Well, it has been announced to the gym that I have been asked to test for my black sash.
There is a lot going on with this announcement. It was very flattering.
This will be the first test for a black sash at our gym. There is one other person with a black sash at the gym besides the instructor. That person was given a black sash without testing - he spent a long time instructing and serving the gym. He has been there virtually forever.
So the black sash test will be something different. By the time I test for it sometime in December I will have been practicing Muay Thai for almost six years. But I think before I move forward, I should step back for a second.
Muay Thai is a martial art that typically does not have rank. In fact, there is no rank in Thailand. You are either good, or not. Here in the states, however, rank has been introduced to this art to give us something to strive for. Fortunately, rank is not given in our gym just because you pay. You really do have to earn it, unlike at some other places. Our gym is a bit unique in the fact that you don't really need to fight to achieve rank. Sure, we spar, but when I started this whole deal I told the instructor that I couldn't get hurt and get broken noses as I have a job and family. And for the most part that has been the case. I didn't take the fighting path, although I was close a few times and many have said I would be a very good fighter. This isn't to say that I have never been hurt. Every time I leave the gym something is bruised, cut, or scraped. That is just part of the game. It is a ring sport, not tiddly winks.
Back to the future. My test will be one of conditioning, technique, sparring, and everything else. In addition, I need to write a paper about my journey and read it to the class. I sort of laughed at this part since I have been blogging the whole thing - it will be very easy for me. I think this part (and other parts of the test) have to do with my instructor's TKD background. These are certainly not Muay Thai things.
In addition, I will have to create my own twenty or so count thai pad drill and I will have at least six private lessons with the head instructor to prepare me for the test. Won't that be fun sparring him?
I will be adjusting my conditioning to allow for more anaerobic activity, which means my distance running and cycling will suffer, but I will be doing more sprinting and hard/fast cycling instead. A lot of people from the gym will be there for my test and it will be intense.
I will be glad when it is over.
Getting my black sash will be a proud moment for me and my instructor. I have outlasted every single person at the gym since I have started except one. Dedication is the word that comes to mind.