Today saw me take my latest Hapkido test at my Blue Dragon dojang here in Korea. Up to this point I have been making steady progress but lagging behind some of the students who have been taking classes for longer than me - in my opinion. My flexibility hasn't been so good and at times I've looked a bit sluggish too. I have to keep remembering that I am in my thirties and this is still new to me while some kids have been taking lessons for years. Today's test went so great that hours later I am still buzzing. I'll give it a seven out of ten. I managed to do some things I haven't done before in the test and made some big technique improvements. It's nice to feel improvement in practice but doing things well in the test felt good. One thing I also noticed was how much the kids there were smiling. It was really uplifting to see so many happy kids especially considering how miserable some of my actual students are. Anyway here is a video of today.
As well as I felt I did, clearly I have a long way to go before I leave Korea and probably Hapkido behind. I feel like I did well deep down inside and a lot of the students kept saying well done to me in their basic English. In practice my kicking is a lot better and so too is my self defence. Being honest I thought maybe I could win an award (trophies and certificates are given to outstanding performances of the day), but it was not to be. Regardless, today was a big improvement. Perhaps in the future I can do well enough to win something but that's not my primary objective. My next test is two months from now and I know that I cannot let up. This is the time to push on and work even harder. After that I think there are no tests for my level until maybe January where I should be testing for a 2nd degree black belt. Truly something that is keeping me going in Korea-land.