It was brutal. It was grueling. It was over 9 hours long. It was the hardest thing I have to physically do in my life. But I passed. I now hold the rank of brown-black sash in Mo Duk Pai.
It was not the test I studied for. I had my Fighting Principles flash cards I kept reviewing. Wasn’t asked a one. I practiced my forms application breakdowns. Never had to demonstrate them.
The first thing we did was spar. That’s an eye-opener at 7 in the morning when you hardly sleep the night before. They played tricks on us to rile us: my opponents kept fighting after the center judge yelled break, kept pushing me out of the ring. It’s all to see how I would react. But my ego is not that invested in sparring – that’s just not my button to push.
I felt really good about my full-speed multi-person attacks. Every time I faced a line of attackers I had one thought in my head: hot knife through butter. I was going to go through my attackers like a hot knife through butter. Once I forgot to yell “OK!” when I was finished, and wondered why no one was getting up.
I felt really good about my presentation forms as well, although I did wobble a bit on my second go ‘round with Lim Po, my perfected form. Maybe not so perfect.
This morning I woke up sore and achy all over. My back hurt. I’ve been gobbling ibuprofen. My arms are all bruised. I’m sporting a lovely little shiner and I’ve got a black bruise above my mouth. I’m quite a sight to see. Ha! But I’ve got my brown-black sash.