Friday, 28 November 2008

Another Month. Another Test.

We will have another belt test today. Hopefully I will not make a mess of it like I did last time. From what I have figured out so far, Hapkido belts are based on your knowledge of Self Defence Moves. Kicking, punching, tumbling and weapons are not part of the pre-black belt requirement. I could be wrong, but there are children here at the dojang who are useless, so it must be Moves.

Normally it takes one year to get through the requirements for your first black belt. In other martial arts it can take as long as four year, so I don’t put to much faith in the value of this particular black belt. Never the less, a thick black will sure look cooler than a thin yellow or thin red or thin anything. We also get our names embroidered on our black belts, and I like that a lot.

Right now it seems that we foreigners are being fast tracked through these moves and thus through the belts. At the rate we are going now we are all set to get our belts well before the end of one year. The others might get theirs in an even shorter time than I will.

Eddy is one of these “lucky” ones. Eddy joined one month ago. Because of a competition (in which I won gold), we had our October belt tests in November and Eddy joined one week before that test. During that week we studies self defence, so Eddy was lucky enough to get his first upgrade after just one week. If he gets a new belt tonight he will have received two upgrades in one month. I had my first belt test one month after I started and the actual test that included the requirements another month later. That is two month for my first belt.

Eddy sound like he is fantastic, right, but here is the thing. He was lucky. He joined in the particular week when we studied the requirement and now, with the extra foreigners, we are moving much faster than when I was alone. Eddy can’t kick, while my spinning kick is gaining height. I am this ( àß) close to doing the forward flip while Eddy is afraid of rolling forward on the floor. Master Jo points out small thing that I do wrong while he corrects Eddy once and then seems to give up, letting him do whatever he wants. I studied TEN moved to get my orange belt while Eddy needs to know only five. I am assuming he will get his new belt tonight with just the five. This is Korea, after all, and failing someone is just not done, so I’m pretty sure the five will be all he needs. I got my belt even with the mess I mad of it last time.

I’m, you can see why I would be upset. I work my arse of and have to do more than double what Eddy does, but I am not upset at all. When I get my black belt, and Eddy gets his one month later, I will be able to kick his arse in fifty ways that he doesn’t even know about. He will BELIEVE he is a black belt, but I will KNOW I am a black belt.

I didn’t join in order to get a black belt. I joined because I wanted to learn something useful while getting fit, and the gym just boring. Eddy keeps on asking be what the next bet is for me, but I don’t know and I don’t really care either. Why care about what colour your next belt is if you can’t even do a stupid little roll on the floor? Why should I care about when I get my black if I still lose my balance when I try to kick to fast or to high? It will come when it comes.

There is another foreigner with us who wants to be able to KNOW she is a black belt. Pinky is still kicking like a girl, but in a short time she has already surpassed Eddy. Eddy kicks like the guys in the clip at the end. I will be happy to have Pinky with me as a black belt, knowing that she knows how to kick my arse.

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