Well, it's official. I gotta spar now. No more "Oh, it's not until the NEXT belt." My only reprieve is that I have a preview Thursday in Solvang, so I can't start until the week after next. I also have to admit that a camo belt is most likely the ugliest belt ever, and I cannot wait to get the next one!
Details after the cut for those interested. I'm wordy, as always.
Testing was really interesting. All the colored belts tested together - kids and adults. There were only four of us from the adult class, and I was easily the oldest by probably ten years. The kids were naturally Wound Up, although they were pretty well-behaved for the most part. A, the cheerleadery orange-now-yellow-belt in my class, and I kept the kids on our side busy cheering for their classmates. (A won the spirit award!) I somehow ended up with a group of giggling orange belt girls around me by the time the test was over.
The kids only do about 2/3s of the form. They also only have to do one self-defense (no take downs for the lower groups) and one 1-step or sparring segment. The adults do the full form, two of three random 1-steps, and all three self-defense moves with the take downs. (Ma'am was my partner - we only busted up laughing twice, once when I actually had to catch her mid-take down to prevent her from landing on Mr. R, who had just hit the ground from his partner, and once when she came at me for the third move and I think we were both a little more aggressive than we'd planned.) Each group also had to do the board breaks, a random technique Sir would call out, and a set of pushups and sit ups. Appropriate ranks/groups also had to free spar and do weapons drills.
The kids and Teeny (who I thought I had mentioned in a post before, but can't find it if I did. She's a red belt in the adult class, and is easily one of the tiniest people I've ever met. She's a terrier, though!) did their forms by rank, and then the remaining adults did our form together since all three of us were in the same block. It was probably the worst I've ever done on my form. I swear I don't remember doing the first two kicks at all, didn't even think of them until I was doing the last set (all the moves in a form repeat in reverse at some point) and thought "Wait, did I do those earlier? Is that why the beginning felt off?" I honestly don't know if I did them or not. I wasn't nervous or anything, I was just...off. I know my stances weren't nearly as deep or solid as they have been in class, either. It also took me two tries to break a board that I usually break the first time. Of course, it was also a harder board than the one they told me I'd be breaking! (Normally we do the harder boards in class and the easier boards for the test. For some reason, I got the hardest board I've ever done in class for the test.)
I'm a little disappointed - I know, and at least Sir, Ma'am, and Mr. R. know, that I can do better than what I did today. It was a lot of fun being with the kids, though. I taught kids' swimming classes for over ten years, and I forget how much fun it is to work with that age group. I kind of got roped into babysitting - an orange belt who was being squirrely got sent to sit next to me and my gigglers for the remainder of the test, and he wasn't too happy about it. NF, a black belt in my class, was the floor conductor, and she came up to me on the break and admitted she was having trouble getting the kids to listen to her. I think I'm just more intimidating - I'm much older, much taller, a higher rank than most of the squirrely ones, and, most importantly, a stranger to them - so it usually just takes eye contact or a touch on the shoulder/hand and a quick head shake to get them focused. If I could work the time into my schedule, I might try to do leadership/instructor training, but since I already often have conflicts, it's probably best not to for now. They are starting a Fridays in the Park class for the summer, all ages and ranks, that I might try to get to if I don't have rehearsal or a show, though. Except for designated sparring days, they're all bring-a-buddy, so if anyone wants to come out, feel free ;-)
Oh, and sign-ups are open for the Mystery Stole 3 Yahoo Group. I'm hoping this will be an excellent summer project, as everything else so far just isn't doing it for me.