Final Kyo Sa Nim Grading

May 28, 2015

It's fair to say that yesterday was the most nerve-racking day I've had for a few years, that being because it was the day of my final testing for Kyo Sa Nim (second degree black belt) at Kuk Sool Won. Overall I think the grading went well and I'm pleased with how I performed and I can proudly say that I gave it my all.
Kuk Sool Won Lowestoft The grading started at 6pm however I arrived at about half past 4 in order to get some practise in before it started (and because I couldn't wait any longer). I'd been eagerly awaiting the grading all day and time seemed to be moving too slowly for me to cope any more so I just had to go!
When I arrived, there were already a couple of Dahn Bo Nims there practising for their final testing for black belt and from what I saw there, they were very prepared! Jo Kyo Nim Wayne was also already there so I managed to get about half an hour practise of techniques and weapons in with him before my techniques partner for the grading arrived. I then partnered her to practise techniques which were definitely my weak point in my head but after some practise I realised I was actually a lot better at them than I thought! This final practise of techniques only lasted for half an hour before we were all lined up and ready to start the testing.
Just before 6pm, we were expecting masters Alex and Sungjin Suh to arrive to take the grading, however we were given a pleasant surprise when Kuk Sa Nim (the grandmaster) arrived alongside master Sungjin. Unfortunately they were only able to stay for a few minutes as they had other places to be but it was nice to see them for the first time in a long time.
At 6pm, the grading started with a warm up from Sa Bum Nim Jon Denny, who has been my instructor for a majority of my time in Kuk Sool from the tiny dragons class at age 5 to the advanced childrens' class in 2012. Following his warm up, we were split into groups depending on what we were testing for. I, of course, was put into the group of Jo Kyo Nims testing for Kyo Sa Nim, along with around 12 other people.
We began with some basic kicking drills followed by the 'pyramid forms' routine where we perform each form once more than its predecessor (i.e: the first form is performed once, the second twice, and so on). This took us to 6:40, at which point we began our testing on self-defence techniques. This went a lot better than expected, and out of the 340 techniques that I know I managed to get a majority of them right with only two or three mistakes which I realised immediately after.
This took us to about 7:15 which meant we only had 45 minutes left. In this time we went through the rest of our forms as well as our weapons forms and kicking and punching drills. We also finished up with some basic exercises.

Overall, I found the grading to be very hard yet enjoyable now I look back on it and despite being dehydrated and exhausted for a majority of it I still gave it my all and I'm very proud of myself and everyone else for completing it at such a high standard. Now I need to wait until the European Championships in Norwich on Saturday to find out if I've passed, so be sure to check back on Sunday for a post about my experience at that!
Update: I've just read some fantastic news on the official WKSA website on the list promotions for this year - I've passed! Read the full list of people who have passed by clicking here.
Kuk Sool Won Lowestoft

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