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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Black Belt Extravaganza VI

Today was the Black Belt Extravaganza VI, a biannual ceremony in which several taekwondo practitioners in the Seattle area test for black belt. This one took place at the illustrious Carco Theatre, and began at one o'clock, lasting for about ninety minutes. I went there with my dad and recorded much of the event on video, as well as taking pictures, which I posted on Facebook. On this particular occasion, those testing for first dan (first degree black belt) included Josh Gumabao, John Lestock, Kelly Malleck, Corvin Costache, Lucky Hand, and many more besides. Jessica Malleck tested for second dan (second degree black belt), a rank which she richly deserves after her many years devoted to this awesome sport. In this glorious spectacle, we witnessed demonstrations of kicks, punches, poomses, sparring, and of course, board breaking. One particularly notable board break involved little Tylen Bell taking a board, preparing for a knife hand, and then grabbing the board and breaking it over Instructor Driver's head! That was good for some laughs. Yes, there's nothing like a good round of slapstick physical violence to lighten the mood. We also were given the privilege of viewing Kelly and Josh break bricks! Bricks, I tell you! And finally, after all of that, a select few of the prospective first dans read the essay that they had written on their ascension to first dan, as is required as part of the testing parameters. The extravaganza ended with the testers being presented with their belts, and a certificate certifying them as certified first or second dans! It was all very great and grand. I heartily salute all of the new black belts, as well as those who helped out at the test by holding boards and other such things. Those included Harley Anderson, Michael Tzeng, Tom Dean, and Bella Driver. Our instructors and masters for the event include Instructor Geofrey Driver, Master Robert Morrison, Master Joe Whitworth, and guest starring Master Tae S. Lee.

After the extravagant extravaganza, a bunch of us gathered at a Mexican restaurant called "La Hacienda" and ate food while hanging out with each other, congratulating the new black belts. I hung out with Josh, Marcus, Malcolm, Aaron, and Colton. I also chatted with this second dan visiting from Georgia named Jason. They're all a bunch of cool guys. After working at the shop for a while, dad and I went home. It was a full day for both of us.