Promotions are two hours of non-stop cardio and karate, and the first one is a little scary because you’re not sure how it’s going to go.
It’s fun to go even if you’re not testing because 1) it’s two hours at the dojo playing with people who want to punch you and 2) when you’re a lower belt going up for your test, it’s nice to have other lower belts there, so it’s not just you and six brown belts who are at the level where they can levitate rocks with their minds and stuff, while you’re stuck kicking. Once. Then stepping left. Foundations have so much value, but it’s nice to have a buddy or two.
Anyway, at the end of belt testing, the student is presented with a certificate and their new belt. Bob was going from yellow to orange, and Shihan gave a very nice speech (thoughtful and personal as always). And you can see how much it means because each person works pretty hard to get there, and also because, well, once you’ve drunk the Koolaid, these things can kind of take over your brain.
Black & white ink on watercolor paper, ~9″x9″, source photo by Z. Mauro.