As we begin our New Year of martial arts training and goal setting, it’s not too early to focus on the requirements that our Adult Martial Ars Students and Karate Kids will need to master in order to prepare for our Taekwondo Rank Testing to be held on February 27th & 28th! While the specific requirements for this testing (traditional Taekwondo form, sparring combinations, etc. ) will be listed below, the first step is to be sure to get into class for two to three lessons per week. Regular attendance is a key to being prepared for testing! Here is the information regarding the compulsory techniques, forms, sparring combinations and one-steps that we will be working on for this testing, broken down by ranks. Our White Belts, including Tiny Tigers, Karate Kids and Adult Students, will always prepare for their first testing by practicing Songahm 1, the White Belt Sparring Combinations, and the White Belt One Steps. (The ATA developed the Songahm forms in 1983, with 9 Color Belt forms, and 9 Black Belt forms.) Orange and Yellow Belts will be working on Songahm 3 (Yellow Belt Form) during this cycle, along with the Orange/Yellow Sparring Combinations, and the Yellow Belt One Steps. Camouflage, Green and Purple Belts will be training on In Wha 1 (Purple Belt Form), as well as on the Purple/Blue Sparring Combinations. Once a student reaches the rank of Camo Belt, we no longer have them practice the one steps; instead we focus on free sparring which is better suited for advanced students to practice their martial arts techniques in a more realistic fashion. Our new Camo Belts should spend some extra time practicing their new reverse kicks. Please see an Instructor if you need some extra help in mastering these kicks. Note: The Camo, Green and Purple Belts will work on this same material for the April Testing as well. Blue, Brown and Red Belts will be working on Choong Jung 2 (Red Belt Form) as their form, along with the Brown/Red Sparring Combinations. In addition to being required to free spar as part of their testing, these upper ranks will also be required to break boards in order to advance in rank. Board Breaking has been a required part of testing in Taekwondo and Karate testings for years, as it requires the students to prove their power, focus and ability to perform under stress. Note: The Blue, Brown and Red Belts will work on this same material for the April Testing as well. A complete list of the forms (including all of the moves and stances) as well as the sparring combinations, can be found on our site under Master K’s Blog here: Kowkabany’s Forms and Sparring Combinations Compulsory Techniques: At the start of each testing, we will have students demonstrate a few techniques that allow us to review the quality of their stances, the basic elements of kicking, and the basic elements of their hand techniques, regardlesss of rank. For this cycle, students will demonstrate the #3 Side Kick and the #2 Round Kick, as well as either a High Block or Low Block in a front stance, and a Knifehand Strike or Double Knifehand Block in a back stance. In addition to these ‘compulsory’ techniques for all color belts, we will also call out a few techniques specific to their rank group. Should you have any questions regarding your next rank testing, or should you need any help outside of our regular classes, please talk to one of the Senior Masters.