As some of you know if you read last week's blog post about training at Equa Do, my white belt and dobok had arrived. I do have to write a post about this week's training session, I felt that the belt ceremony deserved it's own post.
Originally, as I posted last week, the belt ceremony was to take place at the conclusion of our Hapkido class. Meaning when I walked into Equa Do, I was nervous, but could find some comfort in the fact that I could work that nervousness out during class and be a little more calm and collected by the time the actual ceremony began.
Master Eric apparently had other ideas. As he wrapped up the Tae Kwon Do class that meets before I have Hapkido, I sort of was half listening. He finished his announcements, and I only vaguely registered him asking everyone in the class to wait. All of the sudden, I heard him ask for me and Chad, who was also being honored, to step forward. I quickly bowed in and came forward so I was standing with the members of the other class, and waited for instructions. All of the instructors at Equa Do, with the exception of Will and Anthony, were present. (Master Eric, Master Markus, Miss Linda,"Black Belt Chad", and Sensei)
Master Eric explained that I had recently tested for my white belt, and passed. He explained that what was about to occur was a promotion ceremony, which means I was being promoted from novice to white belt. He then asked me to come forward. He spoke to those assembled about how dedicated and talented I was, also noting that I was the first physically challenged student the school has had in quite awhile. He also acknowledged that I was the one to bring Chad in, and have him begin his training.
Master Eric then spoke about the significance of the white belt. He shared with us that a long time ago, martial artists only received one belt. The belt was white, but the more the person trained it would turn slowly black with dirt and blood. This then, is why black belts are so respected, because back then when you saw someone with a black belt it was from the stains on the fabric. Those with black belts had had enough experience that they were considered worthy to teach others. He also told us that a system of colored belts was implemented when people started blackening their belts artificially.
Following this, Master Eric tied my belt around me,knotting it tight enough to make me squeak. I went down the line of instructors, exchanging bows, handshakes and hugs with them. Chad went through the same process, and then joined me at the end of the line next to Sensei. Also honored was Terri, who earned her blue belt in Martial Arts for Women, and "Black Belt Chad" who had earned his second degree black belt. Master Eric called for all assembled to face those of us who had been promoted, and then had them bow to us, in a show of respect.
After we had received our requisite round of applause, I looked up at Sensei and asked if he was proud of me. I saw a slight shadow of anger flit over his face as he heard my question. He was clearly upset that I even needed confirmation of his pride. When I asked if he was okay, I got a slightly strangled yes. I looked up, only to see that he was crying! When I asked why, he answered: I'm so proud of you, little cub. So proud that you're my daughter and I get to be your daddy.
Following that it was time for class, so I used the bathroom to change into my dobok pants and then Sensei helped me with my top and belt.
Post about lesson to follow.