Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: Hands up.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hands up.

“Hands up if you think you’re ready to be graded”.

Well, that’s a tough one. In terms of basics, yes, I think I’m ready. There are a few things I will brush up on before next Friday night, but I’m confident that I know what I’m doing. To get through this portion of the test successfully all I need to do is listen and focus, and I’ll do just fine.

Kata is a different story. Kanku Dai – the longest kata in Shotokan Karate – is my kata for 1st kyu, and no amount of practice will make me feel like I know it well enough for grading. Take last night for instance – in the very first move my foot was out of position, repeatedly. This would be frowned upon in a grading, in fact I frown upon it the second I feel myself doing it. I expect a lot from myself and I want to know it well, and perform it well. On the other hand, if I wait until I perfect the Kata I’ll probably be at 2nd kyu indefinitely because there will always be more to learn.

I suppose if the grading is based on how much I have improved since my last promotion, then yes, I’m ready. I am confident I have done that. I know perfection is not sought by my Sensei's, nor is it expected. I put that on myself. If this is the case, ask me the question again and I’ll put my hand up without hesitation.

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