Top 10 Tips for A Successful Belt Testing

Next week will be our first belt testing of 2014 at Lakes Martial Arts in Minneapolis. I am excited to see the growth our 26 students over the course of our 10 week session, especially seeing amazing attitudes we've been working on! 

Students and parents, I am confident everyone will have a successful testing as long as you follow my Top 10 Tips for a successful martial arts belt testing:

10. Arrive Early. Get your body warmed up, stretched out, and relax. Showing up late will create extra anxiety that won't help you do your best.

9. Dress Sharp! Belt testings are a big deal. You've worked hard on something for months, so why not put your best foot forward and look your best! Start by having a clean, ironed white uniform ready to POP! at each punch and kick! All patches should be sewn properly on the uniform.

8. Introduce Yourself. If there is a new judge or student you may not know, introduce yourself. Channel nervous energy and make a new friend.

7. Schedule Make-ups, in Advance. If you are unable to make testing at the last minute, reach out to the instructor as soon as possible to let them know. Proper planning makes coordinating the logistics behind make-up testings much easier.

6. Perfect Practice Makes Perfect. Doing the same thing wrong over and over won't lead to improvement. If you need extra help, plan for an extra private lesson to work on important details that will make a difference in your performance.

5. Keep the Butterflies at Bay. We all get nervous before a big event. If we care about it, chances are we've practiced, practiced, practiced. And if we've practiced, practiced, practiced, then chances are we are ready to do our best. And if we are ready to do our best, then what is the need to worry?

4. Fuel Up Smartly. Be sure to drink lots of water and eat a smart snack before the event. You don't want to feel hungry and tired before a big event. Think of your body as a high-performance race car, which requires high-octain fuel. You wouldn't put Kool-Aid in the gas tank, would you?

3. Relax and Breath. Focus mental energy to do your best, no matter what else goes on around you. This is a skill that can be learned and applied for the rest of your life.

2. Smile. Smiling helps to relax and have a great black belt attitude. Did you know it takes less muscles in our face to smile than it does to frown? Perhaps I am just lazy, but I like to smile!

1. Have a Black Belt Attitude. No matter what, as long as you did your very best, having a great attitude is more important that weather or not you earn your next rank.

"To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are," said boxer and philanthropist Muhammad Ali.

I believe attitude is rooted in confidence and faith in your ability to do your best.

Curious on what attitude is all about? Then read this blog post on the importance of attitude.

Good luck to our testers!