New Brown!!!

I thought it lasted an hour, but I was told it was only 40 minutes.

I thought I was going to puke about halfway, but I didn't.

I thought I was going to remember some strategy, but I couldn't remember how to spell Tang Soo Do.

Teacher called me earlier in the day and told me the basic format of the test, but I can honestly say that it didn't prepare me for what was coming up. We had a standard class for the first hour which I found exhausting anyway. My notorious bad breathing (breath holding) exhibiting itself right away. We broke for a fairly long time (20 minutes) which I didn't realize I should have been appreciating a bit more, then it was test time. Teacher, Teacher Slim and Teacher G sat in chairs at the head of the room. Teacher ran me through every kick, block and strike, sometimes mixing them with movement or not and then I did our first kata/hyung, Kecho hyung Ill Boo and our seventh, Pyung Ahn Sa Dan. Might I add that I was incredible.

Teacher then passed the exam to Teacher G. This was the unknown element. I've only seen Teacher G about three times in the last five years and his background is incredibly hard style. He ran me through multiple exercises with pads and movement and then threw in push-ups and back up again. I was pretty much going to puke and keep thinking to myself, "Can I do this?" or "This is got to end soon" unfortunately it didn't. He kept going to point where I was going to drop. It was precisely the feeling I had on a cardiac stress test, but there I could stop. Here I could not.

Next was Teacher Slim. With a silly grin he asked me to spell Tang Soo Do. Mentally, I was, "no problem, and I love you for giving me a break," but we I tried to speak there wasn't enough blood or O2 in my brain to carry it off. I gather it was t-a-n long pause s-o really long pause d-o. He couldn't stop giggling I couldn't figure out what I'd missed.

Teacher was the final portion of the of evening's festivities. Sparring. I wasn't even really sure if we were going to spar since I was so exhausted, but that's what happened. First it was Nilon, the man that loves to scrap. In his credit I will say that he didn't try any of his normal "invent a move" crap and stuck to the program. Second was Lux. During the first hour we had been doing minimal impact work, so this was a big change and I thought he did really great for a new guy. Then Beard. I knew he wasn't going to pull any punches when he palm heeled my cheek. Well I honestly didn't mind at that point and gave as good as I got. My last bout was with Teacher who came onto me quickly, but the irony was that I was ready for that. I laid into him as hard as I could manage and the worse thing that came from that was him popping my ear with a flat hand. Ouch = ringing.

They had me bow, gave me a belt and then we went down the street for a beer. I had to drive down the block because I could barely walk.

My favorite line from the evening was from Teacher, "I told you to fight them, not beat them!"


Bob Patterson said…


I too am notorious for holding my breath and not ki-yapping enough.

How long before black belt?

Potatoe Fist said…
I'm guessing at my speed probably several years. Basically two more ranks before black. I'm not rushing into after that test.
Patrick Parker said…
congrats dude. sounds rigorous!
Potatoe Fist said…
Barftastic would be the word.
Meg said…
Congratulations!!! Your test sounds 100% harder than anything I've done, including two Dan tests!! Many, many congratulations!
Do you stripe in your school or...?? What belt is next?
Potatoe Fist said…
Theoretically my next rank would be a single black stripe, but I'm not sure how Teacher will go.

I'm surprised and delighted to hear that my test sounded difficult. After hearing so many other schools and the things they have to go through I thought that maybe we weren't up to the general standard. I thought it was tough...
Mathieu said…
big congrats!!!
Potatoe Fist said…
Thanks Mat. I'm not really sure it's sunk in yet.
AikiAddict said…
Potatoe said…
Thanks Aikiaddict. It's nice to see that the old posts are still read and that you cared enough to leave a comment!

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