June 18th, 2009: Black looks good on me

Hi gang!  Yesterday was one super crazy day and I’m so relieved that I survived it and it’s over.  Plus I can finally talk about it!

Scott and I tested and received our black belts yesterday in SF.  Hooray!!  Even if you don’t train in a martial art, I’m sure you can understand the physical and mental preparation that goes in to taking such a test.  That was all that was on my mind.  I was nervous and stressed out about it.  The closer it got to test time the more it occupied all of my brain.   Scott and I practiced a lot for this test.  I mean, A LOT.  And despite the fact that it is SF, this test involved no sticks. :p  It was all takedowns and throws with 8 forms to know as well.

My body has been a mess because taking falls over and over again is killer.  Especially on my back.  OY!

Plus once you start getting into the higher level belt levels, along with testing materials you have to create your own demo and present it.  This shows that you can think about movement and make connections on your own.  Proof of concept so to speak.  Plus it gives you a chance to do whatever you want so it’s fun!

Scott and I have been training in SF (that’s stick fighting, in case you didn’t hover your cursor over the abbreviation ;) ) for just over 3 years.  We study a variation of Filipino stick and knife fighting.  Our sticks are what would be considered short sticks, the length from your armpit to the middle of your hand.  Since I’m one of the smaller people in class I have one of the shortest sticks. :p  We do single and double stick work.  And we also work both sides, meaning if I only have one stick, I can work either right or lefthanded.   Stick and knife isn’t all that we do though and that’s why I love this particular art because it incorporates so much.

Stick Fighting training weapons

Here’s a pic of some of my training weapons.  My sticks are taped because they are busted up and I need to break out some new ones.  A training machete and a training knife.  My staff is not pictured because it was hard to make it fit in the frame.  It looks just like my sticks only much longer.  The training knives are not sharp but extremely dull.  However, getting smacked repeatedly with them still hurts.  Trust me on this. ;)  You might not get cut but you’ll get some sweet bruises.

We also do joint locks and limb destruction, takedowns, throws, and some grappling.  I know how to do those with weapons and without.  Toss in some staff work because we do that too.  I particularly love this art because it teaches you how to be aware of your body more and it also isn’t a brute force art where you powerhouse through everything.  I’m small and compared to the dudes, am not as strong as they are.  And that’s okay because I don’t have to be!  This art is all about body mechanics and how to manipulate that to your advantage.  I don’t have to be a bodybuilder to take someone down and knock them on their ass.  I just need to know where to hit and how to get them off balance.  All of the moves we learn are also transferable.  Meaning, whatever I learn with a stick I can do with a knife or empty handed and vice versa.   It’s really a great style of fighting!

And now Scott and I are official black belts! :D

I was super nervous and freaked out till about 3pm yesterday.  Then I reached a point of, “Let’s just do this and be done!  I know what I know and I accept that.”  And really that’s all you can do when approaching a test.  You know what you know and just do the best that you can.  One thing our instructor does that I really like and appreciate, is that weeks leading up to the test (and this is for all belt levels) is that we practice moves in class and he watches closely to see how well you do the move.  At test time he takes that into consideration because he knows you’re going to be nervous during the test and you may flub something or it might not as smooth as it could be.  Having seen you do it before perfectly, he knows that you can do it and doesn’t worry about testing nerves.

There was a test before us, one of the guys was going for First Degree Black and he had to provide a demo connecting concepts and things.  He did really well!  Then we were up!  It was Scott, me, and another classmate.  Our test took a long time, ending past when normal class would already be over.  And there was another test after us and after that we still had to present our demos.  We left the school probably around 10:30pm and by the time we got home, walked Rocky, and showered it was after 11pm.

Scott and I

A picture of us post test which is why we are all sweaty and gross. :p  My camera died during the test so I’m waiting on another classmate to email me some other pictures.

Long day!  And now you know why my brain was all a frazzle and my posts sounded like maybe I got smacked in the head too hard. :p

There was celebrating last night when we got back home!

Imperial Stout

A beer?  Yes please!

Pita pizza

Pizza?!  You bet!

Both of us were hungry and that was expected because nerves made eating not enjoyable.  And there was a beer because yeah, it was needed and deserved!  The beer was Imperial Stout because it is fancy and we are now fancy!  And the pizza because it was one of the quickest things to make and eat.

It was a little heavy only because it was so late in the evening but I needed food and I wanted something fun because again, we deserved it!

And then I crashed in bed at midnight and slept till 8am.  Whew!  Not the bestest of sleeps but a lot better than Tuesday night!  I immediately poured some coffee and slowly started my day.

Mug of coffee

Once Scott got up, I made us some breakfast because I was Le Starving!  And I wanted oatmeal so that’s what we had.

Oatmeal and OJ

Super simple oats today with crushed walnuts, coconut, and dark chocolate PB for mix-ins.  After breakfast I got dressed and took Rocks out for a quick walk where we were met head-on with some drama.  We’re walking down the sidewalk along a pretty heavily traveled street and there was a lady with a dog is walking on the opposite side coming towards us.  The dog broke free from its leash and ran right across the road right at us.  Thankfully there were no cars coming or the dog would have been toast because it was small.  It starts smelling Rocky and Rocky is just standing there taking it all.  He goes to smell the other dog and that dog flips out.  Jumps on him and starts growling and all kinds of ugly things.


The owner, who wasn’t really the owner but walking her daughter’s dog, apologized but it was almost too casual.  Like her dog breaking free of its leash, charging us, and then sort of growling snapping at my dog is just normal everyday stuff.  Whoa!  The dog took off in another direction and she went after it and we went on our way.

I do not like dog drama!  But we got over it and came home not long after that.  And then I went to get my hairs cut!  Whee!

A quick stop at WF after that and then it was home to lunch.  I was pretty hungry by this point.

Seafood gumbo

There was seafood gumbo.

Salad bar samples

And a variety of things from the salad bar.

  • Beans and rice
  • Asian noodle salad
  • Roasted golden beets
  • Slaw (no mayo) w/ feta and pecans

Salad bar samples and seafood gumbo

The gumbo was great and I had most of that.  The beans&rice and the Asian noodles were just okay and I didn’t eat much of that.  I had several beets which actually didn’t taste like much of anything and the slaw was just okay as well but I did eat all of that.  A few bites here and there of Scott’s pizza crust.  Now I’m content and sleepy.  I’m pretty wiped out, stress and testing will do that to you.  So tired that I doubt I’ll hit MT this evening, I just don’t have the energy.

I’m currently deciding on what to make for dinner because I think we should have a sort of celebration special dinner.

12 thoughts on “June 18th, 2009: Black looks good on me

  1. Yi-yeawww! Congrats on your black belts!! I’ve never done martial arts, but man, they sure sound tough. The beer and pizza afterward look like the perfect meal to celebrate the end of the rough prep and test :)

    I hate when other dogs get aggressive and owners/walkers don’t seem to give a rip. Lily only gets irritated when other dogs posture to her or outright growl/etc. like that mutt did. She never bites, just growls and stands up her mohawk (seriously, it is rather funny to see all the hair standing from neck to end of tail). Sounds like Rocky needs in on the SF action!!

  2. congrats congrats!!!! That is so awesome, my dad was a black belt and I did karate with him for a bit and it was an awesome activity to do together, and he was SO passionate about it.

  3. WOW! BIG CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!! That is so cool :-) I hate dog drama too. People in my neighborhood seem to think its okay for their dog to run into the street and growl at you as long as they can see it going on. *eyeroll* Luckily we just pick up Ginger when another dog charges us. Ah, such lovely neighbors.

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