The last test we had put me at the 6th level of 1st degree. Regrettably this also means that I am now considered part of the “senior” first degrees. Today was our power class and the first class for all the newly assigned black belts. It was good to have a big class, not so much so when you are the “senior” people in the room.
Normal warm up 30 jumping jacks, 20 push ups, 20 sit ups. Moved onto our back and did six inches where you hold your feet off the ground six inches…not too hard except he does not believe in dropping them any time soon. Bring your leg in for bicycles (3 count 10 reps), don’t drop your feet 6 inches again. Back on our stomach for mountain climbers. Up on our feet for 30 more jumping jack, 30 chon ji (??) exercises, 30 more jumping jacks. Back down for sit ups, back over for diamond push ups, back up for 30 jumping jacks. Next was squats, 20 of them specifically. Mercifully after that it was stretching.
We moved onto form review and the first two forms were yellow and orange belt form. OK not too bad, I messed up my feet once, the Grandmaster saw me and laughed at me. No it was justified, I have taught this form so many times it is embarrassing to say I messed it up. Next form was an issue for me it was Choong Moo, it is the bodan form and I have not done it in a really long time. I said outright to the instructor nearest me that I did not know it all and he told me no worries. We ended up doing it 4 times, three times with count because apparently I am not the only one who forgot it and once without count. He did not chastise us for not knowing the form just told us to practice if we did not know it. Memo to me I need to practice.
Next came the shaming of the “senior” belts. Now it has been a year since I last did Kwan Gae, a year. When the Grandmaster asked me if I knew it I said that I remembered most of it but not all of it and he nodded. He then called all the senior belts up and proceeded to have us do it. Well guess what out of eight of us 7 were rusty. Sooooo what better way to reinforce the “you messed up” message then to have us spend the next 45 minutes NON STOP doing Kwang Gae. No not kidding. All of us were soaked through our t-shirts and embarrassed. The lower 1st degrees were taught the form and given breaks, we at one point had 2 minutes to get water and that was our break for 45 minutes. Over and over and over again, then he called the class back together and asked us if we knew it now. All I could think was “haven’t we been embarrassed enough?” No one dared laugh though as it was clear the Grandmaster was not happy.
We broke into two groups then to do target drills to finish the class. We did punching, then kicking and punching combinations alternating between partners. The school was hot and most everyone was feeling it. Last exercise, 50 punches, 50 front snap kicks, last one to finish does 20 push ups. You could be darn sure it was a lower belt that was last because NONE of the seniors were having it.
Class ended with a lecture on respect and making sure we show respect to everyone. He reminded us we were to always bow when we greet each other. OK look I bow to the higher belts for sure but to the same belt nope had not been doing it. Probably why we were all getting the lecture because none of us were. Oh well we sucked it up with the rest of the reprimands and quietly left the mat when class was finally dismissed. There was an uncomfortable silence around the 8 of us as I am sure we all looked humiliated and no one knew what to say to each other. Finally a new black belt came up to two of us who were talking and said “Can you show me the right way to tie my black belt?” It seemed to break the ice and others started talking again, so I was eternally grateful to that gentleman and made sure to thank him.
Came home and straight to the showers with me. If I have to do one more hammer fist I might have to scream!!!!