Achievement Unlocked

by wjw on June 26, 2022

First there was Taos Toolbox, and then there was . . . this.

Four days after the workshop ended, I successfully tested for my 6th degree black belt in Kenpo Karate. In the days since, I’ve been judging at the tests of lower-ranking belts, and participating in a demonstration in front of a live audience.

All with a torn achilles tendon which requires me to walk with a cane much of the time.

Fortunately most of the test consisted of theory and philosophy. I was required to do some forms, but I designed most of these myself, and could alter them when I needed to. (For the demonstration, I was able to do my own kata more or less without modification, and the other form requires me to alter the steps once. It was uncomfortable and a little awkward, but I wasn’t left with the impression I’d bungled anything.)

And best of all I didn’t damage my tendon any further.

As for the junior black belts, I have no worries for the next generation. They were uniformly kind, pleasant, helpful, and incredibly talented. You want to meet Leaders of the Future, let me introduce you.

My instructor, Mr. Bruce Davis, is the sort of person who can lead you to wisdom with wit and humor, and he has my sincere thanks. Thanks also to the staff of AKKA, and to my fellow candidates Mr. Erickson and Mr. Barnes, who trained and tested with me.

I don’t talk much about martial arts here, in part because for me it’s personal. I write in order to share the writing with an audience, but I do Kenpo for myself. I’ve studied for over forty years, it’s become a deep influence on my character and personality, and I’d have a hard time imagining me without it.

So do I finally get to sleep now? No, the Summer of Frantic Activity is far from over. Stay tuned.

Susan June 27, 2022 at 2:17 pm

Congratulations on your achievement. I admire your dedication to the endeavor.

Bill June 27, 2022 at 6:16 pm

Congratulations, it’s a difficult road, but very rewarding.

grs1961 June 28, 2022 at 8:12 am

AKKA??? So who’s Giles??? 😉

wjw June 28, 2022 at 1:06 pm

Wow. A Giles Habibula reference. Bonus points to you!

James Strickland June 30, 2022 at 8:18 pm


John Appel June 30, 2022 at 9:12 pm

From one swordsman to another, congratulations!

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