Oh, and if you want to check out my brother's vehicular type blog, go here. Its good stuff.
Black belt testing is coming up. Four students are going for it. Two of them I've been training for years. One of them started out as mine, but once I trasferred the YMCA program over to Bill he because her main instructor. The last person came to us because we were training his son and he decided to jump in himself. The young lady with be fine as she is an excellent baker and understands how to bribe senseis with brownies. She's learned well. The older fellow is a tough customer and should be fine. The boys from my program are really in for it.
They're both teens. Both of then started off in my kids program and advanced to the adult class once they turned 13. We introduced ourselves in the time honored manner of drills and sparring. They got to meet everyone in the adult class, and by "meet" I mean they fought them. Yes it seems cruel and horrible for a bunch of people to put on gloves and terrify 13 year olds in pugilistic fashion, but its Karate. That's just how it works.
The road to getting a black belt is different in different school. Some places are unfortunately all about the money, so if you stroke out a big enough check, you'll make it sooner or later. So places are more form oriented so if you can preform the forms to a certain proficiency then you'll move up through the ranks. Many are technical in the requirement. There's a time factor for seasoning the students. They have to have a grip on specific techniques and forms to advance.
The tow kids I've got going for it are a couple of spicy meatballs. This is coming up on the end of a years long hazing ritual. We've slapped them around. Made fun of them. Given them colorful nicknames. One student recently had to explain why he someone how got a rug burn on his forehead when he train in the room with a tiled floor. Don't know if his buddies at school noticed it, because there's no explaining away a rug burn on your forehead to your buddies when you're 14 years old. The other recently took a knee to the forehead. But it was his head and in his case not a vital target.
Mocking them aside. We are talking about a 16 year old kid who has gone toe-to-toe with with adults buck larger than him and has developed power and ridiculously quick punching and kicking speed. We're also talking about a really cagey 14 year old with a ton of tricks up his sleeve and the ability to nail the nerve cluster under the arm given anything resembling an opportunity. This is also the same kid who waged war against a conga line of students at the beach last spring. Freaked his folks out pretty good.
What we do is push these students. The ones that persevere the training gain insight into themselves. I looked at a couple of brown belts in the kids class who had a particularly memorable time getting those brown belts.
"Was that test the hardest thing you've done so far?"
"Yeah." They both answered. But they're both about 10, so the scope of hard things they've had to do is limited.
"Everything else seem a bit easier after that?"
You gain confidence in your own ability to get through things. You don't give up nearly as easily. "I survived that particularly gnarly test/class/seminar, and I can deal with this." Getting a black belt in my program takes guts above all else.
And of course we'll be examining the guts of some students fairly soon as we splatter them all over the dojo.
But not the girl. She makes brownies.
No, I'm not going to play "Kung-fu Fighting". That's never going to happen on here. Its like a rule of something. Instead, enjoy a really underrated Dire Straights tune.
That's it for me. Moved a literal ton of sand yesterday with shovel, so hopefully I'll have an easy day today. While I'm dreaming, I'd like a pony. See y'all Sunday.