On February 28th, 2010, I took the test to become a second-degree black belt.

Here is a summary of what I had to do, besides the calisthenics:

  • All my empty-hand forms, opposite side. There are eight of them. This meant that if the first step was with the left foot, I had to do it with the right foot. I suppose you could also call that 'mirror'. The names are : seisan, seiuchin, naihanchi, wonsu, chinto, kusanku, sunsu, and sanchin. I admit we did not do sanchin opposite side, but that's not too surprising. It's not a complex form, but there's nothing to be gained from being able to do it regular and opposite side.
  • My first weapon form, opposite side. This is a bo (long staff) form. The name is tokumine no kun.
  • My third weapon form. This is a bo form. The name is urashi bo (sometimes called urashi no kun).
  • My fourth weapon form. This is a sai form. the name is chatan yara no sai.
  • The fifth weapon form. Note that I said "The" and not "My" ... Because I hadn't learned it. I was told to stay with the group and keep up. I did. That is my proud moment. :) It is a tonfa form. The name is hamahiga no tonfa.
  • Self-defense, including bunkai (analysis) from the various empty-hand forms.
  • Knife defenses
  • Sparring. This was actually rather fun, about thirty people in line and we (everyone testing for nidan) fought them one after another.

It was tough, but it was mostly a mind exercise. I must admit not remembering any thoughts or feelings during the test; I heard the instructions and executed them, and waited for the next instructions.

I passed.

Phew.

Alright, let's work towards the next steps.