Monday, April 26, 2010

Board Breaking at the Exam - The Agony and the Ectasy

To get a black belt, each Candidate must break a board. To get a second degree, the Candidates need to break two boards. In groups of nine, we go up in front of a pretty good size crowd to take our turn breaking two boards.

I'm in the red gi top in the center at the start of the video.  This video starts out fun but then it takes a surprising turn. Two Candidates have trouble breaking their boards. But there's no escape. In front of everyone, these ladies show the concentration and persistent that got them this far.   I found the tension and drama at the time very emotional. In rewatching the video, I'm so impressed by their calm and focus. There's no silliness or embarrassment, just work to be done and a focus on doing it.  Congratulations to Agnes and Sylvia.

PS - I checked with everyone in this video prior to posting it. Ose!!!! Onward to the Spectacular (May 15th).

PPS - Anybody else have an emotional reaction to this? Comments please.


Michele said...

Congratulations to all!

In the style I practice, we do not break boards. I have seen demonstrations and tournament competitions.

My immediate reaction to the video was regarding the supportive nature of the dojo community. In that environment, there would be no reason to be embarrassed. Your dojo seems like an excellent place to train.


Unknown said...

Definitely emotional to watch! I was rooting for the last two ladies. Glad they pushed through!

Cool vid!

Mike said...

Great to see the ladies break their boards at the end!

Rick H. said...

The board breaking requirement seems much less extreme than your dojo's running requirement. Does EVERYONE have to do two miles in 16 minutes? Is there ever an exception made for younger students (say for an 8 year old, or a someone over 65?).

BBat50 said...

Rick. That's true. The running requirement is very difficult for some people. Starting around green belt, there are quarter and half mile running requirements in which students start working on their time.

Kids too have to make the time. But in our program, the juniors (not the Little Champs, the under sixes) earn the same black belt as the adults so its pretty rigorous. The only exceptions are knee and back trouble people who are given an equally arduous task on either the eliptical machine or running.

It is interesting that the running is part of the program and really hard. It's something we pound away on week after week for years.

In contrast, the board breaking, which unlike the running is a traditional martial arts exercise, we only do once and with very minimal preparation.