Saturday, June 10, 2006

Good Test

I arrive at the June promotional test in a downpour. Robbie's with me and we dart into the building. It's warm inside, which feels good for a moment, but I know it'll get hot later. I change and head out into the dojang.

It's a small group testing today, only two rows. That's, what, 14 people? My first test, the rows of students went all the way to the back. Our school is shrinking. At test time, though, that's nice.

Mr. Houtz appears, dressed up, to judge with the other black belts. I shake his hand and we chat a bit.

"I hope you'll start working out with us again," I tell him.

"Maybe I should do yoga with you again sometime," he laughs. He tells me about a "yoga for runners" class. Mr. Houtz runs in races and has some trouble with arthritis in his hip.

"That sounds like a good class for you," I tell him.

Robbie sits at the back with two cameras. He uses my digital one to make a movie of the whole group doing forms. He's up front when he makes it, so Savaun is right in front!

"It looks like a battle," says Robbie. That's a compliment. You can watch at the link below.

Forms movie.

Movies take up a lot of space on a little camera like mine, so the rest of the time he uses my film camera, getting some shots of me sparring--and of me breaking those boards!

I must say that breaking went well. I've been putting it out of my mind so I won't worry. I set up for the front elbow break very carefully. Arm breaks scare me. Master Hughes gives me some tips--he and Mr. Houtz are holding for me. "Hit with the meat of your arm," he says. "My arms don't have meat," I point out.

But I break, first try. Only a small bruise.

I get ready to do my jump reverse kick (two boards--before the test, Ms. Pryor has once again urged me to try two boards), but Master Hughes only has one. I ask him about it, but he says one is fine. Who am I to argue?

That break also goes well--I think I could have broken two.

Ms. Pryor asks me about it later. "I'd like to break two. Maybe we can do it in class sometime," I say. "Just to prove I can do it."

When I go up to talk to Nancy, my black belt judge, she compliments me. "Good test," she says. She says it more than once. It's nice to hear.

We're all drenched with sweat by the time we leave, and tired, too. Robbie has finished my roll of film. I'll post those pictures--and probably some of Brian A.'s--when I can.

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