What to Expect at a Shim Sa

Let’s start with some honesty. We do not enforce protocol rules enough during classes. When Grandmaster Charland come to TN to evaluate us, that is where we have our most “need for improvement”.

So, some of the problems we have during a Shim Sa can only be blamed on us. However, although we would like to keep a slightly less formal protocol during regular classes, students need to be able to understand and follow protocol during Shim Sa.

Think of it like the difference between working on homework during math class and taking your final exam. The teacher may overlook some eyes on others’ papers and even getting help during homework, but not during the final. It is the same for Shim Sa.

Shim Sa is loosely translated to mean “examination” but it is also translated as “judgement”.  In martial arts, it is truly judgement day. And as I stated above,  students need to perform more regimented than a regular class. The rules need to be followed more closely than in a regular class and conse-quences need to be enforced for breaking the rules.

  1. Silence. Do not speak during a Shim Sa unless you are asked to. If there is a question that must be asked, raise your hand and wait to be called on. When you are, bow, ask the question and bow again.
  2. Sit properly. We know some adults have limitations & we make excep-tions for those but otherwise, while higher ranks complete their requirements, sit quietly in criss-cross position or on your knees.
  3. Stay on the mat. No leaving the mat without permission. If you are 5th gup through Cho Dan Bo, consider hard whether you truly need to leave the mat at all. You will not be asked to test for black belt unless we see you have the stamina to withstand the exam.
  4. No Distractions. We understand that family and friends who come to watch want to encourage you during the exam. Pretend they are not there. If you are sitting while higher ranks are performing their requirements & someone tries to show you something on their phone, maybe an awesome picture of you, please tell them that you can look after the exam is over.
  5. Stay in Choong Be. When you stand to bow in, bow out and receive belts, stand as still as possible in choong be. No holding your belt, no swaying, no loose fists. We understand this is difficult, especially during the belt ceremony. If you need to scratch your nose, we’re not going to complain but repeated and large movements will be dealt with.
  6. Do as the examiners tell you. If you are told to do something, your response should be silence, “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am”, even if you are not sure why you are being told to do something. That means, if an examiner tells you to “Drop and give me 10 pushups”, you do it. If you are not sure what you did to deserve it, spend some time thinking about it. It will likely come to you.