Test Anxiety

As July leads in to August, and summer leads in to fall, I am thinking more and more about what I should be doing to ready myself for our meetings resuming, as well as the next promotion exam; if I am to have any hope if being ready to test at the next opportunity.

Fortunately, our Shin Ho Kwan testing requirements are listed online. Here is a link to the curriculum for going from 2nd to 3rd Dan: http://www.shinhokwan.org/SHK/TR-2D.html

As follows;


World Taekwondo Federation Form- Taebek

Shin Ho Kwan Forms-

Myo (Rabbit), Jin (Dragon), Sa (Snake)

Two Person Form- Two Person Short Staff Form

Weapon Form- Short Staff Form

Foundation Techniques

Rear Leg Ground Kicks, Front Leg Ground Kicks, Front Leg Ground High Jump Kicks, Front Leg Ground Low Jump Kicks, Rolling Ground Kicks

Weapon One Steps

Five Creative Short Staff vs. Knife, Five Creative Short Staff vs. Short Staff

Short Staff Techniques

Short Staff Holding, Short Staff Defense


Standing Sparring & Grappling: One Opponent, Ground Sparring & Grappling: One Opponent


Large Leg Block Throw, Small Leg Block Throw, Bear Hug Hip Throw, Push Pull Hip Throw, Two Hand Inside Shoulder Throw, Two Hand Outside Shoulder Throw, Bear Hug Circular Throw, Belt Grab Two Leg Trap Throw, Outer Wrist Lock Hip Throw, Inner Wrist Lock Hip Throw


Do Meditation – Eight Trigrams – Exercises


12 Meridians – Paths, 2 Vessels – Paths

Unfortunately, I read through what I need to know, and I am feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of being tested on all of those things. So I thought I would share my test anxiety with the world (or at least our loyal readers) and perhaps you can offer suggestions. My first plan is to have a printed version of all the things I need to know which I can refer to, rather than having to click back and forth on testing requirements. I have not completed this task yet. I also thought I should pick the things that I need to work on most (besides “everything”) and break these down in to chunks; for example, work on 2- 3 throws at a time so that I can know them by name and execute them correctly. Some times I try to work on ground kicks, but I don’t feel like I’m really getting them to work very well. Add in the factors of front and rear leg kicks, high kicks, dare I mention rolling kicks (different kinds of rolling kicks!). And about 10 new forms, some of which I have never done before. Maybe I should try to test in the year 2016 or so.

I wasn’t even thinking about the breaking portion of the test!

Shinhokwan.org lists all testing requirements by rank, and not only am I responsible for the forms, kicks, throws etc. listed in the previous link; I also will need to know the curriculum as listed for all previous ranks. At least that is what our requirements have been, until now; today I noticed in Shin Ho Kwan News, from July 8th- http://shinhokwan.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/new-shin-ho-kwan-black-belt-schools/

“New Shin Ho Kwan Black Belt Schools

All black belts must pick a “派” (pronounced “pa” in Korean) before the end of this year (December 2011). Loosely translated into English, Pa means sect or school (of thought). Slightly over 15 years ago, the Pa structure was introduced within Shin Ho Kwan, however due to various logistical reasons it never fully caught on (older black belts might remember being encouraged to “pick a major”). With the recent implementation of Shin Ho Kwan’s Doctrine of Behavior, I thought it would be a good time to fully implement the Pa structure into our curriculum.

There are 5 Pa’s. Each one corresponds to one of the five elements and members of a Pa focus more heavily on a specific aspect of the Shin Ho Kwan curriculum than the others (see below):

木派 – Namu Pa –  Wood School – Forms
火派 – Hwa Pa – Fire School – Sparring
土派 – To Pa –  Earth School – Mental
金派 – Geum Pa – Metal School – Weapons
水派 – Mul Pa – Water School – Throws/Joint Locks

All Black Belts still learn the same new material for each dan rank.  However, black belts will only be  responsible cumulatively (i.e. that which was learned at a lower dan rank) for the material focussed on by their Pa (with the exception of all the WTF material – which will still be subject to testing for all).

Each Pa will receive additional training on their focus and will learn the finer points of the material that are not necessarily taught (as basic knowledge) to the other Pa’s.

All current Shin Ho Kwan black belts should actively start thinking about which Pa they would like to become a member of.  Do not take this decision lightly, as once picked a black belt’s Pa can only be changed after successfully completing a Dan examination.”

And so now I will have to choose a “Pa,” an area of martial arts to focus on. To only be tested cumulatively in one area. Which is good, I guess, I was feeling so overwhelmed. At the same time, though, it seems like we really should still know what we were tested on previously at lower ranks. Of course, this new plan doesn’t mean we can’t retain that knowledge, more that we are responsible for keeping it ourselves, rather than being tested on it by an instructor. This is going to be a hard decision. There are so many things to learn about each aspect of the art.

Pressure Point! (Mental aspect?)

What do you think?

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