Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Just a quick update this week as I just wanted to let you all know that Amy and I did our Hapkido black belt test last weekend... and we passed!

So, we are now officially First Degree black belts in Hapkido!

Sunday morning, bright and early, we showed up at one of the local community centers, which had been transformed into our testing facility for the day. We were there with about 80 other kids, teens and some adults from around the Ulsan area to do our test. The atmosphere was excited and a little tense - I know Amy and I were a little nervous to have to demonstrate our skills in such a public arena.

The test itself was pretty straightforward: first, we had to demonstrate our aptitude in the kicks (front kick, side kick, spin kick and jumping spin kick) and then in the breakfalls and tumbling. Next we had to show our defenses (to wrist, jacket and bear hugs, and then to punches, kicks and lunges) using a variety of take down moves.

Finally the test culminated in a one-on-one sparring bout. Just my luck too - the only person my height to spar with was some 2nd or 3rd degree black belt guy. He had me from the start and stayed solely on the defense plyaing with me much like a cat does to a mouse - but, I like to think I may have got a couple of good kicks in! Amy, in contrast, had to take on a 13 year girl. Not much of a contest, as Amy soundly whipped her butt.

Anyway, we were lucky to have our friend Dave Harvey photograph our test for us and he got lots of great shots. Please check them out on his site under the Hapkido gallery. While you're there have a look at some of his other work - it is excellent!

That's it for now.... more later



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