I put my big boy gi pants on and went with the other black belts from our school and went down to Eugene.  It was a two hour trip with two hours spent getting there and then two hours back.  I finally got home at 11pm.  It made for a very long day. 

First thing of note was their school.  An old auto shop that had been refitted at some expense.  It must have been 2000 square feet or so.  Two full rooms.  That school's leader was a fifth degree (go dan) which gave the proceedings a very authoritative feeling, but the big deal was the Shihan and his wife (another super high ranker) doing the judging.

So many degrees I got sunburn.

The fun bit was being in a room with only blackbelts.  Everyone was very convivial and most people were mostly focused on warming up.

21 Black and 2 Brown

I can't claim that I totally understood the scoring system, but the candidate had to perform 10 kata, then they had to break it down into sections with another person and then perform the whole kata with another person at attacker and defender.  Afterwords it was elbow techniques and some self-defense.  

The other Shodans (first degree black belts like me) from the Eugene school had to constantly ask questions among themselves because they didn't understand why our folks were doing different stuff from their folks.  Confusion abound.  There were two Browns shooting for their blacks, about five Sho's going for their Nidan and two Nidan were going for their third.  Of our school one brown and one Ni didn't make it, but the guy going for his third did great.    

So the ride home had a somber feeling, but we'll see how folks are tonight.


Anonymous said…
I always got stressed out over those formal tests. I have to say that I don't miss that part of TKD. This judo crew seems closer to my kung fu school: organic. ;-)

If I can every bloody well return we'll see if I'm right!

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