The Road to Black Belt…continued…

My Black Belt testing was scheduled for 6:00pm.  I was so nervous that I started warming up at 3:00pm.

I was very nervous…

In my Red belt testing, I faced a physical challenge that I couldn’t seem to overcome.  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim put a stack of 4 bricks in front of me to break with an Axe kick.

I had broken bricks before but couldn’t break through this stack.  Starting with 4, SLAM! none broke.  After a few attempts, 1 brick was removed… BAM!  still, nothing broke.

1 more brick removed… only 2 left… WHAM! STILL! Nothing broke.

Now, this was more than a physical challenge.  I had broken 2 bricks before. But I couldn’t break through these 2 bricks.

Then, 1 more brick removed.  Only 1 brick left.

But, more than the brick itself, my MIND was the block.  I couldn’t even break through the 1 brick!

Now, logically and scientifically, my rational mind told me that I had a mental block.

But I couldn’t seem to disperse that mental block!  I couldn’t get past that 1 brick! I hit it over and over again and the only thing to break was my embarrassment because so many people were watching and I couldn’t get past this.

Then, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim did what only a master would do.

She restacked up the 4 bricks… then called up the 3 weakest women in the school.  Not to downplay those women, but 2 of them were much older than me and 1 was just more girly and not very athletic or physically strong.

Each one broke the stack of 4 bricks with an axe kick in one shot!


Again, rationally, I understood that my challenge wasn’t a physical one, but a mental one.

This time, Great Grandmaster put only 1 brick in front of me… SMASH! I broke it!

Then stacked 2 bricks… CRASH!  I Broke them!

Then 3…. BAM!  I broke them!

Then 4… again and again.. I couldn’t seem to get through 4… that seemed to be my mental limit.

Testing for that day ended…but as with all testings at Jung SuWon, testing ISN’T just a one day event.  Testing occurs every day, every moment.

Needless to say, my right heel was bruised and tender from smashing it against bricks all night.

I earned my Red Belt, but I had not finished testing yet.

Five months later… the next group of Brown belts were testing for their Red belt.  Coincidentally, one of the Brown belts testing was one of the “weak” women who was called up to break my 4 bricks…

This time, I was facing the student, taking pictures. I was cheering her on because she had already done it once before.

She tried several times, but couldn’t even break one brick. Funny how energy works!

Suddenly, Great Grandmaster called my name.

I stood up.

Great Grandmaster said, “she broke your bricks at your testing, now it’s your turn”

I think all the blood rushed out of my body. I was so nervous; I think I turned white. There were no thoughts in my mind. I was completely blank.

I removed all my camera gear and moved to behind the bricks. I turned around to straighten my uniform and then I turned to face Great Grandmaster and the Head table.

I came to attention and bowed.

Again, there were no thoughts in my mind. I breathed deeply and prepared for the break.  I looked at Great Grandmaster, then I looked down at the bricks.

I ki-yupped loudly and swung my leg up and SMASHED through the 4 bricks like they were nothing!


This was truly a lesson for me in ENERGY and to keep my mind clear.  When my mind is foggy with being embarrassed or thinking too much, I can’t focus.


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