More on my Black Belt Testing…

I faced many challenges that day.  But I was strangely calm.  Unlike my Red belt testing, I was jittery and very nervous.  I was nervous on the day of my Black Belt testing, but there was less running through my mind.

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim is amazing.  For the past 2 years prior, I kept hearing that I would be testing for my Black Belt that year..but I wasn’t really ready at those times. 

When I tested for my Black Belt in 1997 I was ready.

There were only 4 of us testing.  I was the only female.  The challenges were intense.

We sparred multiple opponents, tied to a chair, tied to a 5 gallon jug of water.  During our board breaking, there were 4 stations of holders and we all broke at the same time.  Great Grandmaster would call out a technique and we would have to break the board using that technique.  The techniques included ridge hand, knife hand, fish tail, bear paw, hip break, shoulder break and more.  I had never tried many of the techniques before, but when they were called out, I just did them.  I distinctly remember the middle punch. 

This is one of the first hand techniques you learn as a white belt. 

I was scared of breaking a board with a middle punch. I did this for my white to yellow belt testing and I really bruised my knuckles badly.  That’s the difference between using energy to break a board versus physical force.  When you physically force a break, usually, you bruise something.

I remember this at my black belt testing because after the test, my knuckles weren’t bruised at all.

We did multiple brick breaks as well. 

One of my first ones was with 2 free standing bricks… a hand technique.  I chose knife hand.  

I broke the bricks, but I missed slightly and hit a very tender point on my wrist.  This was critical because later, Great Grandmaster asked me to do a nunchukku demonstration… and my wrist could barely bend.

At my red belt testing, I had hurt my wrist trying to do a palm heel break on bricks…and then Great Grandmaster asked me to do a bong demonstration!

I remember gripping my nunchucks as tightly as possible because I didn’t want to fling them into the audience!

I would love to see video of my Black Belt testing because though I remember it, much was still a blur.  I’m a photographer, so I’m more comfortable behind the camera.  I don’t see many photos with myself in them…or video… so it would be fascinating for me to watch my Black Belt testing.

Check out part of my Black Belt testing here:



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