Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Not Easy Becoming Green

Approximately two months ago, I signed up with a new martial arts dojo near my work. My previous dojo was experiencing some issues, and had shut down business for an indeterminate amount of time. Unwilling to suspend my Krav Maga training indefinitely, I found a great place near my work. Ironically, the new place and old place owners were once teacher-student. Small world it is.

Since that day that I signed the paperwork, this dojo has evolved into a family affair. Taking advantage of a group deal whereby two adult members' kids attend classes for free, Danny and I signed up together. He and Daniel attend Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Daniel attends the cardio kickboxing (and possibly Muay Thai in the future), and even Jacqueline has joined the fun and attended the kids' self-defense classes. We arranged our schedules so that we all go on the same days, to maximize together time both there and at home. It has truly become our family fun spot. Bruises notwithstanding.

When we joined, I was an Orange Belt in Krav Maga. The next step, Green Belt, normally requires 8-10 months of training as a prerequisite for testing. Because the previous dojo had taught me most of the Green Belt techniques, and I had practiced them quite often, the new dojo owner invited me to test for my Green. In total, I only had four months of training (plus a 6-week layoff). But he thought I was ready, so I obliged.

The test can be summed up in one word:


It was 3 hours long, not 7 like the previous dojo; however it was the most intense, and most physically and emotionally demanding 3 hours of my entire life. We ran, we did various punches, kicks and skills, we reviewed lower belt material, and finally tested on the Green Belt material. There was many a time where I felt like either passing out or throwing up, but I swore I would not give up, no matter what the examiners threw at us.

My asthma inhaler was my constant companion, and I could barely command my leg muscles to drive my car home when it was all said and done. It was that intense.

Three days later, I was given the news.


That's right, I successfully passed all the skills and was promoted to Green. I couldn't be more thrilled and honored, especially considering I was the new kid on the block.

As a result of this, it has become painfully obvious that my cardiovascular endurance is terrible. I have pledged to push myself harder at my twice-weekly gym workouts to try to improve this.

From what I hear, the next level (Blue) test is even ten times more intense than this one.

I will be ready. You can count on it.


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