How to know when you are ready to test?

Drose427

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Hey everybody, its been a while since I've been on here but I'm up for my Blue Belt test this week or next. My problem is I don't personally feel ready. Much of my six months at redbelt was spent focusing on my first semester of college. I put too much on my plate and slacked off a bit in TKD. Physically, I know what I need to know, it's more of a matter of tweaking things. But some of the things I need to tweak I feel as basic enough that I shouldnt test for Blue until I straighten them out. (cat stance feet slightly out of line, occassionally leaning back in stead of sinking down, etc.) These little things are really chipping away at me mentally, making me uncomfortable with testing this test. My issue is, I've never held myself or not been ready to test when test came around, (Almost did with red belt but decided against it). The perfectionist in me is terrified because if I test and blow it because of umcomfortability and lack of confidence It'll kill me. But the though of not testing makes me feel ashamed for falling behind. I will be talking to my Sah Bum Nim about it next class, but for now, how did any of you guys know when you were ready to test for the higher ranks? Did you have any doubts? How did you deal with them?
 

Dirty Dog

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For me, and for students at our school, the answer is easy. You're ready to test when we tell you you're ready to test.
Students are evaluated every class and when they're ready, we tell them so.
If your school is one of those with tests at preset intervals, then all anybody can say is talk to your instructor. Colored belts aren't expected to have really perfected anything yet.
Personally, I've never cared for testing at preset intervals. Doing so is, to me, one sign of a McDojo.


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Drose427

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There isnt any testing Obligations, that is unless you are told by your instructor, which is why I tested for my red belt six months ago. Also, that is one of my concerns is that Im still performing at or above where I should be for my rank and Im just letting the perfectionist in take over and worry too much.
 

Dirty Dog

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If your instructor says you're ready, then I would assume that means you're ready.

Incidentially, in most TKD systems, red belt is higher than blue, usually the last belt before black. So if we're to know what your rank is, context would help. :)
 
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Drose427

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I am currently a red belt testing for my blue. In my school you must be a red belt for a minimum 6 months then you are allowed to test if you choose or are told otherwise. Part of the length is that at that rank we learn basai, which is the longest and most difficult form so far. After red belt we must spend at least a year at blue belt fine tuning techniques, I've heard it's the time where you get broken down and every move corrected, a test of commitment from how it looks. But I was in college taking much more than I shouldve so much of my 6 months at red was spent struggling to fit outside training in. But yeah, if they say to test, I test. Im probably just worrying too much.
 

Thousand Kicks

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To go along with Dirty Dog. Every class you attend gives your instructor a chance to evaluate your progress. If your instructor says you're ready, it should not be based on the last couple of months, but on your training in whole (but, yes you do have to show improvement from one test to the next). That being said, if you don't feel ready, just tell your instructor you want to wait. There is no shame in admitting you're not ready.

When I tested for my 1st dan I was a little nervous and wondering if I was ready. What I did not know was my 1st dan test would be my worst testing performance by a country mile. I spoke with my instructor afterwards and he agreed that the test itself was not a very good representation of me as a student. But, he also said that he was well aware of my training and preparation so the test itself had very little to do with my promotion to 1st dan.
 

sfs982000

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I would talk with your instructor about your testing, if they feel you are ready then I would trust their judgement. At the same time if you do not feel ready yourself there is nothing saying that you have to test. I've passed up testings because I didn't feel ready.
 
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