Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas Eve Hapkido Testing

Our belt test was held on Wednesday at 5PM, so we all had to rush from work to the. Starting at 5PM means that if you arrive AT 5PM, then you are already late, and that was me.

No biggy though because it took a long time to organise everything. The students from ALL the classes along with their parents were. Yup, that is what I said, their parents. It seems that the day before Christmas is the big show-of day for the parents to see what their children are up to.

In this country most dojangs are run as hagwans. This is especially true for dojangs with lots of school students. I have to give credit to Master Jo though, if you want to work harder and put more time in then he is always there to help. Anyway, dojangs, being hagwans where you don’t actually learn anything you need for any test, can also be a place to send children just get them out of the house, and I suspect that is why we saw all these parents who can’t be bothered to come during the year to check up. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I’m not, either way, it is just an opinion in the end.

Our test was not really a test at all. Starting with the lowest belt colours, we took to the floor in groups to do a few kicks, punches, blocks and break falls. I made a few mistakes, way to many to my liking. The weirdness of this situation that we knew nothing about was no fun at all, and being first up meant us foreigners had no chance to see what was suppose to happen.

After the kicking and stuff, the Korean colour belts had their chance to break boards. Each student had his little board on which he wrote a message for mommy and daddy. You write a message and then hit the hell out of the board. Nice! One parent for each student would then come to the floor and hold the board. The student would read the message and proceed to break it, sometimes with a little help. It was actually quite cute to see.

I was the only foreigner who broke anything. Master Jo asked me to throw a roundhouse kick at a baseball bat. Breaking a flimsy bat is fun. Likely Master Jo wanted to show his foreigners of a bit and I was perfectly willing to help. This is a business after all, and he does treat us well.

After my “big kick” the testing day was brought to an end because the busy parent had to go catch up with all the thing they usually do, seeing how they were forced to come look at their little darlings for more a few minutes longer than the one hour they expected.

It was a weird experience overall, but not something I would have wanted to miss.

After the testing the students who arrived late and missed their chance got the opportunity to do their stuff. I was stretching when these students took to the floor. As Eddy is normally directly behind me in class when we practice, I never get to see him kick. It was painful to see. AS an example, his roundhouse kick came in at about knee high. This is a kick that should potentially hit someone’s head. Sure, I can’t go that high yet, but at least I can punish our chest a bit. That is what you get for stretching a bit ever day.

Eddy, for some reason, thought he was going to get a blue belt after this test. White to blue in two months? Are you kidding me? He impressed me later when he said that he doesn’t think he is ready for a blue belt and that one more month will do him good. You think? It took me five and I don’t really believe I deserve it. That is why I will be putting in extra work this holiday, so that I can be more deserving of my belt colour.

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