You may have heard me mention here and here that I've been training for my black belt in Okinawan kenpo.
Our school emphasizes both the traditional aspects and the practical applications of karate. Knowing and demonstrating the material is only one part of the test.
Students must also spar and demonstrate the ability to break boards and/or bricks during each test.
I don't like sparring, but I have come to accept it as a necessary part of training. I am slowly getting better. I can't even say that I was dreading the sparring portion of the test because, like anything, I knew I would do my best and let the pieces (hopefully no teeth or other random body parts) fall where they may.
The breaking portion of the test, however, had my stomach in knots for the last week.
Our instructor requires black belts to break a brick.
When you see someone do this, it looks easy. Heck, some testers break two, three, even four at a time.
I, however, was struggling with one. It was like hitting my head against the wall (or hand against a brick) over and over.
Each time, I was wondering how I could possibly have trained for all this time and *not* succeed.
Well, there is something about stress and fear that can make you do what needs to be done.
That broken brick? I did that!
Thanks to all of you who offered your support a few weeks ago. Your encouragement meant a great deal to me and I'm so excited that I was able to make all of you proud.