Rocky Mountain Martial Arts conducted black belt testing on Saturday October 19, 2013 with four candidates testing. Black belt testing is much more involved than color belt testing in that the candidate must apply to the Kukkiwon the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in Seoul, Korea. Upon receiving their Certification they are recognized worldwide and are accepted at any WTF sanctioned event.
The test began at 8:30 A.M. and concluded about 1:00 P.M. Enduring the test were, Sara Senst age 34, Jake Berger age 17, Mackenzie Rosenleaf and RMMA’s youngest ever 9 year-old Heather Hood. There are two types of black belt certification, Poom and Dan. Dan is given to those age 15 and above, Poom is given to those under age 15. The poom is a legitimate black belt and once the holder becomes 15 years of age it automatically becomes a Dan. The main reasoning is to keep a person that might look older than they really are they are kept out of competition that they might not be ready for.
The test consisted of a written paper pertaining to Taekwondo- A written test consisting of terminology in both English and Korean - Two hours of workout preparation under closed doors. At 10:30 A.M. the doors were opened to the public and the hard work began. They had to demonstrate all techniques before a black belt testing board consisting of Mike Denny, Jeff Beckett, Scott Beckworth, Bob Chambers and Chad Armstrong. They were interviewed by the panel and asked technical questions.
They had to perform eight color belt Poomse’s plus the 1st Dan form Koryo. A group of different level belts came in to spar with those testing. Helping out was: Dena and Rick Hamry and the Parks family from Whitehall – Clint and Twins Cheyanne and Savannah. The candidates had to spar with the helpers plus Mr. Beckett - Mr. Beckworth and Mr. Armstrong ten minutes non-stop and without knowing who was going to step into the ring next.
They also had to take on the same group for fifteen minutes of Rondori which is anything goes self-defense except punching.
They immediately had to do Kyrupka (board breaking) breaking 7 boards within 5 stations and finish within 2 minutes from setup to finish. Last, without much stamina left they had to perform the form Koryo to their music of choice.
They finished with a well deserved test of body – heart and mind and the admiration of the test board and those watching. RMMA will now be a much better place.