Hi Everyone! I would like to start off by saying that this blog is not directed at any one person or group of people- wait, that's not entirely accurate. In this blog, I'm talking specifically to the kids on the testing team, not just those going for first degree, but all of us under 18 (including myself) testing for any level of black belt. I am going to be frank and honest. I know what it's like to test for black belt as a kid, this is my third time doing it. I finished my first degree test at age 10, second degree at age 12, and at the test in October I will be 15. My point is that I know how black belt testing as a kid has its own unique challenges that would be different if we were adults testing. A difference being that we rely on our parents to be there for us, whether that means cheering us on from the sidelines or driving us to practice two or three or four or more times a week. Sometimes we all need to be reminded though, that this is our test, that we are responsible for whether we pass or not. It's your job to manage your binder. It's your job to post blogs. It's your job to practice what you've learned in class. So the next time your parents remind you to do a set of something (be it pushups, squats, forms, etc.) or to post a blog, you'll be able to say "Yes, Mom. Yes, Dad. I'll do another right now". Then when they ask you what you mean by another, you can explain to them all the things you've done already that day. How awesome would that feel? I'm not saying you have to test all on your own, you have your team, your instructors, and your biggest supporters- your family. What I'm saying is that you are responsible for your testing- you control its outcome. Just something to think about.