So after over a year of training, hours and hours of sore muscles, sweat, a few tears and blood, Northwind students have all achieved 2nd gup- red belt. Our first belts under Master Burns. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come from just the group of ‘nerds’ who invaded the Range Martial Arts school with a dream of learning how to use a sword, to stronger and better martial artists that are now and part of our own school.  Of course, we’re still nerds. (We have a reputation and everything) From here on out, standards and training will be much harder, but the rewards will be that much greater….

Because I am a quirky, nerdy martial artist, the beautiful, and flashing moves of Haidong Gumdo remind me so much of Star Wars. Such as, when we first learned the partnered 10-step sparring drills, it actually helped to imagine the mukkum as a light saber; to use the momentum of the sword bouncing off my partner’s mukkum instead of trying to smash through it, with a solid, wooden, stick. Once we got comfortable with speed , partnered 10-step sparring drills really looked like a light saber duel.

That being said, The journey to black belt has gotten closer and the next test is not at a set time anymore. The next test is when you have really earned it. And whether I get to earn it in three months or three years is up to me now. Upon earning black belt (and the training won’t stop there) I could earn the right to own an extremely sharp metal sword…to a nerdy martial artist, who imagines Haidong Gumdo like Star Wars, this is the equivalent of going from ‘padewan’ to jedi-knight. With becoming a jedi, comes the right to have…..A light saber.

On to earning a black belt and a light saber- I mean, sharp sword.

-Haidong! (Archer)