Saturday, November 26, 2005

My Shodan test

My Shodan test
The day is done, the excitement is settled, and now I can sit
down and write about the seminar/ testing.
Yes, I’m tired.
I walked into the gym in the morning, and within a few
stances I noticed that my legs were not doing well. My thighs
were cramping up.  I accepted that fact, and decided to warm
up with stretching rather than kata.
I started greeting people who came into the gym to help them
feel welcomed, and comfortable.  I remembered how
frightened I was going to my first seminar, and so I thought it
would be nice to help them feel “at home”.  Also, I thought
that introducing myself before the seminar to these people
could help them be less frightened of my skin condition if we
ever had to spar together.
The morning class started with basics.  We went through the
various techniques, and stances.  It was quite interesting to
learn how much more I need to work on my side thrust kick. I
enjoyed it alot!
The Master was very kind.  He looked at me with a very
satisfied, and happy look more than once.  There was a
moment when he came up behind me when I was moving
forwards in stance, and suddenly grabbed my hips to place
them lower, and more forwards.  Since I wasn’t expecting the  
movement, I burst out with a squeal at the surprise, and then
with a giggle.  All the Sensei(s) chuckled at my innocent  
My husband was my partner through the whole morning for
every exercise.  At one point, Sensei asked the groups to
stagger the lines by having each second group of two move
forwards.  I was watching the end of the line to see whether
we had to move or not.  When I realized that “yes” we had to
move.  I said “Osu”.. and quickly sent my hands forwards, and
pushed my husband on the chest lightly.  The sudden
movement shocked him and he sent out a squeal of surprise
too.  All the Sensei, and the rest of the students started
laughing. My family seems to be the noisest karate students!
So the morning class went by so fast, it was already time for
lunch, and I was saddened by the fact that the day was half
over already.  Most of the people left the gym to go eat out,
but I chose to stay, sit on the bleachers, and rest my
cramping thighs. I spent a good hour massaging them.
My husband went out for lunch, and bought me a vegetarian
submarine sandwich.  The sweetheart!
I had so many people asking me if I felt nervous about my
upcoming test.  I had to answer that “No, I’m not worried at
all,  I feel ready. I just hope that my legs hold up.”
I  had time during the lunch break to help a green belt learn
that he has to punch with the two knuckles of his fist rather
than the bent wrist that he had be using.  I felt even better
about that! I just helped him understand about the danger of
injury if he kept doing what he was doing. Awesome.
Class started.  We did kata... My favorite!  
The Kata class ended.. and we had a few minutes to gather
ourselves before testing.  I saw my kyokushin Sensei
standing up in the bleachers.  I ran over to where he was
leaning over the rail smiling at me.  I jumped up and down in
happiness and greeted him.  I couldn’t really talk to him
though at that point. It was time to test.
We 4 Shodan testing students got called up.  I just couldn’t
understand what Sensei  was saying...  I heard Sanbon
Tsuki.. O.K... I know what that is!  So
I did it.. but I forgot to listen for how many repetitions I had to
do.  I even forgot to kiai on the last punch.  I went one
technique too far.  My Sensei said to me “
switch legs.. you only need to do 3 of them.”  “Osu!” I
answered switching legs.. but then my arm was wrong.  
Sensei only told me to switch legs.. not arms.. Oh gosh I got
more flustered.  So I just went into yoi for a second, looked at
the person next to me, and then went into the same position
as them.  “Come on! Focus!  Why did you train so hard to let
nerves take it away from you? You made a mistake.. now get
past that..” I said to myself.  From that moment on, I was all
there.  My basics went very smoothly after that.  It was TOO
easy. I calmed down, and all just flowed!
It was the Brown belt’s turn for kata.  We went up in teams of
two.  We 2 ladies were together.  Sensei told us to do
Heian Yondan.  I went through that kata with joy.. but my
thighs were feeling the stress.  I ignored them.. told them that
they have no choice but to keep going because I’m testing
and they can hurt later.  My kata came out at my best.  Sensei
just sent us to sit down.
Then we went around the list of testing students doing their
kata, and it was our turn again. This time we had
to do Bassai Dai.  At one point near the beginning, my left
thigh muscle ( My left leg was in the front on front stance)
gave out on me, and I felt myself slipping.   Quickly, I
demanded performance.. caught myself with that left foot,
and continued on.  The kiai points felt like heaven because I
would open my mouth to kiai, and almost gulp in air to
sustain me until the next kiai point.  
I handled the sparring part with more finesse than I thought I
would.  I was quite happy with my effort.
Well, it is on that note that the testing ended.
I made mistakes.. yes.. but I got past them... and kept going.
I don't know what the results are. They weren't announced
there at the test.  As soon as I know I will tell you.

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