For fitness (and fun), my family takes karate. I rejoined last year after a hiatus and immediately trained for the next belt, a most elusive color for me in martial arts: the Blue belt. One year later, to my surprise, the next belt test is a double-whammy!
As you might imagine, higher belt ranks require greater skills and knowledge. The first several belt levels in our Kyokushin Karate class have only one kata to learn for each (among other things). But starting with the purple belt, there are two katas needed to advance (that’s twice as many!).
So for the past year as a blue belt, I’ve been learning all the requirements for purple belt. With two katas (or “forms”, where you demonstrate many moves and combos in certain patterns) and several other techniques, I’ve had plenty to work on.
My training was a bit sporadic though. I often was grouped with the purple belts who are going for green. So sometimes I got practice towards the green belt requirements. It was a lot all together, and things easily got mixed up in my mind sometimes with similar movements in the katas.
In the past few weeks, we’ve been more focused as a class in preparation for the upcoming belt test. Our sensei observed what we knew and how well we knew it. Then last week, he told us what to work on for the belt test.
When he approached me with the paper(s) listing the required skills, he surprised me. I will be tested for both purple and green belt!!
At first, I thought I would be in for embarrassment, not confident that I was ready for the green belt katas. But as I looked over all the requirements spelled out on the papers for both purple and green, I realized that I already know most of it all. I just need to clarify and sharpen the green belt katas!
So I got to work. And now I’m feeling confident! I plan to go big and jump up two ranks, skipping purple to green!! I’ve got four katas (and more) to prove! Dude. If you’re curious enough, here are just two katas I must know for the test:
Gekisai Dai (for purple)
Gekisai Sho (for green)
And if you wanna dive deep, here ya go: Black Belt Wiki
For reference, here’s our school’s belt rank system:
- White belt
- White/Yellow belt
- Yellow belt
- Orange belt
- Blue belt
- Purple belt
- Green belt
- Green belt with one stripe
- Brown belt
- Brown belt with one stripe
- Brown belt with two stripes
- Black belt…
Besides the techniques I’m practicing, I’m also pushing my body with more exercise. You see, the belt test is a two day affair. Well, two classes. The first day is the physical test. This is when we get beat down, pushed to our limits and beyond. It’s as much mental as it is physical. We work-out with repetitive and tiring basic karate moves in different stances. And mixed in are a ton of calisthenic routines. Basically, we do more than enough moves to make your muscles scream at you for rest.
For this belt test, we were told there would be a new particular work-out: 1,000 punches. I called it a kilopunch!
Lord willing, no one in my family will get the flu or whatever bug is going around now. Because we need to be in tip-top shape for the testing this week.
I’m excited to be jumping to the green belt because, as it turns out, there will be a nice big group of adults all at the green belt level. So training the rest of the year will be better!
After the belt test, my family will go to Sonic to replenish all our spent calories! Also, as a class, there will later be a belt ceremony to celebrate our achievements. We get to do special training too. Last year we did a big board-breaking class. This year we plan to do weapons training!
Well, I gotta end this post and go outside to practice some more karate! Osu!
Do you work-out, exercise…what’s your favorite and what’s most challenging? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!