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Pictures from my Test

My body finally realized the ordeal was over and has collapsed. So, I'm laying down on the couch and Jenn is pampering me, she's always so good to me.

As promised... here are some pictures that Jenn took during the test.

Most people are famliar with the term "dojo," which is Chinese (I think) for "school." Hwa Rang Do is a Korean martial art, and the term for our school is "dojang." This is our dojang in Downey, CA (with me in the foreground).

The test begins with a written exam, which covers Korean terminology, history of Hwa Rang Do and discussion of the Hwa Rang Do code of ethics. I, being a lame ass, completely sucked on the test. I knew I failed the written test, so I did my best to completely put it out of my mind and prepare myself for the remaining physical part of the test.

Below is Dr. Joo Bang Lee, Phd. He is the founder of Hwa Rang Do, his title is "Do Joo Nim" meaning "Owner of the Art". He has one of those cliche martial art movie histories. He learned martial arts from a monk in a temple in the mountains, who had learned the martial art as it was passed down from generation to generation, monk to monk. He is the 58th generation in the line of tradition. I am lucky enough to study at the school that he personally presides over, but in this picture he is looking over my poor performance on the written test. As you can see, he's not too happy.

The next section of the test (sorry, no pictures) consists of our long form. It's like a "kata" if you are familiar with Japanese martial arts. It consists of a long series of attack and defense combinations, kicking and punching as if there are many enemies around you. It requires endurance, memory and attention to detail for the most part.

Next, are the short forms. The short forms are just smaller versions of the long form, but they have different combinations. As an example, the first short form consists of a two handed-circular block to one side, then a full moon kick, then a jumping spinning full moon kick, backfist, straight punch, "roll" backfist (where you spin your hands one over the other and end with a backfist).

Next, are the kicking tests. My kicking tests were mostly to test the ability to perform the required kicks while balanced. You are only allowed to step in 4 places (as if on top of poles), so it took me forever learn to do them without falling over.

Still with me? Good.. :) Next are our techniques. At my current belt level, we learn wrist manipulation and joint locking, so I had to demonstrate 3 of the 28 I learned.

The last part of the test consists of sparring. Here are I am, getting my sparring armor together and preparing for the last part of the test.

The match wasn't a standard point scoring event, it's just a free sparring match to show Do Joo Nim how you fight, if you are taking the techniques and kicking styles to heart, etc. Here you can see me and my opponent, Jamir.

In our school, sparring (for our belt level) is restricted to only chest contact. However, Jamir used a few attacks that are usually not allowed until Green Belt (a leg sweep and a kick to the head). Despite his quickness, I managed to land a few good blows, and one that was probably on the line between good and too hard, but he seemed to want a hard fight, so I gave it too him. :) Here's the leg sweep...

The sweep was successful, but I did manage to block to the kick to the head. I have quite an amazing bruise on my arm for it, it's swollen up like I have an egg under my skin. We took some pictures, but they didn't really up out well.

I think that's probably too many pictures already, so I'll leave you with that. Wish me luck for my make-up exam on Monday.

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