The test for my black belt in taekwondo begins at 10 o'clock sharp this morning. I'm expecting it to run around three hours, give or take.
Among the things it will include:
-A timed 1/2 mile run
-2-1/2 minutes each of jumping jacks, sit-ups, and pushups
-Timed bagwork (hands, feet and combination)
-Demonstrating that I know the previous 11 (!!) belts' worth of forms, techniques and self-defenses (this will take the bulk of the test time)
-Seven belts' worth of step-sparring
-A so-called "chain of pain" (probably ten-fifteen minutes of straight sparring in gear, with a new opponent substituting in every minute; this is exhausting)
-Board breaking (two 1/2' boards with each foot strike, one board per hand strike), and
-Teaching the audience two self-defenses that I have come up with on my own, one each for an attack with a weapon and a bare-hand attack.
There will almost certainly be other stuff as well. The head instructor likes to change things up a bit with each test. Oh, and to make things even MORE fun, his mentor will be there observing as well! No pressure. My instructor is 3rd dan (third degree); the mentor is 5th dan. Oh, and as the icing on the cake, our dojo has changed over from taekwondo-based MMA to pure ITF taekwondo in the last year or so, and along with that has come a *lot* of terminology changes to keep straight. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I will be when this thing is finally over with!
As I stress, people keep reminding me that I wouldn't be testing if my instructor didn't think I was ready. I know they're right, but it is what it is. In the five-plus years I've been doing this, I've never seen someone test for a belt and not receive it even if they make a royal mess of things, so by early afternoon I'm pretty sure I'll have the black belt. At this point, I'm just hoping that I make a good show of earning it and that I don't get hurt while doing so!!
Wish me luck, please???