As many of you know, karate has become an important part of my life. I have been training since January 2008. Right now I am a brown belt, one of four girls who are the highest rank at my school. It's kind of exciting but stressful. We have been training for our Ban Bu test. Ban Bu is a brown belt with a black stripe in the center. It is the first of the high level belts and the testing process becomes quite a bit harder. We are required to do a physical test which includes running 2 miles in 20 minutes and then completing the rest in another 10 minutes (100 sit ups, 50 pushups: 10 each of uppercut, vertical knuckle, horizontal knuckle, fingertip, and triangle, and 5 pull ups or holding above the bar for 30 seconds). Then, we have to complete the curriculum testing that takes several more hours and includes all kata (forms), self defense, and sparring. There is also a written test and a written thesis that we complete. This is the same test that you have to pass for all belts above Ban Bu (Han Ban Bu, Chan Ban Bu, Black, Black Belt higher degrees), but some of the requirements on the written tests change and more curriculum is learned and tested, of course.
I am having a horrible time with the physical part of the test. At this point, I have not been able to run the 2 miles in 20 minutes or do the pull ups so on the practice tests, I have only gotten 15/40 points on that portion of the test. This is very stressful for me and I am trying to remain positive and know that I can complete it just like everyone else who has done it.
The "real" test is coming up a week from Saturday. I will have a horrible birthday if I don't pass it, so everyone, just pray for me, please!