We had our belt ceremony this evening at my Taekwondo school. I don't always make it to the ceremonies but this one was especially important. So much so that I skipped statistics class for it. (I talked to the teacher first and he was cool with it.)
When our master instructor James Rich called me up to receive my new rank and belt, you betcha I was crying and I didn't mind that 100 people were watching me do it. The first-degree black belt ceremony in the Taekwondo journey is the only one during which the master instructor ties the belt on you. (For perspective: there are 17 ranks between the beginner white belt and the first-degree black belt. Then there are nine degrees of black belt. Mr. Rich is a seventh-degree black belt.)
In the three years I've been studying Taekwondo, I've failed two promotional tests.
"A couple of storms make it sweeter," instructor Julius Agh said to me after I received my black belt.
From here on out, no more color belts for me. Just black belts with gold stripes that will indicate my degree. I have a sneaky suspicion there will be more.
A big shout out to my friend Rachel who came out to root for me. She was also my pro bono photographer for the evening. More pictures to come. Stay tuned.
For now, here are a few shots she snapped with my iPhone.
|Me and my Jedi Master James Rich|