Black Belt Testing… 1997


My Black Belt testing given by Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim was one of the most memorable moments in my life.

Only 4 of us were in this testing cycle.  Three guys and me.

I was very nervous.  Though testing technically began at 6:00pm, I started warming up at 3:00pm.

I decided to swing my wooden nunchukkus… and in my nervousness, I made a mistake and one of the chucks swung back and slammed me in the back of the hand!  Oy. Now I had a big bruise on the back of my hand!  Bummer!  Testing night hadn’t even started yet!

I continued to warm up and stretch… then 6:00pm rolled around.

My parents came to watch my testing.  This was the first time they had ever seen me test in the martial arts.  They had been so against my training for my whole life.  It was interesting that they were there watching me.  They had no idea what I had gone through to get to that point. So I’m sure they would be surprised and nervous to see me go through all the upcoming challenges.

more on this later….

They had never even seen me spar before!

One of the challenges we had to face is being tied to a chair and facing multiple sparring partners.  For me, I think it is easier to be tied to the chair because you can use the chair to your advantage and swing the legs around to block incoming kicks!  Trust me, it’s more painful for the attackers!

It is interesting that my parents were there.

For 6 years, every time I talked to my mom on the phone (they were living in Tennessee), she ALWAYS asked me, “are you still doing that Jung SuWon?”

I couldn’t seem to convince her that I was training for the long haul and that I was determined to earn my Black Belt… and here I was… testing for Black Belt…and my parents were sitting right there in the dojang.  It was truly a Twilight zone feeling.

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