Q: What is Open Mat Time?

A: That’s when you come into the school during a non-class time to clean the school for your test, practice your standards or work on your holds and Kumbongs with your attackers.

Q: How does Open Mat Time work?

A: Look at the schedule to see what times are available for you to practice. Check the calendar (it’s on the website) to make sure there’s not a workshop or event happening that will conflict. You’ll need to make sure you have the key or the lockbox code and know how to work it.

Q: What are the rules about Open Mat Time?

A: Parents must stay with their children during Open Mat Time. It is important that you sign in on the Open Mat Sign In Sheet hanging on the wall behind the bamboo screen. Everyone is responsible for leaving the space clean and for making sure the front door is locked tight before you leave. Failure to abide by these rules may result in withdrawal of your open mat privilege.

Q: What if there is an emergency?

All students’ emergency numbers are in the announcement binder in the yellow section. Please also notify Goeroe Silvia (503-332-8909) or Goeroe Jeff (503-319-7590)

Q: Why do I have to pay Testing Fees?

A: Testing Fees help to cover the cost of belts or sashes, patches, diplomas, test expenses, overhead and more.

Q. What are the important things I should communicate to the teachers?

The Goeroes need to be informed if the person testing has any allergies, medications, injuries and/or dietary needs.

Q: Why do I have to wear a white uniform to test?

A: Wearing our white uniforms symbolizes our humbleness and purity as we test.

Q: Why do I have to bring flowers to my test?

A: Traditionally, a student brings 13 long-stemmed red roses with thorns to each of their tests. For gold, blue and green sash tests, you can bring three or more pretty flowers you pick from your yard or that you buy at the store.

Q: Why do I have to bring a white candle to my test?

A: The candle is a gift you bring to the school. White candles symbolize purity. The glass keeps it safe! For higher ranking brown sash or black belt tests, you may choose to give a different gift. Higher ranking students generally take a look around the school and see what gift might be helpful. One student and her mom recovered the bench we sit on outside the school, for example, while another student created a piece of artwork, and yet another student brought in pretty glass crockery that is used during testing. Goeroe Silvia gave the school the big drum as a celebration for the completion of her Goeroe test. Your gift need only be heartfelt. Start with a white candle!

Q: Why do I have to bring incense to my test?

A: Incense is a gift you bring to your teachers. In the case of Naga, the Goeroes burn the incense they are given at tests each and every day. There are lots of beautiful types of incense and whatever you pick will be perfect and appreciated.

Q: Why do I have to bring food to my test?

A: Traditionally, food is brought to tests to nourish your Teacher who has dedicated themself to your growth and development in this art. A bag of rice was the traditional gift. We have westernized this tradition. We like to have students bring food that might help keep their blood sugar level on an even keel if their test runs long. Fruit and healthy whole grain snacks are good for this purpose. You might also consider that your test is a celebration. After tests, we all like to gather around and talk, eat and enjoy your accomplishment. So think about celebration-worthy food as well! Sometimes, the instructors running your tests also need a snack. The food you bring can be as simple as some washed grapes or as complicated as you like. Everyone is different and all of it is OK!

Q: Why do I have to wash the floor before my test?

A: On a practical level, you want a nice clean floor for your test! On a deeper level, washing the floor on your hands and knees shows a certain amount of dedication and humility. On yet another level, washing the floor right before your test can help soothe your pre-test anxiety. It’s a wonderful activity to take part in right before your test begins.