Blue-Green Sash

August 29, 2011

We tested on Saturday and I was awarded my Blue-Green sash. Of all of the tests I have taken, this one seemed to be the most grueling, as it should be. Three students went up for their Black sashes, and all three of them passed their tests. All three are exceptional martial artists, and all three definitely earned their sash after that test.

During the four-hour test, not one of them was given a break other than constantly performing forms on the sidelines. The most demanding part of their test was the sparring. They sparred for so many rounds I lost count. After each round a fresh sparring partner was called in to push them harder. Towards the end, they were sparring black belts and being taken to the ground. They were nearly drained, at times it seemed like they could barely lift their arms, but they kept fighting. It was impressive.

I was tested along with two of my fellow advanced students, and although we did get breaks, some of those breaks were either performing structure sets or sitting in toilet bowl on the sidelines. Anxiety about this test didn’t really set in until the night before, and it remained there pretty much until the end of the test. Here are some brief highlights of the test:

  • Hardest part: Toilet Bowl. My legs were on fire! I was relieved to get back on the mat and test or dummy, which I was given many opportunities do to. Toilet Bowl sucks! What I did notice, though, was that performance anxiety was lessened when I was able to get out of that toilet bowl.
  • Hardest hit: During the black belt testing, I was able to spar with each of them at least once. They had been sparring for quite a while and were nearly drained when I took a good elbow to the face, just under my nose. It caught the bottom of my nose/top of my teeth. I’m sure that elbow wasn’t meant to be thrown at my face, but it was a good hit nonetheless. When your that drained, control starts to slip. Glad I didn’t lose a tooth on that one – half of an inch lower and I probably would have.
  • Favorite part: Forms. As far as I can tell, I only really botched up one small section on form #2, but I recovered, performed the step I missed and continued without stopping. On concentration #2, I was able to complete the form with held breath for the first time, and it felt good. Some of the black belts on the panel told me that my forms were very good, so I was happy with that part. Forms are about the only thing I consistently practice at home.
  • Trickiest part: After #1 kicking attack, I was asked to do it again. I haven’t done this trick nearly enough and knew it was going to suck, and it did. Actually, when Sifu called for me to do this, I did #2 instead, which worked well I thought, but it wasn’t what he asked to see, then after botching up the right trick, I was asked to do it again. I’ve kept a notebook that lists the tricks and how we perform them, and wouldn’t you know, kicking attacks aren’t in the notebook. They will be soon! Another trick I almost botched was #4, which is such a simple trick. I felt like a dope but got through it. Oh well.
  • Scariest part: We three advanced students testing for colored sashes were the dummies for the three advanced students going for Black sash. For their knife tricks, Sifu brought out a bowie-knife instead of the rubber training knives. For a second there, I thought that Sifu was going to put that bowie-knife in my hand. Of course, he did not, to my great relief. That was the only part of their tests where the three senior students dummied for another student. Nobody was cut, but it was tense. When we do knife tricks, sometimes the blade slips, sometimes I’ll catch the blade with my hand. It’s even flown out of the dummy’s hand and across the room. The reality of it sinks in of what little control I actually have demonstrated. Glad it was them and not me!

There was much more to the test than just these highlights, but honestly, this was one where I was just happy when it was over. I was happy to have passed, I was bruised and scuffed, I was drenched with sweat, I was drained, my face stung, and I felt pretty good. In the end, though, I was just relieved that we do not have class on Sunday!


3 Responses to “Blue-Green Sash”

  1. Kathy said

    Congrats on your promotion!

    Sifu T and his bowie-knife. When I was going up for my White/Purple and our Sifu M’s wife was going for her student Black, Sifu T sat on the board. I remember when he pulled out that knife, I was so glad that I was sitting on the sidelines at that moment.

    I’m coming back after a week of family vacation-not really looking forward to the first couple of classes-I know that I will be sore.


  2. Kajumaga said

    Thanks Kathy! Hope you had an excellent week off, and welcome back!

  3. Nick said

    Sounds like you guys had a good promotion. It wouldnt be a good one if you did every thing perfect now would it? They are there to point out what your missing in your training and to test you understanding. Its a mental, physical, and survival test they want to see how you push through what is in front of you.

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