SDSS is so proud of our latest class of Black Belts. Students from all over the northeast gathered at SDSS of West Hartford. Grandmaster DeMasco was, as always, present to oversee the test and promote these students.
Earning a Black Belt
In our discipline, students earn belt ranks through discipline, study, and finally, a belt test under an SDSS Certified Instructor who also carries the certification to give belt tests. Senior Master Mikael Meyer, the SDSS President, oversees testing for much of the Northeast.
Junior Black Belt can only be conferred by a Certified SDSS Master. The rank of Adult Black Belt can only be conferred by Grandmaster himself. Belt tests are challenging and invigorating, trying and exciting all at once. As you receive your new rank, you feel satisfied, exhausted, and excited.
When Grandmaster hands you your black belt, it's common to feel a rush of emotions. You realize that, even after years in the art, you are really only beginning to learn.
A BIG surprise for our younger students
Saturday was a belt rank promotion day for younger students in West Hartford. Students tested for ranks through Purple belt. Normally tests are run by Master Meyer, and of course, he was there. Master Meyer's tests are always challenging and fun, and he knows how to bring the best out in students.
But these kids were also in for a BIG surprise.
Imagine being 9, 10, 11 years old, testing for Purple belt, and who walks in? Grandmaster DeMasco himself.
He brought the students through a variety of strikes and reinforced the basics as only Grandmaster can. Then, he took the time to talk about the Life Skills program that is central to his program.
Grandmaster, being Grandmaster
Actually, that's Grandmaster being Grandmaster. He has always loved working with kids. He often describes the Shaolin Olympics as one of his favorite days of the year, because it's a rare occasion to interact with younger students and check in with parents from all across the country.
On this day, he managed to carve out an hour to come down very early and see these young students. And they had the rare treat of learning from a Grandmaster - an honor rarely granted students below the rank of Black Belt.