Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: I'm in control...kind of.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm in control...kind of.

One of the many things I enjoy about Karate is that by nature, it is an individual sport. I have a choice in how far I take my training, and how fast or slow I progress. If I choose to stay late and continue training after class has ended I personally benefit. If for some reason I choose to not give 100%, I am the only one affected by my actions.

For a sport that I love so much, sadly there are some things about it that do not appeal to me, and ‘performing’ in front of a group tops the list, in fact, I feel so strongly about it, that it takes the top five places on that list. My friends would find this ironic, because I am someone who has spent a great deal of time on stage performing: acting, improvising and singing. After a few minutes, the audience disappears and it’s just me out there, but for reasons I cannot explain, Karate is different. When asked to stand in front of the class and ‘perform’, I unravel. I really do not like all eyes on me, watching my every move. Maybe the belt I wear puts pressure on me to prove that I have earned my rank, or maybe it is that I don’t want to let my instructors down because they have spent so much time working with me; if I make mistakes it appears that I haven’t been paying attention or taken my training seriously.  
One thing I do know:
On the spot + Karen = a performance I surely will not be proud of.
Stop looking at me and I'll do just fine. Really. I will.

Perhaps over time this will change, but so far, no such luck. It is part of who I am.
It's actually a wonder I've made it through any promotions at all with such a thorn in my side.


  1. Karen, I too had or rather still have this same issue. My philosophy is to keep putting myself "out there", as tough as it is. I don't know if it gets any easier, what I do know is that the more I "perform" the more I find a peace within myself to stay focused. The reason it is difficult for me is because every time I "perform" I am being judged which then turns into self judgement. All part of the learning growth process. You train well, it pays off.

  2. Practicing Karate without allowing internal or external distraction is a very long journey. It may help to think of it as testing yourself while helping those that are watching learn to see what they see. Enjoy the Journey.......Sensei Cathy Quinn

  3. Thank you Sensei Cathy, I appreciate your comment.
    It is a very frustrating stumbling block for me, so perhaps a change in mindset is in order - starting on Thursday night if put on the spot I will be testing myself. Fingers crossed that I pass!