6 people testing.  It was nothing like I’d ever seen before in my life.

The challenges they faced were amazing.

Especially when they brought the bottles out.  I had never seen anything like that in my entire life.  At first, I thought they were just going to smash the bottles with their hands… a scary thought…with all that broken glass.

But I saw the student, holding the bottle by the neck…then he raised his arm up and struck downward directly onto the mouth of the bottle.


After a few strikes, suddenly, the bottom of the bottle popped right off!!!


I had never seen anything like that in my entire life.

He hit the TOP of the bottle and the BOTTOM came off!!!

From 1991 to 1997… 6 years… I thought about everything I saw that night of the first Black Belt testing that I witnessed… I had never done those kinds of things before and I was very nervous.

When I meditated at night, I would practice swinging my arm to an imaginary bottle so I could get the distance right… I would practice pounding my knife hand onto the floor to try to “toughen” up my hand…

I didn’t know what to expect…

And my testing lived up to my expectations…

more to come…


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