Trial and Triumph (and utter madness)

God help me, I’m an Associate Master.

The strangest things happen when you’re a pushover…

A few months ago, things were marching along at the martial arts school. Lots of big changes in the curriculum afoot, which were taking up a big part of everyone’s attention Myself I was doing fine, though having doubts about the coming test cycle. Black belt testing is only done once a year. Among many other things, one of the conditions for testing is a certain amount of time since the last test. On that condition alone, I was technically eligible for two ranks (one in Hapkido and one in Taekwondo) The normal course of things is to deal with tests one at a time, and which one to deal with this year had been a point of some debate and ambiguity throughout the year.

Here comes the pitch: other people were testing for both of the same ranks (one of which sufficiently high to make this a rare event) Obviously it would be so much easier with the other peole taking up some of the testing board’s attention. I swear, I’ve got to get a will some time.

Shear and utter madness.

I did realize my mistake eventually. Comforting to know, instead of just feeling uneasy, but discomforting to be sure it was a mistake. There is another theory of easy and hard – it’s easy when you are prepared and hard when you aren’t. (Guess where I was, with little more than a month to go.)

I paid dearly for my error. For that last month or so, virtually every other concern fell away as I was either in class, or at home organizing my notes and grappling with advanced material. It pretty much ate my life, and debts remain; some of the people who assisted me had expressed an interest in private lessons, and I now have outstanding vouchers.

The beginning of the post has given away the end of the story; I passed, and did quite well to hear people talk; of course people tend to say nice things at events like this. A certain degree of shortfall is written into the beginning of such an overambitious enterprise. Parts of me actually wanted to brush it off and make a lackluster performance as a kind of silent protest. In the end, however, that would have been rather rude, and other parts of me require a certain level of quality.

Of course, that isn’t the entirety of the insanity.

At our school, black belt rank in multiple arts can be added together, up to a point, to create higher level titles (I’d already been a benefactor of this rule, as ‘Sr. Instructor’) By those rules, I am now titled Assoc. Master. I may have also benefited from some changes in the title system; a much higher ranked student, formally titled Assoc. Master, was upgraded to Professor, even though she didn’t test this year.

Doesn’t make having master in the title any less scary, though.


  1. flower76 says:

    Congratulations! :)

    I ain’t gonna call you Master, though. Hee hee!

  2. admin says:

    Thank you! I hadn’t actually considered that; I hope everybody else agrees with you ;^)

  3. trifthen says:

    So, when do you get the title: Ninja?


  4. admin says:

    I’ve gone to a few of the Ninjitsu seminars, but I’ve largely passed it over as just one thing too many.