Every so often I’m asked back to the karate school to photograph special events.
The night these photographs were made, three people were going through black belt tests.
Events like these are unique, fun, and tense.
This one specifically had two black belts going up for new stripes. And a brown belt going up for the solid black belt.
But in doing so, all three guys needed to go through the katas from previous belts, and they did it with such focus and concentration, and discipline.
This first photo shows the sensei’s from the dojo examining the guys doing their work. As you can see, all eyeballs were aimed at the same place. That’s how intense the event was.
The next photograph is the new black belt (previously brown belt) breaking wood boards.
I was using a fast camera (Nikon Df) so that I could capture the exact moment his fist touched the wood and the boards broke. I also used a low angle aimed up towards the four guys so that I was out of the way, but still in the middle of the scene with a clear view.
The two guys holding the board are veteran black belts of the school. The one on the right is my father-in-law. There is also a guy supporting the veterans so that they didn’t move backward when the punch came.
Karate takes focus and concentration. Those are things you learn in the school, and without those two things, it would be nearly impossible if not definitely impossible to be successful.
Want to learn more about my adventures photographing karate? Download my free ebook, When Photography and Karate Merge.