Monday, March 26, 2012

Choi Kwang Do - First Grading how it happened

For a couple of months Predlet 2.0 and I have been attending Choi Kwang Do classes with South Coast CKD. Those first few sessions teach you the basics of this self defence martial art and get you into the general ethos of the non competitive nature of it.
Sunday saw our first grading. A Dojang is set up in a large hall and this time over 150 students attended to take part in their belt gradings and levelling up.
This may seem counter intuitive to a non competitive ethos but it does work.
In our grading we perform each of the basic moves en-masse several blocks, punches and kicks concentrating on the form whilst being observed.
Then we took part in paired drills involving straight line defence and then the far more exhausting shield and mitt drills.
With the shield (a large padded block) one person holds on whilst the other practices full contact punches and kicks.
Lots of CKD is about flow and biomechanics, these drills add to that with real physical effort.
The gradings are part of the journey, recognition placeholders and also a ig communal experience as all the schools come together in the area.
You think of exams as solitary things, you versus everyone and the questions. This felt completely different. It is something that I will take to the next grading to relax and enjoy. I certainly enjoyed this experience and put a lot into it but I believe I can do that with a less competitive yet focussed attitude.
Both Predlet 2.0 and I were awarded out White belt senior (the black stripe indicates the senior level of a particular belt). So we are not on a journey that we are both enjoying a great deal and one that we get to do together.
I don't have to worry about him when we are training at the same time as this is really a peaceful yet powerful art form.
At the grading we got to see a very experience student about to head to black belt grading performing the same moves with us in the groups. This mix occurs naturally with every level working together at regular classes. There is rank and formality, but at the same time a mutual respect and willingness to help one another. So this really is turning into the ideal martial art for me and I know predlet 2.0 is enjoying it too. Pil Sungh! (The arts motto - Certain Victory) to all everyone on the same journey.