Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One step closer

Tonight I had my midterm as a 1st degree black belt recommended. Considering I hadn't done anything since a week ago, well...I wasn't exactly nervous. I was fine for the most part. The only part I was a little concerned about was the board breaking, considering last week was the first time that I had done the double break together.

But first things first.

It was a very small testing. We were in and out in an hour-- actually a pinch less, which was good. Two people advanced to new black belts-- one 1st degree, and one 2nd degree, which is cool. There was one new kid who was a white belt going for his first testing, and he was a good sport and did well, so that was good. It's funny when the color belts who are advancing get happy because when we have to line up by rank, the highest ranked is in front, and lowest in back, and when you get to move up a row, it's celebration time! Other than the kid who promoted to 1st degree decided tonight, I was the next highest color belt there, so it was kinda cool that I'm finally closing in on the black belts, at least where I stand. At the beginning, we all go by height, and I'm the tallest woman, and I was the 3rd tallest person there, by only an inch or so. Eek.

So, I get called up, and fortunately, I didn't have to do my form alone, as the other 1 BR had to do it too, and for once, he didn't rush through. I think I put the ki-haps in the right place, and it wasn't perfect, but I think it was as good as I've ever done it, bad knee and all. (And I should note-- I didn't wear my knee brace tonight just so I had full flexibility for at least one night.)

Next was weapons with the ssahng jeh banhg (aka numchakas). Generally that went okay too, until near the end. It's just a set of drills--1 set of striking lines, then 1 set of 3 triangles, 1 set of Vs, 1 set of 3-360s,and 1 set of figure eights. Well, I got through everything fine until the figure eights. With the very first manuever, I messed up and hit my glasses. It flustered me a little, but I kept moving, and the rest of it was fine. Bleeh. I don't know if she was paying that close attention, but otherwise, it was flawless, and the recovery was good.

Sparring was not much to speak of. I had to spar a 9 year old brown belt. He's been getting better, but there was a point where I actually had enough balance for a moment where all I did was stand there and do roundkicks at him, and I could swear I threw at least 4 kicks at him before losing by balance and he didn't fend them off. So, the sparring was a wash, and it was just a formality in the end.

Then, the dreaded board breaking. And of all the people that had to do it, guess who had to go first! DING! DING! DING! That's right, you guessed correctly. ME. Oh crap. So, I go up, and set up my boards. The problems are a) I still have a hard time with judging the distance for the kick coming out of the elbow break, b) my flexibility changes day to day, and c) I'd only done this double break together for the first time last week. You have up to three tries to break the boards, and it would be my luck that they'd have to be plastic. If it had been wood boards, no problem. Damn. I really wasn't nervous, but more...just wanting to get it done, and wishing I could have more warmup than I had, since I still didn't have the rhythm, I really didn't panic or get nervous. So, I set up, bow in, and do the elbow-- nothing. I move onto the jump kick, thinking that will be done. Nothing. CRAP! So I reset up, practice again, bring the kick board in a pinch closer, bow in....I get the elbow, but no foot. DOUBLE CRAP! Well, at least I got the elbow in the second break. Now the pressure was on, and like I said, I wasn't nervous, but really pissed at myself. Why didn't I go to board breaking class last Saturday? Damn. Well, with only having to do the kick, I could set up a little better, but she decided to put me on hold for a second as she set up the other 1BR for his breaks, and with wood and being a teenage football player, he's got the power and strength to pop those things pretty easily, and he was doing the same breaks as I was. Damn. I mean, I was glad for him--he had a good night, but still... So, it went back to me, and SW is saying, go ahead, just set it up, no practice, and then it finally popped. I was so glad. I knew if I didn't make it, I was going to fall a cycle behind, and it would be a disaster.

Now, I understand that there's a point system, and you need so many in order to get that black belt. Well, because I couldn't make those board breaks is fewer tries, my points are LOW. That means that when I go to test for rank next time, everything has to be FLAWLESS. First of all, that's difficult with a bad knee. I can't get my stances consistent as a result. I try, though. I can't have nice balance as a result either. Yes, I'll have more time to work on those breaks and I'll be able to do it on wood, but man, there will be more pressure. I'm sure my family will be coming, so if I fail, well, that would be letting them down and wasting their time for coming. Man, I didn't need this. I broke them, at least, but it wasn't good. Bleeh! I guess I have to talk to SW about it, and get a better assessment of the damage done.

At least I can say this much. She didn't yell at me tonight, and get me rattled before having to do this before so many people. To be honest, I tuned everyone out, and just treated it like it was just classtime. No, the more I think about it, I really wasn't that nervous. I've been more nervous before this. If anything, I'm just really angry at myself, and I don't know how to make myself feel better. I'm still burnt out, but now I am SOOOOOOOO close to this black belt that I can taste it. It's only 2 months away (give or take).

Now, the pressure is really on. It's crunch time. :-S


Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I didn't see this before I went to bed last night so I was hoping it went okay. I think you should be proud of making the break on plastic at all, because despite seeming easy, that is not an easy break combo. You go, girl!! Next step is all black. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh finally! Keep focused this cycle and then maybe give yourself a month off or something to get rid of that burnout. Love, Oceandirt

Becky said...

Congratulations on being one step closer. Sorry to hear you had a hard time with the board breaks. Which color boards were you breaking? Just being nosy.

I had to chuckle when I read about you and your glasses. I have knocked mine off my face so many times, especially when doing my bo kata. Good thing they are safety glasses!

frotoe said...

Congratulations. Sounds like you did a great job regardless of the breaks. I've never broken anything in karate (besides my arm-hehehe) I would like to try sometime. We don't do it often in my dojo so I don't have much of an opportunity. good luck with your testing. I'm sure you'll do great!