Black belt candidates are required to complete three conditioning tasks: 50 panther push-ups, 50 row-boats, and two and a half minutes of horse stance.
While the push-ups and row-boats were no real challenge, the horse stance was a different story. My quads were already fearfully sore after the forms, self defenses, and sparring – so I was truly worried about my ability to accomplish the 150 seconds of horse stance.
The clock started and I rested my bo staff across my legs.
To date, the longest I’d been able to endure the pain with bo staff was 2 minutes flat. I desperately watched as the clock hands circle through their path. After 90 seconds my legs were burning.
Admittedly, my form suffered a bit into as we passed the two minute mark. My stance sagged and my feet edged out, though I’m pleased to say that the staff did not roll off my legs. Sihing Mark counted down the last few seconds of agony. My task completed, I folded over – exhausted.
The test was over.
The celebrations began with a tea ceremony. The first task of new black belts is to serve your master tea. This is done in part to check our egos. Yes, we are now black belts – but we still must show respect and honor to those who have helped us along the way.
With the tea served, I was asked to stand and my Sifu removed my dark brown belt and replaced it with my new black belt.
Pictures were taken, and then we zipped off as we needed to prepare for the party.
Tomorrow, we’ll have party pictures!