Now imagine being in a room with all ranks and people of many sizes and builds doing the same thing you are doing. That’s more or less like taekwondo class with your fellow class mates watching but you have the grand master and his right and left hand upper ranking black belts watching you as well. Feel that pressure? Yea, you are now at a promotion.
This process may vary for discipline to discipline. After three to 6 months at any given rank up to brown belt with black strip your teachers will determine if you are ready for a promotion to the next rank. Once you are the perfecting begins, practicing your fighting form several times, being able to last a two minute sparing match and break boards. Ready in all three? Then you are ready to do all those events in front of the grandmaster him self as well as 100+ students promoting as well. I’m a bit of a ham so getting in front of crowds isn’t really the issue for me. Sometimes I can get stuck in my head but that’s when I just have to focus one event at a time. My parents video recorded every promotion. It was really cool to see it from there prospective. Not as daunting. Each promotion I was excited and nervous. But I didn’t look it. I suppose a good poker face is always good to have.
Now during a black belt promotion, it’s much longer. This happens every six months and you perform ALL your ranks fighting forms, spar for two minute one on one and then a three on one for one minute, oh and board breaking of course. The key is to pace your self and breathe. Between black stripe and black belt a 6-8 months of prep is required. You start with an application and letter to the grandmaster. Your instructor and the upper ranking black belts of your class rate you on each fighting form, board breaking, and sparring event. Once they feel you are ready, you then get to go to the black belt promotion where about 50 other students are also there for the same reason. For me this process was a little nerve raking but manageable. Timing, meeting deadlines and balancing school at the time. It felt good to have achieve this goal once it was all over. Each degree or rank after black belt gets a little more difficult, more boards and longer sparring matches. Lots of practice and time. Totally worth it. Wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
Hope you enjoyed this weeks Kick with the smile blog! I post these blogs every Tuesday!
Keep keeping and smiling!- TJ Banski