Black Belt Test Advice from Tara
by Tara Hanna
(Las Vegas, NV)
LVkarate.com Tara Black Belt Test Advice
Taking The Black Belt Test
Advice From a Black Belt
I recently received my black belt, so I have some advice I would like to pass along to prepare all of you for one of the most difficult tasks you will ever complete, passing the Black Belt Exam. I want yo to be successful as it is also one of the most rewarding. Some of this was advice given to me by my mentors and some of it was what I discovered on my own.
First, practice ALL of your weapons EVERYDAY! Try to set aside half an hour of work. This is what most people struggle with because weapon classes are not held as frequently as other classes. Do not hesitate ask questions if you are unsure about your moves. Your instructors are there to help you succeed and so are the rest of the black belts. Schedule a private lesson if you need to.
Second, try to run in intervals everyday or at least 5 times a day. We are used to sparring for an hour and having downtime in between matches on Saturdays. This will not be the case when you test for your black belt. You got a taste of this on your 3rd red belt test but it will be much more intense for your black belt.
I ran 5 or 6 times a week before both of these tests. I ran for 2 minutes straight as fast as I could and then walked slowly for 2 minutes. Eventually, I was up to 8-10 intervals a day. If you can only do 3 sets of 2 minute intervals, start there! I promise you it will increase.
You may be sparring for 2-3 hours straight on your test so you need to build endurance. You will notice that it’s the resting time that is hardest to get through, but make sure you do it. Eventually, you can increase the running to 3 minute intervals but don’t take more than 2 minutes of rest time. This will be your test to see how fast you can recover.
Third, DON’T GIVE UP! Even if you think you are not doing well, the instructors may see otherwise. The black belt test is not only about skills, it’s about your integrity and how bad you want your belt.
I have asthma and multiple sclerosis but I was not about to let either of those diseases keep me from getting that belt! Determination is a black belt quality. The test is supposed to be difficult. You will be tired but just keep thinking about that belt around your waist and keep going. Tears will not fail you, but quitting will.
I wish all of you the best of luck as you strive to achieve your best. I am proud of each and every one of you. Keep practicing and don’t quit! It is only in struggles that we achieve greatness. God bless.
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