As soon as Jackson started Tae Kwon Do a few months ago, he asked when he could test for his Black Belt. He sees the belt rank at each class...lots of belts before the big one. He sees the trophies, the ribbons, the certificates...he wants them all. Two weeks ago we were given the "golden ticket" -- the permission slip (and testing fee information) to move to the next belt--the black stripe.
Finally the testing day was here. Jackson couldn't stop taking about how the test would go, what he needed to wear, who would be there...you get the picture. Times two weeks...
Needless to say, he was ready to go 30 minutes before we needed to leave to watch him test along with 30 other kids, parents, and family members watching anxiously. Jackson was the only white belt to test during his session so he was alone in front of all those people as Grand Master Hong asked him the oral study questions. I knew Jackson knew the answers but I had no idea how he would respond to the pressure of the audience/intimidating Master Hong. It was nerve racking. I got teary eyed as I watched behind the glass window with Riley (who was snacking on pretzels). Sierra had a front row seat on the mat and videotaped for us.
After the oral exam the kids were all put into groups and given directions (in Korean) to do their moves. It looked pretty much like a normal class, only with a larger audience. We were surprised at the end because Master had him break a board.
We found out this week at the beginning of his class that he had moved up to the white belt with stripe! We are so proud but Jackson is the most proud of all. This picture doesn't capture nearly the excitement he had as he came running across the mat to me and said, "Mama, I did it! I got the next belt! I DID IT!"
Now he is allowed to spar...today was his first day...and of course he was ready to go two hours before his class. The sparring equipment bag is bigger than him!
...and of course Riley wants to wear his "hat."