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Importance of Testing as a Martial Artist

It is testing season at Harvest!!! The instructors and students have been working extremely hard to prepare themselves for black belt and rank testing. Testing is an extremely important part of the martial arts journey. It helps to validate a student’s training and give them self-worth. It is important for martial arts students to challenge themselves and push their limit, so they can find their weak areas that need improvement.

Martial arts training is about creating the best version of yourself. At Harvest, students work to cultivate their mind, body, and spirit through the physical practice of Han Mu Do. They learn new self-defense techniques, forms, and weapons techniques. Students train hard and often, practicing so they are able to perform the best that they can. Everyone’s best looks different and should be compared to each individual’s starting place. The primary reason to test students is to mark progress and give the student feedback on their abilities and performance.

“A black belt is a white belt that never quit.”

The best way to prepare for testing is to attend class on a regular basis. Regular class attendance (2-3 classes a week) allows the students plenty of time to practice and learn. This will also help students develop the physical and mental fortitude so they are prepared to perform at testing. Martial arts helps students to learn to set high goals, commit to their decisions, persevere through tough times, and develop toughness and grit. Having a consistent and healthy weekly routine helps students to be consistant and focused while developing strong, healthy habits.

Testing is stressful and that is important!!! Testing student’s abilities to perform under stress helps them to grow and develop the skills that are required as black belt and beyond. In the real world we deal with stress on a regular basis with positive and negative outcomes. Having the mental fortitude to not let the stress prevent completion of a task is an important life skill. Students can look up to their peers that have passed this portion of the journey and be inspired to follow in their footsteps. Harvest is a family of supportive students that want to celebrate each other’s successes. The stress is what makes testing tough, but it is also what makes the reward that much better!

Our goal is to help instill these martial arts values into our students at Harvest and help them achieve their goals. It takes approximately 3-5 years to reach the first level or Dan of black belt. We breakdown the long-term goal of black belt into smaller and more achievable steps. At Harvest, we test once a quarter. We have found that a 3 month testing cycle allows students to be able to learn at a comfortable pace and be fully prepared for testing. Setting goals and taking action to achieve those goals help the students to make goal setting a priority in other areas of their lives. It is the instructor’s job to prepare the students for their test and give them the tools to handle the stressful testing environment. If you feel you need more help, be sure to ask your instructor or schedule a private lesson.

When are you ready to test? At Harvest we stripe belts for students when they know the curriculum needed for their rank test. If you feel ready to test and you are unsure of the next step, ask and an honest answer shall be received.

How to fail a test every time? Never try!

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