Max Bailey recently received his Black Belt from Victory Sports Center Victory Karate. Friends and family were present to see this memorable event. Here is what Max had to say:
“I don’t really know how to express the feeling, but I’m gonna try my best. I’m gonna try my best to explain the feeling of not being able to carry your own body weight. The feeling of being frustrated to the point where all you want to do is scream. The feeling of cramps crawling through every inch of your body without mercy. And the feeling of being so emotionally and physically overwhelmed that you just want to say, “Forget the world, forget this test.” And just lay there until you can finally see through your teardrops. But I didn’t do that. That night I can honestly say (although the numbers may not be literal) that I fell down 99 times and got up 100. In the middle of my sparring session, after already being through several hours of my test, I got punched in the face. In that moment my physical pain that I was already in, was multiplied and transferred into emotional pain. And at that point in time I just wanted to sit there and cry until there were no tears left. But I didn’t. I got up, and fought on. The final hour of my test consisted of 25 board breaks. They were all difficult in their own ways, but none of them gave me trouble…..except one. The self-hold reverse punch. In which case, I hold the board firmly in one hand while I punch it with the other. I knew this was going to be the most difficult, because I had tried prior to the test, but never succeeded. So, I tried once, but it didn’t break. I tried a second time, once again no luck. By this time my right knuckle was bleeding and bruised. Mr. David wanted me to stop, but I wanted to try once more, this time with my left hand. I knew if I never broke it I wouldn’t feel like I truly completed the test. So holding the board with my right hand, I reared back with my left as I pulled the board closer to me. My fist made contact with the board, and finally, one board became two smaller boards. That moment I became proud of my own blood. No longer do I have to explain to people “Oh, I’m an advanced red belt.” And no longer do I have to answer the question, “When will you be a black belt?” And no longer will I be referred to as “1st Gup”. 🙂 Because I am a black belt.