The student stepped up to the board holder, took his measure, drew a breath and threw his kick. It was too high, the board didn’t break.
He looked at the Master, the Master nodded to him to have a second attempt. He shifted his feet and measured again, slowly, taking his time with his foot on the target. He rotated back around to his starting position and eyed the board on the stand, a look of deep concentration on his face. He took a few breaths, much slower this time, as he mentally prepared for the break.
You could have heard a pin drop in the room, and as I looked around at the faces of the people watching, I knew that just like me, every one of them was willing him to succeed. The tension was almost palpable. Some of the people there were his friends, his training partners, his instructors, but others were complete strangers to him, the friends and relatives of others who had come to grade, instructors from other schools and their students, but that didn’t matter, their feeling was one and the same. The room held its breath.
He threw his kick again, this time it was spot on and it broke with ease. The room exhaled, an almost imperceptible sigh. He would pass his grading.
That’s what I love about my Taekwon-do journey, my fellow travellers.