The morning was a bit dreary, but cleared up to a sunny beautiful day. The first half of the day began with some much needed stretching. The pace is slower than yesterday since everyone’s fatigue level is growing steadily as the training hours wear on. The training today is devoted entirely to curriculum. All the groups are practicing. Level by level, technique by technique. Making sure every check point is met. From G4 to P1, everything is reviewed, revised, and re-emphasized.
Megan Kaddouch, Tamir Gilad, and Israel Tamir spend the day with us. Making corrections and answering questions while they move about the group. Miki Weinstein, Director of Operations for IKMF USA and Paula Meyers from Minnesota arrived yesterday. They stayed around to observe the training for a short while. Their approval poured through their smiles.
The evening was a joyous event. Everyone gathered together to celebrate The Family. Short blog post tonight. Everyone is Excited/Nervous for tomorrow. Remember what I said about test day, full technique, full follow through, search, and most importantly… Have fun!
A buzz is infecting the group. Nervous energy with only one way to let it out!
The groups a divided by grade level with a different G.I.T. in charge of the evaluations. The sweat begins to pour as healthy amounts of contact are being made. G.I.T. Israel Cohen asks for me to assist with the only G1 tester. I happily obliged. Ty from Australia had perhaps the hardest test I have seen. It was non stop movement. If he wasn’t performing a technique, he was performing an exercise. Get ups, push up, and sit ups generously mixed in between chokes, bear hugs, and attacks. It didn’t stop there. The end of the test was one on one and two on one attacks with exercises mixed in between. No rest, no reprieve. Between myself and a “nice” German fellow by the name of Cüneyt attacking, Ty earned his G1 in marvelous fashion.
The participants worked at a stressful pace. Pushing harder as the test wore on. Size and weight disadvantages were not allowable factors during the test, just like real life. Attack after attack, defenses and counter attack came in explosive moves. Until the very end, no one stopped. Not everyone passed, but then again, our rank is earned through blood, sweat, and pain. It is given out just because you paid for your test.
The G3 group had Tamir Gilad to stress them out. The fighting was tough. The techniques had to be perfect. Standards for the testers were the highest I’ve seen(until later anyways). Kraver’s from Canada, Russia, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands pushing eachother to their limits. Encouraging words shared when needed and helping hands when it getting up was harder than expected. True strength is not how hard you knock someone down, but the strength to pull them up. It was a small group with few people. Even fewer passed.
G4. It was the hardest test I’ve taken so far. Evaluated by Amnon Darsa, the IKMF Head of Testing, this group was the last to finish. Testers were completely drenched in sweat upon completing the test. Techniques at this level are exceptionally complicated. Sticks, knives, pistols, rifles, and multiple attackers. Mix in situations standing, laying on the ground, sitting in chairs, and you have the makings of a very difficult test. As you can expect with the Head of Testing evaluating a test, not everyone passed.
DAY EIGHT: EXPERT CAMP BEGINS
Today’s techniques and drills are top secret, so here is a picture of a Mickey Mouse/Wolverine hybrid…!!