The seminar and testing were done, which meant it was time to spar. Alec and I geared up. Master Whitson wanted to see the panantukan sparring first. We did a bit of technique sparring, and then Zach said to free spar. Alec cut loose. He’s a Tasmanian devil when he gets going, and it was a pleasure to spar him. This was, hands down, my best sparring session all year. I went into it nervous. I was not worried about failing at technique or getting hurt; I was unsure of my gas tank. After all, the pekiti largo sparring was after panantukan. Winning, losing, or getting my ass kicked never entered my mind. I just wanted to have fun. I recommend this mindset because it worked. At the end, I was exhausted but thrilled. We both got good shots in. I remember having a few good jabs. Alec had some excellent kicks. Overall, it was a performance we both should be proud of, and I definitely was shown where I could improve.
After a short breather, we switched gloves for the largo single stick sparring. At this point my test was over, but, luckily, I didn’t realize it until the end of largo sparring. We started out with technique sparring, and I tried to feed some training situations to Alec at a higher speed. He did great. Then we went into free sparring, and that was fun. I was working on my thrusting techniques. They need work. During largo sparring, one can get tunnel vision and become only a head hunter. Alec kept a nice balance between targeting the arms and the head. He had good quick entries and exits. The key is to mix tactics and targets. His speed was a little too much for me. I was exhausted. Alec looked like he might have broken a sweat. I’m sure he could have run a marathon at that point, well, at least, a 5k. In the end, I’m proud of my performance. It was another fun sparring session that gave me insight into what I need to work on. Alec is a terror, and I highly recommend some friendly sparring with him if you get the chance.
Once sparring was over, I experienced a huge adrenaline dump. It was done. My gas tank was empty. Master Whitson lined the three of us up – Ryan, me, and Alec. He asked for our take on our test. Both Alec and Ryan answered candidly and accurately. I gave myself an A- because I did better than I expected. Some of the KCP2 names slipped my mind due to nervousness, and I needed clarification on a few things.
Master Whitson told us we all passed.
The above picture is my favorite from the seminar. Marshall Horton of Springfield FMA took this and all of the test pictures. This one is hands down the best. It is perfect. Counterpoint Tactical System is a modern martial art that is rooted in traditional martial arts. We, as a system, practice respect. Notice that the respect travels in both directions.
I said thank you to everybody and, especially, Master Whitson and Mike Miller for their continued guidance. Then it hit me. First degree black is next. Let me repeat that: FIRST DEGREE BLACK BELT IS NEXT! I am one step closer to the goal that I set way back in April of 2010. I am down the home stretch to achieving that goal, but that is a post for another time.
Congratulations passed around, and goodbyes are said. The seminar has now ended. It was too short. Time flies too quickly, but Iron Mountain camp is on the horizon. During the drive home, I allowed myself to revel in the day’s success. Sunday began the training for first degree black belt.