A great weekend training with Kagawa Sensei this weekend at Nottingham.
I will do a further write up when I have more time with some photos, but for now my thoughts on the Dan gradings.
We had students from Haxby, Selby and York grading this weekend with mixed fortunes. Simon from Haxby and Rebecca were sucessful and gained Nidan and Tom from Haxby gained his Shodan.
Josh, Mike and Eleanor from York and Jim from Haxby were asked to grade again in a couple of months. I am sure that they were all dissapointed that they had not gained their shodan on their first attempt, but they all have something to be proud off. They all presented themselves for grading in what were perhaps not ideal circumstances.
Our clubs have recently joined the JKS and the grading syllabus is still a little unfamiliar to both students and instructors alike. The surroundings and examiners were also a change from the previous eight plus gradings they had previously undertaken. I have trained with all the gradining students for the past five years plus and know that they are all capable of attaining Shodan. However with the exception of Tom from Haxby, I did not think any of our Karateka performed to their full potential, including Simon and Rebecca.
When we present ourselves for grading Shodan, Nidan, Sandan etc we should ask ourselves: Could we have done any more?
Could we have attended more sessions?
Could we have trained harder during the sessions?
Could we have undertaken more individual practice?
Could we have lost a couple of extra pounds?
If the answer is "No" to all of the above you are in the strongest possible position to pass any grading.
Not too long ago one of my Sensei was preparing for his Godan, he had been Yondan for many years. He did not just turn up on the day as a time served instructor and expect to be handed a new grade. He worked hard, he ticked all the boxes above, and was sucessful.
In life we will always suffer dissapointments, what makes us stand out is how we react to dissapointment. Use the feeling of dissapointment as a "motivator" to review the few questions above and make any changes to your preparation so you are ready next time.
Once sucessful in your gradings don't relax, continue with that motivation to progress your karate and inspire others within your club to reach the same goals.
If you are willing to make that extra commitment then you will be sucessful, just as Kagawa Sensei predicted "not quite yet, one more time", the Kuro Obi is your reward for 100% effort.
We all need to work in the development of our 3rd Kyu + to ensure that they prepare properly.
Must sign off now I have to deposit a few more karate hours in my karate bank with Sensei Keith at York, I have some very good Karateka catching me up and I need to get some extra hours in, Osu!
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