I was recently up to Toronto this past weekend at DeSantos Martial Arts which is my Master’s school. Vernoica DeSantos. I was there to help out a little bit with their power weekend which is there 40 hour Black Belt Grading.
While I was there, I observed while sitting at the examiner’s table Grandmaster Veronica put her students through 45 minutes of pattern work making sure everything was correct and done with maximum effort. Then I watched about a hour of a training session with a ninja Master taking the students through sword cutting techniques.
Then I was up for about 50 minutes or so. I ran them through some kettlebell exercises and a modified Chrissy workout. I showed them some of the stuff I do to increase my power and strength. I finished with a demonstration of the human windmill with one of their female students. I am awaiting on a picture of that so I can post it.
It was a good night to be there. Veronica also gave me a latter of appreciation for taking time out of my busy schedule to help them out. In case you don’t know what their power weekend is like, I’ll tell you.
You go in Friday night and start training at 8pm. You go until about 1:30am. Then you go for about a 2 hour run in downtown Toronto. You get to bed around 3:30am but are up and ready to continue to train at 7am. You go from 7am to about 4pm Saturday. You get a 2 hour rest and meal time. Training starts back up at 6pm and goes to about 1am Sunday morning. You are then back up for around 7am to go for a 5km run on the board walk. After that you get to go home.
During power weekend you are being tested on forms, kicking, blocks, punches, self defense, weapons, sparring, teaching, musical forms, conditioning, and the Black Belt effort.
I have successfully graded for my 3rd Dan Black Belt and my 4th Dan Black Belt at two power weekend. You also have to do very specific training prior to the power weekend. My last one I had to do 30,000 push ups, 30,000 sit ups, and 30,000 squats, 500 km of running, tons of skipping, 1000’s of reps of the 6 main kicks, 1000’s of patterns, and 100’s of courtesies, and so much more that I can’t think of it all right now. It’s all tough but it is so worth it at the end. It is never too much. If someone tells me it was too much, they are not worthy of a Black Belt.
Now our Black Belt grading is 10 hours. It is no easy task. Everyone is exhausted by the time it is done. They also have many requirements they have to do before they can grade. Our Black Belts truly do earn their belts. We have the toughest requirements in our area. And that is the way we like it.
Master Jonathan Field