What Spectators Should Expect from a Shim Sa

by Ms. Jennifer Grillo-Foster

Last month, KSN Victoria wrote about what we as the black belt examiners expect from the students at a Shim Sa. This month, I am writing to let y’all know what we black belts expect from you, the audience.

  1. Silence. By now most of you have been to our studio a few times. You know how much it echoes and amplifies any noise. We don’t expect complete silence, but we do expect the volume to be low enough that we can hear ourselves and the students can hear us.
  2. No distractions. This goes both for the students and for the examiners. During a test, do not ask to speak to anyone involved unless it is life or death (or their car is in your way) and then speak with a black belt first. At times the students will be asked to sit on the track. Leave them be. Believe it or not, that is part of the test. When they are putting on gear do not slow them down. Keep the young ones from running around or getting loud.
  3. Encourage. We are a family. We support one another. Applaud the new belts. Cheer the broken boards. Encourage the hesitant. It is tough and nerve-wracking to be out there in front of everyone.
  4. Photograph. Take all the pictures and   videos   you   want  but   we would love to see them as well. Please message Ms Victoria (or Ms Jennifer) for a SmugMug link to upload them to the studio’s online photo album. Or save them to a flash drive and give it to one of us (we’ll give it back).
  5. Temperature. Our heaters and fans are for the students and examiners. We apologize for the inconvenience but y’all can always move around to a warmer (or cooler) spot or change the number of layers you are wearing. If the students are too hot or too cold they cannot do their best.
  6. Clean Up. Unlike many studios, we don’t require students to help clean. However, we greatly appreciate it when they do. After a Shim Sa, everyone is tired, including the test administrators. If you have the time, please encourage your child to ask if we need help. Believe me, we will remember and appreciate them.
  7. Parking. We don’t mind double-parking during shim sa. Everyone should leave at about the same time. However, if you need more parking, there are areas at the bottom of the hill behind the building. The business next door has also given us permission to park by their gate if they are not open.