I have a blue belt with one stripe…and you need four stripes before you test for the next belt when you are a blue belt. When you start as a white belt, you can earn a stripe in a few weeks if you attend class and practice and learn. Now at blue belt, it takes several months to get each stripe. I got ‘stuck’ at my first stripe for a bit longer since I had appendicitis and took 5 weeks off, and then had business trips and took another 2 weeks off.
Friday I was tested on some of the moves including break falls. I typically struggle with the break falls because I get too logical and start to wonder why I would willingly throw my body onto the floor in any of the three moves we have to do:
- front breakfall rolling diagonally across the body so the spine doesn’t hit
- back breakfall ensuring the head doesn’t touch and finishing in a standing position
- forward fall, landing on forearms and head turned sideways to protect your teeth (think falling off a ledge and landing flat on the ground without being hurt)
But Friday, I was caught off guard, called out of line, and told to do my breakfalls. I tucked my head, did each one, and had no problem. I did them so well, my instructor asked when I had mastered my nemisis. I realized the more I think of them, the scarier they are and this time I had no time to think, just do what I’d learned and practiced.
Tomorrow, I will perform the final part of the test that includes 3 forms. Each form has 20-40 moves including different positions, kicks, blocks, punches, and turns with footwork. I am confident of one form, 90% on the second, and 10% on the third. This means somehow tomorrow, with 7 meetings to attend, I need to fit in some time to practice before my class. I’m thinking I could stand up in each meeting and maybe at lunch, and practice each form a few times. This would accomplish a few things:
- I’d be more prepared for my test
- I’d give everyone a diversion from the serious corporate agendas they are discussing
- It could make people think I need time off work, and then I could even take time off
- I could get people interested in martial arts
Think of me tomorrow, and hope I pass my test without being called a lunatic for practicing at work, or kicking someone by accident as I do a jumping spinning crescent kick. Wonder what that will look like in my heels?
Here’s to the celebration if I pass….