Students testing for black belt rank are required to run a mile for each degree of black belt they're testing for. Several other students joined those testing for their run at 9:00a. The run took place on the path alongside Mill Rd. Adult volunteers were present along the course to ensure the safety of those running.
The first testing started at 10:00a and included all of the beginner students, as well as the Tiny Tiger (4-7 year old) students. The testing began with the judging panel taking turns drilling all of the students with different exercises, and then with specific drills from the material they'd been practicing. After the "warm-up," students were brought up in groups to demonstrate their material in front of the judges. At the conclusion of the first testing, students were presented with their new rank.
The second testing started at 11:30a and included all of the remaining color belts, as well as black belts. As with the first test, the panel of black belt judges took turns running exercises and drills. Students were then brought up in groups to demonstrate their material, the last group being the black belt candidates. Unlike the other testers, the students testing for black belt performed all of their material back-to-back without a break.
At the conclusion of the second testing, rank was awarded to those that had passed. All five of the students that tested for black belt passed, and the audience went wild with applause each time a black belt was tied on.
Mr. Nick Zorn, the current owner of West of the Moon, brought in his original instructors and promoted them to the rank of third-degree black belt for their selfless dedication and incredible inspiration. "They both had trained for third-degree, but were never given the opportunity to test," said Zorn. "This rank was a long time overdue."
The next testing cycle starts on Monday, August 20th. Prospective students should call the school at 630-554-3009 to schedule their first class.