It was Max's first color belt, which means he moved from advanced white belt to a blue belt. There were also advancements from blue to advanced blue, from advanced blue to yellow, from yellow to advanced yellow, from advanced yellow to green, from green to advanced green, from advanced green to brown, and from brown to advanced brown. Each belt has different requirements, and they were tested on those requirements in unison with other kids at the same level. There were about 45 kids participating—apparently the largest group that they have ever had testing all at once. A lot of kids, a lot of levels. It was really amazing to watch, and it was an emotional ceremony when they awarded the belts.
Max ended up front and center for the test, which seems like the most nerve-wracking position to be in, since he was sort of leading the group, and the more experienced people are all behind him. It was very organized how they lined everyone up, from most experienced in the back, each line a different rank of belt (usually in class the experienced people are in front of you or beside you, so you can follow their lead). The two founders sat directly in front of them, watching the entire group and calling out corrections as necessary, and there was a whole panel of teachers and other black belts watching everyone as well and also helping with the test when needed.
There are several different parts of the test, and at each level, the less advanced rank peels off so that the more advanced groups continue with the more advanced moves, and then everyone is brought out again for the next part. They've obviously been doing this for years and have it down to a very precise routine. It is really wonderful to see.
But Max did a great job. We are so happy for him, and he was so proud of himself, as he should be.
The moment they snap the belt open above your head is the moment you officially move to that belt status. It's really wonderful to hear all the belts snap in unison and to watch all the kids receive them from their teachers.
Meanwhile, we have another little boy blue...