Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Officially received the rank of Shodan

I passed! I received my black belt last night.

What a joy to place that new stiff obi around my waist. The ends of it stuck out sideways on my waist like one of those old days bad guy moustaches.

I thought quite seriously about what my first act will be when I attend my next class as a Shodan, because it will set the tone for the rest of my experience.

I decided that I would go get the broom, and sweep the floor as my first act as a black belt.

First of all, it reminds me that I need to remember my roots, and that I am not better or worse than anyone else. (Seek perfection of Character.)

Second, it reminds me that it is only through constant diligence on the simple basic things that I will excel at the higher more difficult things. (Be Faithful.)

Third, it reminds me to be careful to clean the whole floor and not just pieces of it. (Endeavor to excel.)

Fourth, I am reminded that Sensei Gichin Funakoshi worked as a janitor in a school, but was the Sensei of royalty, so therefore I should not judge others, but to treat everyone with the same respect. (Respect others)

Fifth, although a broom can be used as a weapon, it's main function is to bring cleaning, and health to the environment. I wish to focus on the fact that the skills that I have developed through my training is to be used in a positive way. (Refrain from violent behaviour.)

8 comments:

Colin Wee said...

So what are your goals as a shodan? What value will you bring your community?

supergroup7 said...

Renshi Colin Wee asked me "How will I help my community now that I have achieved Shodan?" His comment is not appearing here on this posting of my weblog.. I don't know why.

I will answer the question.

I have been a volunteer, and positive influence in my community since I was a teenager. I did not need to be a Black belt to know that it is good to build up the environment around you in positive ways. I will continue opening my heart with compassion.

As a Black belt, I feel that I have more to offer my Sensei as support in our dojo. I can help at tournaments, or teaching class ( If he needs a substitute), or helping a lower kyu level learn.

LirianFae said...

Might I add, sweeping the floor set a great example for the color belts. Black belt is not about feeling superior.

Black belt, I was told, means only that you are now ready to study karate seriously. If you start feeling above the little things, it will get you into big trouble.

supergroup7 said...

I agree with you that one has to "keep their head down, eyes up, watch your speech, keep a kind heart, and serve others with filial piety as a starting point." Sosai Masutatsu Oyama

Thank you for visiting my blog, Lirianfae. I have been reading, and enjoying yours for weeks now. There are alot of interesting exchanges, and entertaining anecdotes in her writings.

If anyone is interested in her Karate Talk weblog you can find it at:

http://lirianfae.typepad.com/karate_talk/

lizzie said...

Your Dojo Kun is so short. Do you say it in every class? Is it the same for Shotokan and Kyokushin?

supergroup7 said...

My Shotokan Dojo Kun:
Seek perfection of character,
Be faithful,
Endeavor to excel,
respect others,
refrain from violent behaviour.

This is said at almost every class (at the end) in english. During seminars we say it in Japanese. Yep.. I can say it in Japanese..too. I've even been complimented on how well I pronounce it by someone who speaks fluent Japanese. ( I always do my best.. :-) )

Kyokushin Dojo Kun:

We will train our hearts and bodies for a firm unshaken spirit.
We will pursue the true meaning of the Martial way so that our senses may be alert.
With true vigor, we will seek to cultivate a spirit of self denial.
We will observe the rules of courtesy, respect our superiors, and refrain from violence.
We will follow our religious principles, and never forget the true virtue of humility.
We will look upwards to wisdom and strength not seeking other desires.
All our lives, through the discipline of Karate, we will seek to fulfil the true meaning of the Kyokushin Way.

We say the Dojo Kun frequently in our dojo, but not at each class. We haven't had to say our dojo kun while running. However, we have had to do Kihon geiko as we run laps around the gym for what feels like forever. Would that be the same?

lizzie said...

What's a Kihon geiko?

supergroup7 said...

Kihon geiko is Japanese for "basic techniques". So at the same time that we run around the dojo we do our various punches, strikes, blocks, and kicks.