Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Achieved the rank of Shodan in Kyokushin

On Sunday, March 27th, in Montreal, Canada, under the eyes of Hanshi John Taylor (9th Dan of Australia), Shihan Roman Szyrajew ( Canada), Shihan Klauss Rex ( Spain), and Shihan Erick (Denmark) I successfully received the rank of Shodan in Kyokushin Karate.

Some impressions from this experience:

- How lucky, and grateful, I am to have this opportunity, and challenge! What a joy it was to meet, and train with so many wonderful Karate-ka. Each one of them were an inspiration to me. I'm very proud to belong to this Art, and to share my love for karate with such strong, and yet gentle people. The Shihans are so approachable, and supportive to everyone regardless of age, or skill. The most memorable moments for me were Shihan Taylor's explanations of Kata bunkai and how it involves protecting one's beer from being spilled. Shihan Rex sparring with a little 5 year old boy, and seeing how the boy actually thought that he was winning the bout. The sparkles of thrill, and joy in the boy's eyes, and the pride of the father next to me who said "What I would give to have a private lesson like that!" Shihan Roman bending down low on the main stage to listen to a child's quiet timid question during the Gold cup Tournament rules, and then his kind, and gentle answer that encouraged, and clarified.

- Somehow, through fate, or chance, I ended up directly in front of all of the fighters standing about 4 feet away from the Shihans when the Canadian, American, and Japanese anthems were played at the start of the Tournament. I was overwhelmed with that moment. I will never forget it. In a way, it symbolized everything that I had sacrificed, and everything that I have received to rebuild me.

- The test was beyond what I thought it would be. Perhaps it is due to my mistake. I had arrived at the seminar early to take notes during the children, and Intermediate classes. I was sitting at the back of the dojo with my papers and pen. Hanshi Taylor noticed me and invited me to join the children's class. I asked if it would be possible to just watch, and he invited me again with more emphasis. I placed down my papers, and lined up with the children at the lowest end near the orange belts as I didn't feel that I deserved to be up in front with the Black Belts. Hanshi pointed out the height difference between the children and I, and invited me to join the front line. The day then proceeded to be very challenging, and interesting as I participated in the children's class, and the Intermediate class in addition to the Black/Brown class before I faced my Shodan test. By the time the test began I was quite depleted of energy. I was too nervous to eat, so I only drank water during the day.

- I felt very badly to see all of the blood stains that I had left on the various (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Dan) black belts that I fought during my test. I know how difficult it is to remove those from the white gi. I swear that the majority of the Black belts in Montreal now have souvenirs of my test on them (for awhile until the laundry soap removes it.) The inside of my Gi sleeves, jacket, and pant legs were painted red from the blood that escapes from when my skin condition breaks open. I washed the gi right away in cold water, and it is back to normal now. It's amazing how my psoriasis is healing up so fast. It has only been 3 days since that test, and I can now move without that fiery sharp torment. For that I am very grateful!

I am Shodan now.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wow! I haven't posted for so long...

My apologies, I haven't posted for so long! Let me fill you in since the last:

I have been putting forth energy in so many directions:

- Helping my teenagers with their lives, choices, and schooling. So much is happening, and I wish that I could be everywhere all the time. I do what I can, and as much as I can.

- Searching for employment. This is a full time job in itself, seeking out opportunities, meeting with perspective employers, completing a variety of assessment tests. I've learned many things about myself. I have a typing speed of almost 72 wpm, for one thing. I knew that I typed quickly, but I never had a number to cite before. However, I chose to say that I type over 60 wpm. on my resume. I think that that is good enough.

- Keeping the housework at an acceptable level.. A household of 3 adults, and 6 teenagers creates much work in getting groceries, cooking, and cleaning. I balance my day around these demands, and attempt to stretch our budget by cooking soups, stews, stir fry, and baking.

- Building up my Martial Art knowledge.. I've been studying about sports injuries, and how to prevent/ help heal them. Also, I've been turning my eyes towards Sensei Chojun Miyagi, and learning more, and more about Goju Ryu Karate to help me understand my Kyokushin roots.

- Training on my Kata... I've been visiting the local shopping mall while the mallwalkers go around, and doing an hour of practice on my Kata in one of the central areas about 3 times a week near 7 am. The flooring there is hard on the soles of my feet as it is tiles, and grouting. Turns are especially difficult, and I found myself cringing, and not committing myself to the effort. I've stopped doing this activity recently so that I can prepare myself on basics at home for my future participation in a Tournament.