Saturday, January 12, 2008

Is it o.k. if I admit that I'm terrified???

This coming week I face undergoing my belt rank test under my Shihan.

Yes, I know that I just tested in December. The results were not announced. Instead, all of the higher belt students were informed last Wednesday that we will be testing under Shihan in a week.

Between you, and me, I'm scared. Oh gosh.. petrified. My knees are literally shaking. I've tested before Masters before, that isn't the problem. We are talking about a certain Shihan! He is "superhuman". I've trained under him for over 4 years now, and let me tell you, the things that he can do, the things that he can do TO you!!!

I gave it my best in December. I'm still healing from that belt test. My left leg is acting more normal now, but it cramps up, and sends pins and needles when stressed too much. Oh gosh.. I have to survive another belt test, and it's only been a month.

Kyokushin belt tests are their own creation in checking the limits of human determination, and will power. You push yourself beyond what you believe to be your limits. Let's just say that Shihan has great expectations.

But what can I do? The test is announced, and it's going to happen, and I'm going to be there, and I'm going to do my best, and I'm going to survive it. Murder is illegal in Canada.

I'm scared.. oh gosh... I'm scared. I keep telling myself "It's just another class. It's just another test, I've done dozens. I tested for Shodan in front of Sensei Mori, there's NOTHING more challenging than that. I can only do my best with what I have, even if I do not pass, my Sensei will still be proud that I did my best."

But I'm cringing...I fear the upcoming physical pain of that test. I'm walking in already dreading it. Not a good idea. My fears will make the pain seem worse. My fears will sap away at my willpower. My fears will overtake me, cause my body to stiffen, and make me lose my usual abilities. I've got to take a hold of these imagined fears, and thank them for existing within me to protect me, but tell them that I don't need them for this occasion.

I have to rely on what I know that I have been able to do in the past. Giving birth to seven children has not been easy, and I survived it. Raising an autistic child has pulled on every resource that I have, and I surmounted it. What is a few hours of karate training under this Shihan compared to the strength that I have shown in my life?

But is it o.k. if I allow myself to admit how terrified I am? Name the fear, embrace it, and then push past it??


Sarah said...

First... well, I have to say that the fact that YOU get scared makes me feel a little better about the fact that I get scared. You have reason to worry - no one likes pain. But you're right - you don't want that fear to slow you, make you shy away from giving it your all either. But I'm sure you won't.
I think it's great that you're admitting your fear. Like you said, it lets you embrace it and move past it. (And it makes the rest of us feel a little better about our own fears.) It's natural, and O.K. At least to me. I dare someone to say differently. :) *Hugs* Just relax. You'll be fine.

Colin Wee said...

The worse that can happen is you fail the grade. Give it your best. Don't hold back.


supergroup7 said...

Thanks for the support, sarah, and Colin.

You know what Colin? In all of my belt rank tests, I haven't failed one of them yet. Maybe it's high time that I experience what that feels like...

I don't think that I fear failure in the test, I always tell myself, and told my students, that this would just mean that I need to work on building up some skills. There is no shame to the concept of retesting if you do your best in each effort that you put forth. We know that through effort and persistence improvement is always possible.

My fear really stems from a physical cringing at the memory of how much it hurts to test. I feel almost the same fear as if you told me that I would have to go through a "double root canal" next week.

frotoe said...

It doesn't seem to me that the worst that can happen is that you fail your test. I don't think that failing is ever the worst that can happen. Now, injuring yourself..thats another story. I think you should make your Shihan aware of any physical issues you have before you test. Most instructors are (or should be) sensitive to real physical limitations~ especially in dedicated adult students like yourself. After that, give it all you've got and then some. I bet you'll do great. :) Indomitable Spirit!!

supergroup7 said...

Yes, Frotoe.. that's it!!!!

I am anxious about being injured again. It seems that belt tests, and tournaments are breeding grounds for injury.

My left leg is just starting to feel normal after what happened on my December belt test.

Although, if I was to make Shihan aware of all of my physical issues.. I'd need to bring a written list. There's a good amount of them. My Sensei is aware of all of the things that I have to train through when I do karate.

I will just do my best.

Colin Wee said...

Unfortunately to fear physical injury may reduce your ability to push past your limits. I'm in two minds about baby-ing yourself whilst needing to be in test mode.

As for failing ... the secret is that it is EXTREMELY difficult for an instructor to fail a student going through a test. Most often instructors pass the students if there are doubts. I only know a handful of schools, mine included which fail students regularly.

I had a real epiphany once a couple of years ago and use the grading as a 'coaching session'. Thus it alleviated my own distaste for failing people - allowing me to fail or pass the student in accordance with their performance and my expectations.

Failing is not such a bad thing.


supergroup7 said...

That fear of facing physical injury tends to relax when I'm not nursing an already injured body part.

Physical risk is part of our training in Martial Arts. We know that we take our bodies into a potentially harmful environment when we go into training. Our goal is to improve our ability to avoid injury.

I like how you treat tests as a coaching moment Colin. I believe that I would enjoy testing under your supervision because whether I pass or fail, I still come out of that experience with a gain.

[Mat] said...

Yep, it's ok to name everything.

But, at the same time, the world doesn't revolve around a grade. :D

Be well!

Happy 2008!!!

supergroup7 said...

Thanks Mat, Happy 2008 to you too!