Lethal Weapon

I got some great news last night! But first, some background info:

As you probably know by now, I study Kung Fu. I’ve been doing it now for more than 4 years, and I love it. It was the first physical activity that I really stuck with, because it’s different in a lot of ways. The biggest differences, in my opinion:

    • It’s social. Since it’s a class, you end up seeing the same people on a very regular basis and you can’t help but become friends with them. It’s particularly fabulous to meet people in this way because you make friends with folks from all walks of life, and yet, you have this thing that you all do in common. Something to build on as you learn what else you have in common!
      • You’re given instruction, and never have to come up with your own workout – just follow along! I still have problems staying motivated at the gym – even when I’m already there.
        • There’s a wide variety of activities: Sometimes it’s kickboxing/sparring. Sometimes it’s weapons. Sometimes it’s routines or self defense. It changes week to week so it doesn’t get boring.
          • And – the thing that this post is about – Since you’re learning things, as you progress, you learn new, different, and more challenging things. Nothing keeps you going back to a class like wanting to learn the next move!

            In December of 2007, I tested for my Black Belt – and passed. If you’ve ever been in martial arts, you know that after you get your Black Belt, you’re essentially a White Belt again, starting from a brand new beginning. You can equate it to getting your Bachelor’s Degree: If you go back as an undergrad, it’s like you’re a Freshman again.

            I happily became a Freshman again. I spent the next 18 months learning brand new techniques, routines and weapons. Some things I picked up quickly, and some were really very challenging – I think I liked those even more!

            From Black Level 1 to Black Level 2 technically takes a minimum of 24 months at my school. However, for the last few tests (they only do testing twice a year, in June and December) there have been people who were asked to test after just 18 months.

            I wanted to be one of those people.

            This past June was my 18-month mark. I had learned everything required at Black Level 1, and I felt like I had everything down quite well! Certainly as well as previous testers, at least.

            And then I was told that our Master wanted everyone to wait at least 2 years. Of course, they decided to stick to the rules when it was my turn… Scratch that – I’m over it…

            The reason I’m telling you all of this, is that our Master informed me yesterday that I am on the list to test in December! I’m thrilled :)

            He then followed it up by saying that I have the next 3 months to refine everything and “shape up” or I won’t be testing.

            So the next few months should be fun! It sounds like he’s raising the standards for testing, which is alright by me. In fact, there was a time when I thought the standards for testing were far too low – that as long as you were there for a certain amount of time and kinda got it, you would be given a pass. I’m big on principles, so you can imagine I wasn’t thrilled about that, but I digress…

            I’m really looking forward to getting my next belt and being a Freshman again. I’m ready to learn some new routines and weapons!

            Now I just have to not screw this up…

            4 Responses to “Lethal Weapon”

            1. Jessica Says:

              Yay! Congrats!

            2. South Beach Steve Says:

              That is great news! I used to be friends with a young man who was thought to be one of the best in our state in his martial arts discipline. He said the same thing you said, only in a different way. He told us that once you earn your black belt, you realize that you are just at the beginning.

            3. Sarah Says:

              Awesome! Best of luck; I'll be cheering you on!

            4. Sarah Says:

              Awesome! Best of luck; I'll be cheering you on!