There it is. My black belt with a third stripe on it.
We did thirty rounds of fighting. All of our best fighters were there, and everyone pushed us hard.
In the end, we actually got spontaneous applause, which I’m fairly certain is the first time that’s happened. (Usually after the final round there are whoops and cheers and things, but usually not applause. That was cool.)
I also got my legs swept out from under me by one black belt. Three black belt promotions and this is the first time I got knocked on my ass…..
But it was great. I held my own against some very strong fighters, and was still going — well, maybe not “strong,” but upright and still moving by the time we reached the 30th round.
It has truly been an honor and a privilege to go up with six such tremendous people. And the support of the other black belts really made all the difference, having them cheer us on and push us and encourage us. It was truly a fantastic experience.
But man, am I tired….
It’s not quite over yet. I have to teach my afterschool classes today and then we have one final workout in the dojo tonight. It’s the usual Monday color belt class, but it’s focused on the black belt candidates. It’s also open to the entire dojo. The main three days of promotion are for black belts only (we even cover the windows and doors so people can’t look in from the street), but tonight is for the entirety of our dojo community.
And then afterward, we go to a local Japanese restaurant for revelry.
This has been such an amazing journey. I still can’t entirely believe it’s true, even though I’ve got a certificate, and everything!