Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: And so my journey continues.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And so my journey continues.

Class last night really felt like the first night of my Shodan training as I practiced the three new Kata I must know for my grading: Empi, Tekki Nidan and Hangetsu.

Tekki Nidan is new to me. I’ve seen others do it in class, and even tried to fumble my way through without success, so I’ve been looking forward to learning this one. My brain was working overtime to get the pattern down, making sure my hands and feet were positioned correctly – this is one where I should be practicing a nice deep stance, knees out, and good posture from the outset. Note to self: No lazy stances in this Kata!

As the time ticked by, I noticed that I was consciously avoiding Hangetsu (to fully understand, read my previous post regarding My Nemesis). I know I should be practicing it, but chose Empi and Tekki Nidan instead... I need to learn those as well, so I wasn’t really doing anything wrong, but my internal judge was making me feel guilty. So, alas with 15 minutes left, I tried to remember the pattern of Hangetsu and slowly went over it a few times.

Something I’ve thought about often is that I should actually be enjoying the frustrations of learning new things, rather than letting it get to me. Once I allow myself to become frustrated, it's an uphill battle and that energy is best spent elsewhere. I love Karate and so too should I love the process of learning, no matter how many times I stumble, mess up and draw complete blanks.

So as of today:
Empi – I know the pattern well, it still however needs the details and a little less thinking.
Tekki Nidan – The pattern is getting there, it needs rhythm and a lot less thinking.
Hangetsu – Still mental gaps in the pattern and the last sequence of moves for some reason won’t stick. Once I get that down, I need to start practicing it with the proper stance (ugh) and breathing.


  1. Hi Karen,

    Quick question: What are you doing to prepare physically and mentally for your Shodan test? I have my little list of things that I need to work on from my 1st kyu test, but I'm interested in hearing how others are preparing in the year leading up to Shodan. Since I was out of Martial Arts for so long previous to the past year, I guess I'm looking for a little insight =)

  2. Well to start, I am going to class as much as possible. Right now this is three nights a week and I will increase that to four when I get about four months away from grading - that's tough to estimate when I haven't been given an actual month or date... for now it's just "closer to the end of the year".

    Physically: For me it comes down to two things. 1) Giving 110% in class and not allowing myself to slack off when I start to get tired, I need to push myself through because I certainly can't slow down in my Shodan grading. This links with.. 2) I really need to work on my cardio conditioning, which we don't get a lot of in class - I need to dedicate my own time for this and stick to it. We all know how hard that can be...

    Mentally: I am working on banishing self doubt. I do know my stuff, I just need to continue to tweak everything over the next year. Once I fall back into over thinking things, I'm hooped, so I must get rid of that altogether.

    Be confident. You didn't attain the rank of 1st Kyu without first earning it. You deserve to be where you are right now.

    I hope this has been helpful. Good luck in your journey, stay in touch and I really look forward to following your progress.