Black Sabbath

You may remember last May when I bragged about Kevin’s black belt test. It was a little intimidating for the boy, and even after getting injured twice during the test, he sucked it up and passed with flying colors.

Yesterday was Julia’s turn.

Princess P has a more even keel. Like Kevin, she was nervous about taking the test, but she was also very excited to test her skills. She is a little more timid – Kevin is a killing machine – but Julia’s punches and kicks are a little more fluid.

We arrived at 9:30am with eleven other students and the test lasted from 10am to about 12:15pm. The candidates began with basic moves, then progressed into string attacks, combo punches, and sparring as well as grappling. For the most part, Julia sparred with the other girls, but during the two-on-one attacks, Julia went up against two boys. She held her own.

During every water break – which lasted sixty seconds – I became Mickey from the Rocky films.

“You’re doing well, but you need to be faster.” “You’re halfway there. Pick it up, and punch harder.” “Almost done. I know you’re tired, but do not slow down.”

The testers always have to complete The 600 at the end of every junior black belt test. It’s the final event which everyone must complete. So after two hours of fighting, push-ups, sit-ups, and buckets of sweat, Princess P had to dish out 600 punches into a pad held by a parent. Guess who earned that job?

She was great. We counted fifty at a time, took a three-second break, then continued for another fifty. It took a while, and you could see how tired she was getting, but she did it, fully and completely. The look on her face when she knew she earned it made me want to cry. When she started martial arts, she was unsure if she would enjoy it. Now it’s a part of her.

The student gets to choose how their name is written on the junior black belt, and can choose a color for the name. This is going to shock you, but Julia wanted her name in script… and with pink lettering. Shocker there. When I left for work yesterday, Julia had changed her clothes, but was still wearing the belt around the house.

I am so very proud of her.