Moe has been studying Aikido for a number of years. This morning he took the test for his black belt.
For those unfamiliar with this martial art, here is a nice description. Anyone interested in learning some of the common terminology associated with Aikido, can visit this link.
The black belt is a pretty big deal. It signifies an advanced level of expertise. There are a multitude of moves, and combinations of moves, that one needs to learn and demonstrate with proficiency.
At this level you also must be proficient with moves involving traditional weapons, and you must be able to show that you can fend of multiple attackers.
Others tested today for belts of lower levels. Three blue belts, and one brown belt were awarded, but the Sensei (instructor) referred to Moe's test as "the dessert" for those observing. (Other levels did not require a knowledge of the weapons, or the need to respond to multiple attackers simultaneously.)
Unfortunately the venue was a bit dark and most of my photos were just too blurry to make sense. Here are a few that will give you an idea, as well as some showing the actual award of the various belts at the conclusion of the testing.
Aikido is a martial art that does not involve offensive moves, but merely the defensive tactics required to disable an "attacker." Here Moe has to show what one might do if another tries to grab you by the shirt. He is working with his Uke, David (thanks David!).
Although my photos are blurry, some of the blur here is definitely action. Much of Aikido is about leverage. It is amazing how quickly you can turn someone around and upside down, and make it look like it was so easy!
Watching, it is amazing to think that much of what we see in practices and tests is done in "slow motion." This is the only way to mitigate the real injury that would otherwise be sustained were you truly mounting a defense against an attacker.
This was the part of the test that everyone, except Moe, wanted to see more of. In this case two attackers come at you and the person being tested must quickly respond in an appropriate way to keep both of them at bay simultaneously. It is exciting to see - more exciting to execute!
Sensei O'Quin presents Moe with his black belt.
Three Senseis observed and graded Moe's performance
All of the recipients of new belts were honored. Congratulations to all!
Awesome job Moe!