Friday’s conversation with Coworker Pete:

Mike D: Pete, I’m learning a spear form at Kung Fu

Coworker Pete: Oh yeah?

Mike D: It’s completely awesome. At one point you have to spin the spear around your back using your shoulder as a pivot point and it whips forward in a nasty slicing action

Coworker Pete: You better be careful with that thing

Mike D: It’s really not that dangerous. Most of the time the blade of the spear is very far away from your body anyway.

Key phrase: Most of the time.

Saturday’s overconfidence:

Spear wound


On Wednesday night I was practicing with my sword at kung fu and mistakenly slashed my chin and neck.

This could have been worse.

I was swinging the sword from below in a downward arc, which is why it has a weird two directional thing going on there. Thankfully the sword is dull as heck.

I guess it’s kinda neat to say that I’ve endured a sword wound – even if it was self inflicted.

Black Belt Test Recap Part IV

After the craziness that was the Black Belt test last Sunday, I had an epic party for my family and kung fu instructors. The theme pushed the limits of my creativity. With the help of many friends, I selected foods and beverages to match each color belt from my black belt program. Check it out:

Yellow and Gold

Beginner belts: Yellow, gold, and orange

Mac and cheese, yellow peppers, pineappel slices, lemonade, Chicken Nuggets, Mozzarella sticks, cheeses, crackers, tropical juice, and orange juice

Gold and Orange

Intermediate belts: Jade, Green, Purple, and Blue

party foods
Jade and Green

Jade and Green: Kiwi, guacamole, cucumbers, green peppers, green grapes, spinach balls, spinach knoor dip

More food!
Purple and Blue

Purple: Cupcakes, grapes, jello jigglers

Blue: More cupcakes, more jello, blueberries!


Advanced belts: Red, Brown, Adv. Brown, and Black

Red: Cherries, strawberries, red peppers, raspberries, fruit punch, pepperoni
(red was unsurprisingly my favorite table)

Brown and Adv. Brown

Brown: brownies, chocolate, chocolate milk, cookies


Black: ┬áSarah Bernhardts, Dad D’s famous chocolate ganache cake, and cupcakes.

Wow. The food was amazing. You’ll also notice that for the drinkers, I purchased alcoholic beverages of each color as well. It was truly a remarkable theme and a truly remarkable day.

Special thanks to all those who participated and supported me throughout the black belt endeavor. I’m so lucky to have had the chance to work on this hobby.

Black Belt Test Recap Part III

This post is part three in a series. For part II, please click here. For part I, please click here.

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.

Panther push-ups are performed on the middle knuckles of the fingers

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.

Horse Stance
Horse Stance

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.

Horse Stance pain
oh, the 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.

oh the pain
My crumpled body after 150 seconds of horse stance.

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.

tea ceremony
Serving my Sifu tea

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.

Black Belt
Black Belt

black belt!
Mom D, Mike D, Dad D.

Pictures were taken, and then we zipped off as we needed to prepare for the party.

Tomorrow, we’ll have party pictures!