This same post appears over at Thoughts on Taekwondo Training. If you want to read this same thing with a black back ground click on the link.
Last Thursday, after a month of training I received my 8th gup in Taekyon. Since this is my fourth martial art, I could really care less about the achievement. It was after only a month of training, but I think that it was well deserved because the test was the gateway to learning more techniques, and the techniques that I had already learned were fairly simple.
Up to this point I have found that Taekyon is a delightful martial art. After the test I went out for a few drinks with the master. He told me that his school is the only Taekyon school in Jinju. The school has only been there for about two months, and I am the only student. I'm a bit on edge about the place because if he doesn't get anymore students I'm afraid the place will close. It also made for a somewhat bizarre test.
The class on the night of the test was fairly straight forward.
Classes have followed a similar pattern since I started. First we do something called "cow walking." That is is we walk on our hands and feet up and down the room twice. Then we move on to basic stretches. The stretches are followed by Taekyon warm ups, which involves a lot of knee bending, leg kicking, knee raises, and foot raises hacky sack style.
After that comes the step patterns . To do these step patterns one has to bend the knees and do some outward hip thrusts. The step patterns are done in v and diamond formations. Then there are step patterns with hand motions, and step patterns with low leg attacks.
So for the test I had to do everything that I had learned up to that point.
The instructor opened the test with a formal introduction. He made a point of saluting the flags and bowing at the old masters of Taekyon, then he said something like this. "This is the first test of the Jinju do dong taekyon school....blah blah blah." What was weird about that was the over indulgence on formality to test one person. Then there was a formal finish too, where there was a closing ceremony with just me kind of standing there. Luckily things stopped being weird when we went out for drinks and octopus later.
And so that is my story about testing for an 8th gup in Taekyon. I'll be happy to learn new techniques next week.