On Tuesday I have a grading or test for Haidong Gumdo.
I have to perform
Gyukgum 1 through 8
Ssangsoo GumBup 1 through 11
In Taekwondo terms, Gyukgums are basically two step sparring, but with an imaginery partner.
Ssangsoo Gumpups are poomse or Kata.
I think I should do all right except:
1. I have trouble remembering which Ssangsoo Gumbup is which. I can perform them, but sometimes I might do no 10 when the instructor says no 9, oops. Worse yet, when I am stressed I might mix up two gumbups.
More practise will solve the first problem.
2. I am too heavy
This makes it very hard to perform techniques properly because it puts so much stress on your body. Which in turn makes you tired quicker leading to more mistakes and possibly injury.
This is a much more serious problem. I think with another year of practise I could get my weight down and improve my technique dramatically, but unfortunally I am only in Korea until September 1st, a mere four months.
If I pass this test I have only one more test and I will be a black belt!
This test would consist of
Shimsang Gumbup and Ssangsoo GumBup 12.
The later is relatively easy because I learnt it last year and it is not too stressful on the body. Shimsang Gumbup on the other hand is very involved.
If I manage to pass both tests and become a black belt I don’t think I would be comfortable calling myself a black belt. Back home in Australia at my Hapkido dojang it can take up to four years to get your black belt. The standard of 1st dan black belt is much higher than in Korea.
I would only feel comfortable saying I am a black belt when I pass and have another six months or so of study “under my belt”.
I am currently working on an essay about martial arts in Australia and Korea. It is taking a bit of time because I want the grammar and prose to be of a much higher standard then what you are reading now.
The one thing I have settled on is the title “MacDojangs” which is a reference to McDonalds and Dojangs (Training Hall)
Like McDonalds, Korean Dojangs have very quick service, i.e a black belt in 12 – 18 months
and a lot of them are franchises like McDonalds.
The situation in Australia is very different.