Your Taekwondo Black Belt Test by Chong KwanJangNim Richard Hackworth
Testing for your black belt in Taekwondo is exciting and nerve wracking and requires preparation.
With regular belt testing it may take several years to reach the black belt level in Taekwondo depending on the school and your instructor. Despite the investment in time, many students find themselves unprepared mentally. Preparation for your black belt exam can never begin too early, and these tips can help focus students for each belt exam.
Testing For A Black Belt in Taekwondo
A Black belt test will consist of several components including poomse, sparring, breaking, and for some, a written exam as well. Preparing for each takes time and practice. Before the test even begins, students should invest time in their physical and mental conditioning. Visualization of each component of the test is important for developing the confidence necessary for seeing students through the exam.
Practicing Poomse For Black Belt Testing
Poomse, which other martial arts will recognize as forms, is a key component to the black belt exam. Like competition, Poomse during testing should reflect intensity and power with each move serenaded by a snap of your uniform. Each movement should be crisp without hesitation, and students should be able to complete all forms sequentially without a loss of intensity. Each poomse has its own rhythm and use the transition between sets to refocus your breath. You should never look lost or must remember your movements, and visualizing opponents or maintaining a focal point will support your concentration as well.
Breaking For Taekwondo Black Belt Test
Breaking boards is a standard of Taekwondo testing and competition. Being able to break boards as well as a slab of concrete may be elements of black belt testing. Creative board breaking may involve the boards dropping or being thrown at you to be splintered in midair. Creative breaking demonstrating flexibility and agility demonstrates physical attributes and focus. Breaking concrete is largely a mental task, and like all good punching, requires students to punch through the target.
Sparring For Black Belt Testing
Sparring is a test of fighting spirit, readiness and mental endurance with instructors placing multiple opponents in front on the student in quick succession. Without rest, conditioning is tested as the student may endure several rounds of hard sparring over face more than one opponent to simulate multiple attackers. Utilizing footwork will buy you time, and head hunting, with or without the intent to strike, will give your opponents pause, providing you with rest. Remember the point isn’t to get hurt or hurt your opponent, but to test your techniques and mental conditioning.
Taekwondo Black Belt Test
There may be other elements to the black belt exam including self-defense techniques or a written portion to reflect the values of your school. Many students in your school have gone before you and approaching them for advice or reflections on their experience is helpful. If you have trained well, the black belt exam will be a formality, reflecting something that you have already earned in the eyes of others.
To your success,
Chong KwanJangNim Richard Hackworth
C.E.O. US National Taekwondo Association
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