We recently had another group of students test and move up a grade (rank). As a teacher, of course it goes without saying that I’m always proud of my students as they grow and progress. Typically, by testing time, a student is more than ready to test; having met all the requirements for eligibility—knowledge of material, a satisfactory level of physical skill, a satisfactory level of understanding life skills learned thus far, etc. With that being said, testing for most students is merely a formality. But that is not to say testing isn’t challenging or that success guaranteed.
As Young Forest Martial Arts nears the three year anniversary mark, student testing is growing ever more dynamic as we have a larger range of students at different grades testing. This time, we had first grade students testing all the way up to seventh grade testing into eighth grade—inching ever closer to the coveted black sash. As I said earlier, I take great pride in the progress of my students. But these students are different; particularly the higher ranking students. These students are known in the jung wu, the martial arts community, as first generation. The student who just tested into the eighth grade is a good example and representation of a first generation student. He’s been with Young Forest almost since the beginning, he’s very dedicated and comes to every class he can, and participates in additional programs, as well as is an active competitor. He knows, and uses, life skills learned through his kung fu training in the kwoon (martial arts school) and outside the kwoon—home and school. He’s an Academic Achiever of the First class and always has a positive attitude. His family is very supportive of him and Young Forest Martial Arts, he’s now the highest ranking student at Young Forest, and is on his way to being one Young Forest Martial Arts’ first black sash (junior black sash); if not the first. His name is Seth Hughes and I am exceptionally proud of him, and our other first generation students who are right there with him; putting in all the hard work and effort, never giving up, and setting great examples for succeeding generations of students and all those around them.
Speaking of succeeding generations; as I also previously mentioned, we had a few newer first and second grade students (including my youngest son Avery), as well as some middle ranking students, test. And they all did very well. Congratulations to all generations of students who tested recently!