Saturday, July 07, 2007

I don't have a Kyokushin blog.. so this is the place

"But green's the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean, or important
Like a mountain, or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful
And I think it's what I want to be"
From Kermit the Frog's song "It's not easy being Green"

I received my belt rank promotion last night. I'm green.

You know what? When I started training in Kyokushin, I really never aspired to be anything other than just happy to be allowed to condition my body, and learn with the other students in that dojo. It was a delight, and a inner shock to see that 4th kyu Green belt being placed around my waist. This was one of the colors of all of the Sempai, this was the color of someone who had some idea of what to do during class.

I'm green. It's not just the color, and rank that fills me with joy, it's the recognition from my Sensei that I can be of service to him as one of his lead belts in his dojo. I received the impression that I had performed quite a worthy effort during my belt rank test, and that my Sensei was VERY satisfied with my progress.

My heart fills with trepidition that I'm only 3 ranks away from Shodan in Kyokushin. There is a wailing ( almost sorrow ) within me. I know what Shodan means now, and how it changes one's training, and focus. It changes how you are taught in the dojo. It almost seems that achieving Black is similar to someone shifting over on the driver's seat, and handing you the reins with the words "You know what to do, now go ahead, and drive.." One of the reasons that I LIKE being a Kyu rank is that I love the journey, and challenge of each level of learning. It also changes how others see you. So many times I've seen new white belts cringe at the thought that I am their partner in Shotokan. They see my Black belt as a fearful thing, and I can see their eyes shifting around looking at the other lower belts with longing. It takes awhile before new students start to understand that I can be a wonderful partner since I can adjust, and control my strikes, and I can help them achieve their goals. .

Such opposite feelings rage within me. I'm happy, and joyful to receive this promotion which allows me to be one of my Sensei's lead belts, and to be allowed to share in helping other students learn. Yet, I grieve how much closer I am to autonomy.

Yet, is that not another one of my goals? I could not stay a child all of my life, I had to grow up, become responsible, and embrace my independence.

I do have one consolation. As an adult, I have found a way to allow my inner child to express herself, and continue existing in a supportive, and positive way. Perhaps I will find a way to keep the kyu level experiences of discovery while at the same time maintaining my Black belt maturity. I haven't found that balance yet in Shotokan, but then it took awhile for me in life to learn to allow my inner child to exist how can I expect instant knowledge of how to balance Beginner with Master within me.

I am just a few moments away from becoming a double Black belt in two arts. How did that happen?

20 comments:

Steve said...

I've mentioned before that one of my beefs with some traditional schools is the belt factory syndrome. It doesn't sound as though you have any problems there. You work hard for your rank and it shows. Congratulations!

Colin Wee said...

Black belts in two arts. It is the rare practitioner to strive like that. Good work.

Colin

supergroup7 said...

Thanks Steve! :-)

supergroup7 said...

"Black belt in two arts. It is the rare practioner to strive like that."

I'm not there yet.. but it's only a few breaths away. Yes.. I have to agree, I'm a rare bird. Some people might call me "crazy". My husband, and children just hug me, and accept my passion for the Arts as a part of me.

MrX said...

Congrats!

Nothing like the few days after a belt test. You can really feel all your efforts ;-)

Marc

supergroup7 said...

Thanks Marc. :-)

Jennifer said...

Hello,

I'm a 27 yr old female that just started training in kyokushin. I found your blog while googling and read your entire blog in the last 3 hours. I wanted to let you know what an inspiration you are. I really enjoyed reading about your journey and have bookmarked this site so I can keep up with news.

I've only been to 3 classes so far, but I look forward to them very much and treasure every "new" bit of information I learn each time.

Anyway, just wanted to say Thank You for writing your blog. I imagine that you've touched many, many people.

Congratulations on making your belt rank in kyokushin!

Jennifer

supergroup7 said...

Hi Jennifer, My goodness! Thank you for so many kind words. I'm glad that you enjoyed reading my blog, and that some of it has helped you on your path. Thank you for leaving your comment. I appreciate knowing that I have touched someone in a positive way today.

I wish you much joy, strength, self discovery, and progress in your new found path of Kyokushin karate. Welcome to Karate! Big hugs!!

frotoe said...

ooh congratulations!! Green is beautiful!

supergroup7 said...

"Green is beautiful."

Yes... but Brown is better. Ha ha ha

Brown is my favorite color.

Anonymous said...

hello there,salutes from fighters from Croatia.I was practicing kyokushin for 7 years,and now im kickboxer.

supergroup7 said...

Hello Anonymous, welcome to my blog. Thank you for your comment. I have quite a fondness for the people of Croatia. I do wish you the best in training!!

hannviolin said...

Hi, congratulations! to be a green belter in Kyokushin is very great. i'm training in kyokyushin in about 2years already and im now in 5th kyu(yellow stripe). well then i wish to get the green belt soon when im ready.. not only the belt color but ofcourse the skills. thanks so much for the inspiration, sempai.

hannviolin said...

hi! Congratulations. Being a green belt in Kyokushin Karate is very great. I am also training in Kyokushin in about 2 years already and I'm now at 5th kyu(yellow stripe). I'm also training very hard because this is my passion. I'm inlove with it. Thanks for being an inspiration, sempai. OSU! from HANN, 20 y.o.

supergroup7 said...

Thank you Hannviolin!

It's wonderful to meet others who share in the joy of training in Karate!

I wish you the best in your training.

Paul said...

My Sensei, now Renshi actually, always taught me that a Black Belt is not a goal, it is a gateway, and that it only means you have mastered the basics. Once you reach Shodan, then the REAL learning begins. You probably also know already that you really begin to learn your techniques when you start teaching them to others, so many facets emerge that you never considered before. OSU!
Incidentally, if you like to watch Old Masters doing Kata, I've started posting a few at my place:
http://www.advancingthecurve.com
Enjoy,
Paul.

supergroup7 said...

Thank you Paul for your well timed comment.

I needed to hear exactly the message that you just said right at this exact moment. Thank you so much.

As soon as I can I will visit
http://www.advancingthecurve.com

I'd LOVE to see those kata.

CakapBisa said...

Good work pal.. Osu

yakbi11 said...

I enjoyed reading your post,My friend it seems you have talent bolth in karate and writing,keep on the good work!!

tal
Martial Art Training

supergroup7 said...

Thank you so much, CakapBisa, and yakbi11.

I will continue to contribute to the Blog.. it's just that my hands are full right now with my preparations to fulfill the goal of achieving a Kyokushin Black.