OK, I know, this is a huge post.
As well it should be. I wish it could reflect how Proud I am of Christopher.
He rocked his Black Belt Test today.
Here is the lineup of all the Black Belt Candidates, 20 of them, plus 8 Black Belts going for level 2.
The Push Up test.
He was required to do 50 in a row, with good form. He had great form, and only needed to pause one time, 40 + 10. Then he got to do 25 situps, 30 leg lifts, 30 squats....
and 100 Jumping Jacks.
It's official. My son is Stronger than I am.
And that was Just the Warmups.
There was a question/answer section of History. He had to know not just the History of Karate, but how it came to the US, and all the connections that lead to the formation of the Adamson's school.
He volunteered to make his own flashcards, and for the last 3 weeks, he'd been reviewing them during his Flush time. He knew the material, and though he got a little nervous at first, he rocked the questions session.
Then they got to perform their Katas.
This is Pinan Shoda. It's the first kata he learned, but then as a black belt candidate he had to learn it Kicked Up. Advanced Shodan. Pretty Awesome.
His Advanced Pinan Nidan. It's amazing to me that 3 months ago, he had completely forgotten that he'd done this 2 years ago, and couldn't remember. How far he's come!
Way back in the day, Sam decided when Chris was learning Shodan, and Nidan, that he'd make up his own. He called it Pinan Sam-dan. I kept thinking of that, and messing up when I would talk to him about this kata - Pinan Sandan. San-dan, not Sam-dan. ;)
I would often tease Christopher about this kata too - Pinan Yandan. I would make like I was tired, and yawn, Pinan Yawndan. I teased him about how he had this one so down pat, he didn't even need to worry. He knocked this one out too.
This is probably my favorite of the pinans. It's Pinan Godan. And it's my favorite.
Chris really looks the part of a badass on this one. His moves are slow, intentional, but then Bam!
Tuff Stuff. He's almost done with Pinan Godan. It was a little awkward for me to record and video at the same time.
This is Shihan's favorite, Basadai. I love this one too. It's different from the pinans, because the hits are aimed a little closer to home. And harder. It's a lot longer too. My favorite part is when he stops, takes a deep calming breath, then looks both ways.... before he kicks 2 guys' asses on either side! Love it!
This one was his downfall for a long time. 6 empty hand katas were tough, but then they switched it up a couple weeks ago. For months, he'd been training with rubber nunchuks. I used to pronounce them "numchuks" and I've been making him laugh for a while goofing it up on purpose. But when they switched to the wooden ones, that hurt. They were serious. They hurt more when he hits himself. It took him a while to find the groove. And Mommy wasn't allowed to call them numchuks anymore.
Empi sho Nunchuku
This is my favorite picture from the day.
It really gives an insight into how tough and strong, and focused he has become to acheive this goal.
He took a quick break before the Defense, so he came over to me. At the same time, I checked my phone and there was a message from Aunt Amy, who walked into the dojo at the same time I was going to respond to her message that she was coming. She'd gotten to see him rock out his Nunchuk kata, and she brought a present from Kaylee. He called them paper shiruken, or chinese throwing stars. I guess that's what they are. He was quite thrilled with them.
Most of the hard stuff was done, but then it was time for the Defenses, where they have to take down people. It was his hardest thing, and the last thing that he greened up this week. The first Defense was Line Defense, where they all line up and attack, and Chris has to throw them down to the ground.
Downtown Julie Brown!
My kids don't know who she is/was, but they hear me say it, and they think it's something tough.
Not as tough as Christopher!
It's a little hard to see him fend off the kids with foam clubs.
But the trick seems to be to get up close to the swinging arm and take it out at the shoulder.
Chris got Quite Good at that, even up to the this past week, we weren't sure. But once he found the sweet spot, he could take them down.
Time for Club Defense.
Being a good Attacker for his teammates is just as important as being able to Defend.
Attacking is his favorite part. This boy was Ready.
3 Man Defense was his downfall. It's very disconcerting to see 3 bigger kids coming at you, and they were all, always bigger. He was the smallest one testing. The key was to pick them off one at a time. For this Test, Shihan had him fending off 2 people. It took him a bit to find that, but as you can see, he could smack them down when he wanted. It would've been so much easier to give up, when he couldn't get that leverage, or when the kid wouldn't go down if Chris hadn't gotten him just so. But Chris kept hammering away, using legs, arms, neck, whatever he had to get them down. My kid rocks. I feel so safe now with him.
After he came to the back of the line. He knew. He knew he had done it. If Shihan was quiet, if he wasn't complaining, then it was Done.
He didn't stop making this face for about 2 hours. I love it.
He Earned that Black Belt, and we all know how strong he is, but now he had the official belt to prove it to everyone who can see.
After the last Defense, Daddy and the boys crept up to the entrance where Chris could see them get their belts changed.
The newest Black Belts!
Sensei Jordan ties on Christopher's new Black Belt.
And with the bow, it's official.
I am so Proud of this boy!
And he is so well supported by all the staff at Adamson's.
The whole new line of Black Belts!
Ours is the shortest one on the left.
What's really most important about that, was that Mommy got her Margarita. I'd been saying for weeks that this thing had been so stressful, it was gonna drive me to drink. Well, I got to!
I had forgotten to get a picture of just Chris in his Black Belt, or of him and us at the dojo.
It was 7 by the time they were done, and we were all hungry.
So Sam took this photo for us when we got home.
After Chris got his PJs on, we gave him his presents.
First, Aunt Teri had gotten him a t-shirt. Soft shirts are his favorite!
This one says Adamson's Karate on the front, and then on the back has Japanese writing.
It says, "Karate Do (doe, not do, which means the style), The Way" though I always add a "W'Smack!"for fist emphasis. Yes, Karate is his way!
From us, Christopher received a pair of Kama.
I hear tell Black Belts have the option to learn a Kama Kata.
He looks pretty awesome with them.
He stores them in his karate gear bag, in the box, so there is very little chance that some smaller brother would get a hold of these vicious weapons.
Those these bare hands are pretty fierce weapons enough.
And tonight it was made official.
And he was Ready to go to bed, Black Belt and All.
He makes me smile in his "Hiya" pajamas. Karate to the Core.
I am the Proudest Mommy there ever was. Way to go Christopher! You Rock!