Black Belt Test -- How bad was it? Really?

Gordon Nore

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This thread -- http://martialtalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1071415&postcount=1 -- got me thinking...

How bad was your black belt test, really? Not the usual war stories: My first dan lasted three days, and we survived by drinking our own urine. If we stopped, Sensei called us sissies and spanked us with tonfa... How much did it really suck?

Mine sucked big time. I was anxious and cold. I kept weaving and fell over a couple of times because I couldn't breathe right. One of the examiners, a long-time teacher and friend, took me aside, and said, "Gord, you'll be fine, but you've got to breathe." Without skipping a beat, I looked at him, sucked some air into my nostrils and stood there, essentially holding my breath, but thinking to myself that I understood what he said and followed it. About six hours after my test, I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed my shoulders were at the same height as my ears. First time I actually exhaled that day.
 

bluekey88

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The test itself was challenging but not impossible. There was nothing technique wise I couldn't do.

What sucked was it was a summer test in th emiddle of a heat wave in an un-airconditioned dojang...ANG...I came down with a stomach bug the day before the test. I was soooo ill. During grappling, I tapped out not becaus emy partner had me in anything, I just didn't want to let loose on him :D

Peace,
Erik
 
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Gordon Nore

Gordon Nore

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What sucked was it was a summer test in th emiddle of a heat wave in an un-airconditioned dojang...ANG...I came down with a stomach bug the day before the test. I was soooo ill. During grappling, I tapped out not becaus emy partner had me in anything, I just didn't want to let loose on him :D

I was having back problems, as I noted in the other thread. We got relocated to a gym with no heat (that I could tell) on a winter's day. I don't disown the test or feel that I didn't earn my rank, but if my rank depended on that day's performance...
 

terryl965

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Mine was over three dats and that is still the standard that I keep today at my school, first dayis all about physical fitness, second is about history and all techniques and the last day is about fighting question and answer and then fighting, if they can stand to have the belt put around them the pass if not we try again in a year.
 

jks9199

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My test was pretty simple...

It was the years of training to get there that was hard.

The test itself was in November, outside, and there were two things that made the physical part a challenge. The first was doing our forms in a group with somebody I'd never practiced with before. And we'd rarely done forms in groups before anyway... The second was the rain that started when we were doing our stick forms. Made swinging a 6 foot oak stick a little more interesting...

Then there was the questioning in front of the grandmaster...

At the time, there was no pattern to how our black belt test was done. You knew you had to demonstrate a particular empty hand form (The Line Form), kukri draws, and the long stick (4 winds form). So that was another challenge... You literally didn't know if you were doing the forms individually or in a group, all of them, or just one (I saw one test stopped after all the candidates did a poor job of the first form demonstrated...), or even something completely different, like one year where the grandmaster simply instructed everyone present on the Line Form.

Note that the current test process includes a demanding PT test, along with the skills demonstrations, and is only done in August...
 

Rich Parsons

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This thread -- http://martialtalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1071415&postcount=1 -- got me thinking...

How bad was your black belt test, really? Not the usual war stories: My first dan lasted three days, and we survived by drinking our own urine. If we stopped, Sensei called us sissies and spanked us with tonfa... How much did it really suck?

Mine sucked big time. I was anxious and cold. I kept weaving and fell over a couple of times because I couldn't breathe right. One of the examiners, a long-time teacher and friend, took me aside, and said, "Gord, you'll be fine, but you've got to breathe." Without skipping a beat, I looked at him, sucked some air into my nostrils and stood there, essentially holding my breath, but thinking to myself that I understood what he said and followed it. About six hours after my test, I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed my shoulders were at the same height as my ears. First time I actually exhaled that day.


My Black Belt Test is one of the few things to survive my divorce. But that being said. I give it to our students to watch before their test. I know they compare themselves to me and the other seniors as we are now. But, this is to show them that we are all human. I know I still have to work, but that is me. I know it has helped those that have seen it.
 

shihansmurf

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I had to wade through a river of lava holding an orphan in each hand whilst reciting the sacred secrets of karate in flawless Japanese.

Following that I had to perform each form 1000 times without error, break a 1987 Ford F-150 into fourths(this was only for shodan, after all), then I had to scale Everest completely naked.

After that the real test began.

I had to kill a shark.

In the water.

With my hands tied.

Unarmed.

I had fin in my teeth for weeks.

:)

My Shodan test took a few hours. The most difficult part of the test had nothing whatsoever to do with any physical requirement(althought that river of lava and orphan bit was kinda hard :)) The psychological aspect of the test was challanging. The fact that we build up the status, rightly or not, of the black belt so much makes that test into so much of a hurdle for the majority of students that the grading becomes a thing of near mythic proprotion.

Physically the worst part was the broken nose during the first sparring match and knowing that I had nine more to go.

Mark

P.S. I decorated my belt with shark teeth.......
 

jarrod

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the first style of jujitsu i was in awarded brown belt for fighting ability, & black belt for teaching ability. so i had to teach a 2hr seminar to my coaches students in another town that i hadn't worked with before.

for judo & shingitai jujitsu, there really wasn't a test. i was giving as good as i got with black belts in randori & competition, so i got my black belts. it doesn't sound as hardcore as shihansmurf's story, but that's how it was.


jf
 

Korppi76

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My first Black Belt test was easier than I expected.
I got feeling that I am doing well and this is easy and in next moment my uke punched me to face :)
 

celtic_crippler

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I looked forward to my black belt test. I had heard stories of the hours-long infamous kenpo black belt tests and thought of it as a right of passage and welcomed the grueling ritual.

I trained for years with that in mind actually....extending my training routines to build endurance and routinely reviewing all the material I'd have to know (we're talking about a notebook that ultimately ended up being almost 6 inches thick by test time!)

My only complaint was that I feel my sifu tested me with another student that was not ready and that almost cheapened and ruined a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.

The other student routinely badgered my sifu about testing, and I think that contributed to it....but anyway....back to topic...

We actually had an EMT on hand for the test (he was also a student) and the student testing for black with me would have to routinely stop and actually take Oxygen from an E tank.....it's true.

During these "breaks" though, and this was the only redeeming thing about it, other student's were tested. We had a brown belt and purple belt test the same day and I would uke while my co-tester sucked in the O2.

So I actually got "beat up" as much as I did the "beating" so I felt it wasn't a total loss..... but I was still kind of disappointed that I was not allowed to go A-Z without stopping.

BTW, this other student always seemed to be behind me during the test. I didn't think about it until later when another student pointed it out and said they were always a few seconds behind where I was....watching what I was doing....know what I mean?

Anyway, we both got our "black belts" but only one of us is still training. Guess that says something about where our heads are, huh?
 

SA_BJJ

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I had to eat horse rectum, drink a gallon of my own urine and drive a car thru a burning building....evidentally fear is not a factor for me.....lol
 

Drac

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I had to eat horse rectum, drink a gallon of my own urine and drive a car thru a burning building....evidentally fear is not a factor for me.....lol

Nor is sanity..LOL
 

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