Test Day Recap

My infrequency of posts (and of reading other blogs) is directly due to putting time into working at the dojang.  Not instructing mind you, but actual paid office work.  But that’s a story in and of itself, one that I will probably not go into great detail here.  Part of that is due to my being careful not to divulge proprietary information (Grandmaster also has developed a program he takes out of the dojang to speaking engagements), but also because a lot of it is fairly menial;  typing up lists, sending emails, composing letters, etc.

So, yesterday was my official Black Belt test.  My husband came in the nick of time to tape it with the camcorder.  The fact that he wasn’t there when I walked onto the dojang floor unnerved me a bit, but I did my best to push that to the back of my mind.  I started the test with my highest and favorite poomsae.  I was a little pissed that I messed up the beginning of my favorite, considering it was one of the easiest ones (Tae Guk Sahm Jang – Green Belt), and had to start over, but I executed it flawlessly after that.  The rest went pretty uneventfully.

I was shakier than I would have liked on a few things, seems I was having some balance issues yesterday.  My left hip has been stiff and achy and I think that played a part.  I was paired up with a 13 year old girl for sparring.  She was also testing for Cho Dan and on the video I look slow and heavy compared to her.  But I got a good whack or two in, and she did as well.

I didn’t get much feedback after the test.  The lower belt testers received their new belts, and we can’t even be told that we’ve passed until next month’s Black Belt ceremony, however Grandmaster did give all of us testing for full rank individual “Good Jobs!”.  This next month is looked at as a probationary period.  It’s a period of observation to make sure that you continue to conduct yourself in a manner becoming of a Black Belt.  So even though I did well on the test, and I’m certain I passed, it still does not yet feel complete.  Once I receive that black belt, I’m sure I’ll feel as though my Cho Dan test is finished.

I’m also kind of looking forward to what is to come with the new requirements I will have to learn.



  1. Oh, go ahead and bask in the glory! But I think I know how you feel – I would probably feel the same way. Congrats!

  2. I don’t really like being in limbo, myself. I’m sure you’ll do a great job over the next month, but that’s a long time to have that hanging over your head. I’m in a similar situation with my 2nd dan in Hapkido.

    Coincidentally, in my 3rd dan exam a few weeks back, I screwed up Tae Geuk Sam Jang myself. The 5th/6th movements I think I did inside blocks instead of inside knife hands (though I didn’t restart it). But I do love that form, too, such powerful movements.

    Preliminary congrats!

  3. Congratulations – even if conditional. You’ve worked hard for this.

    I also screwed up my very favorite kata at my black belt test – substituted nukite (knife hands) for an empi (elbow strike). I think because it is my favorite kata, I wasn’t as obsessive about practicing it as the kata I was worried about.

    • Thanks! You know, that might be what happened. I was relying too much on muscle memory and just kind of zoned out while starting it. I was supposed to do a kick, then punch-punch and totally missed the kick. Kind of an obvious mistake.

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