After I finished up with my 8 self defense techniques, Ms. S. had me stay on the mats. Mr. Mc stepped up and several of the other black belts circled around me on the outside of the mat. At this point, I knew that something was up. Surrounded by black belts = trouble. I just didn't know what kind of trouble that was going to be yet. Mr. Mc began explaining that I had just went through the 8 self defense techniques that I came up with. On those, I was able to set up the scenario, how the person would grab me....in other words, they were organized and specific. What I would be doing next was freestyle self defense. For this, nothing is set. I wouldn't know what was going to happen and I had to be prepared--
At that moment, I was grabbed in a bearhug from behind. I can't say what I did, but I reacted and it went to the ground. My Jiujitsu kicked in and though it wasn't a specific technique that I've learned, I had Mr. J.S. with his face to the ground and one of my legs over his back, trying to work this into something I was familiar with. The other black belts called break because they thought he had tapped, but he hadn't. The good thing was that I had him down and he wasn't going to go anywhere for the foreseeable future.
We both stood up and Mr. Mc continued with the explanation of the freestyle self defense. There would be two kinds of possible attacks which I was asked to name. The first was a grab. The second was a strike. That could be either a punch or a kick. How I reacted and what I did was up to me. These went by so fast that I don't remember what all he did. After the bearhug, there was a punch which I partially blocked and then I started kneeing him in the stomach and ribs until break was called. There was another grab, but I don't remember the details of it. All I know is that it went to the ground and I sat on his back and applied a blood choke until he tapped. Probably the most memorable to me....and my head.....was when he faked me out with his hands, then kicked me in the head with a roundhouse kick. I didn't even move. I saw hands move, then in my peripheral vision, I saw his foot and then it was another solid "Whap!" Mr. G told me later that the kick was rising slightly. Had it been straight in and level, I would have been taking a nap on the mats.
The last one I remember well is a headlock. I was so focused on getting his arm away from my neck that I didn't consider any other options such as striking. The black belts called break and brought up that I wasn't getting anywhere or doing anything effective. Mr. J.S. told me that he was going to grab me again and to remember that he was a guy. I immediately knew of one option that I had not considered the first time. He grabbed me in a headlock and I made a fist and swung, with the instant result of him letting go. The black belts asked me if propriety made me avoid the strike the first time. I honestly was so focused on "Get this arm off my neck!" that I didn't consider anything else.
Up next was 1-step sparring. B, a blue belt from the other class was my partner. We both took turns and alternated punching and then demonstrating the seven 1-steps. I felt this went smoothly and there weren't really any comments or criticisms from the black belt panel.
The students pulled the mats away, and the black belts called J, a really tall yellow belt from our sister class, to come up. I was told to head to a corner of the room and teach him a combination consisting of at least three techniques. Of anything, this was probably the longest breather I had during my test. As we walked to the back of the room, I considered various hand techniques and kicks and what would flow well. He was an adult and a 8th kyu, so I added an advanced kick. My combo was a backfist-reverse punch-back leg front snap kick-spinning back kick. I had J walk through the four techniques as I explained where each technique would land if he was actually hitting someone. Once he got a feel for the combination, I had him repeat it until I was satisfied with the flow and his transitions from technique to technique. We then headed back to the middle of the room where Mr. G was holding a striking bag for Mr. R.S. who was putting on a kicking demo. They wrapped this up, then I was to have my student perform the combination. After a few repetitions with both sides, the black belts asked J what he thought of the combination and if he could see himself using it in a spar. He said that he could. This was followed by the black belts questioning me on the flow of what I had just taught. They had an issue with the transition from the backfist to the reverse punch. Mr. G demonstrated this by shifting his weight onto his front leg for the backfist, then back to center for the reverse punch. There was discussion about this and I defended my technique, saying that I didn't have the shift forward on the backfist, so the big transition wasn't there as I had taught it.
For part 2 of my teaching test, then brought up this adorable, tiny boy from our kids class, JJ. I think he's our youngest in class - 4 years old maybe? There was a collective "Aww" from the family/friend section when he walked up. While standing in front of the black belts, I was to teach him how to throw a punch. When they said this, I couldn't have been happier. I immediately fell into my comfort zone - teaching. I work best with the kids. We walked through the stance together, then I helped him throw some punches by moving his arms together (it seems that moving the arms together at the same time is one of the hardest concepts for most kids to get past). Then, I knelt down and had him aim at my nose. When he did a few of those, I scooted closer and let him pop me in the nose. When I stood up and had him go sit back down, I think everyone in the room was smiling.
Finally, the last part of the teaching test was with blue belt w/ stripe J.M. from our adult class. I was to have him do a form, then offer critique. I had him do the form for brown belt on my count, then I pointed out a few mistakes and also some of the things he had done well.
Part 3 - Sparring-End