Nick had the unique opportunity to test for his black belt in Hapkido today, and we are riveted to say that he passed! Even with family and friends in the audience, a video camera in his face, and an improvised sparring match, Nick maintained impeccable concentration and executed the task at hand with focused determination.
The test began with Nick opening the class, leading his fellow martial artists in a series of warm-ups, blocks, and the dan geon form. Each exercise was accompanied by a count to ten in Korean. I (Natasha) could tell by the demeanor and assertive voices of the other students that they had a lot of conviction in their practice, and were eager for their friend to be successful.
After warming up, the class took their seats, and Nick had the floor to himself (along with Jason, of course). Jason tested him on the fourteen grabs and how to defend against them, target practice, knife defense, grappling, and Nick's self-made (and self-titled) "Wolverine Form." Next, Jason threw some surprise attacks, which he prefaced with the idea that you don't always know what to expect in a real-life situation. Nick was able to harness his training and reflexes to adapt to the unpredictability, sending Jason to the ground several times.
The test ended with a review of the five tenants of Hapkido: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. Jason invited Nick to explain why they are important not only in martial arts, but also in life. A few of our clients were touched by the culmination of Nick's hard work, and of course, the man himself is very happy (and relieved) to be the recipient of such a great honor. Way to go, Nick!