Last night, I attended my organisations pre grading assessment along with a few of my kb colleagues from my club and other brown / black belt hopefuls within London. En route to the venue, the nerves kicked in. The regional instructor is a tough person to please so I knew I had to perform at my absolute best in order to get his approval.
8.15pm came and we were asked to enter the dojo. We all lined up and Sensei bowed us in. After a quick 10 minute warm up which included joint mobility exercises whilst running around the perimeter of the dojo, performing different variations of press-ups in 4 sets of 25 reps, on the spot sprints and a few squats and planks for good measure we were ready to begin our technical sets.
I was paired with a senior instructor (3rd Degree Black Belt) and we proceeded to perform technical set no 1. Throughout the sets 1-16, Sensei picked holes in everyone’s technical sets, often stopping the class and asking pairs to perform a tech set for others to critique. I got pulled up for….
- Throwing short hooks as opposed to extended.
- Guard tends to slip when I get tired
- Forgot to lean back and evade on tech set 5.
- Kicking to incorrect target area on tech set 11.
My ‘areas for improvement’ were surprisingly faulted on the lower sets. Tech sets 12-16 (intermediate to advanced) were spot on though I do need to kept a close eye on my spinning back kick performed in tech set 16 as it can sometimes turn into a spinning side kick.
We all worked really hard throughout the 2.5 hour assessment and at 10.45pm, literally soaked and dripping head to toe in sweat *sorry for the grim visuals ladies and gents*, Sensei finally called it a night at.10.45pm.
Now for the constructive feedback.
Sensei felt that I can be too methodical and precise at times when performing my tech sets. He expressed if I allowed my body to relax into the sets it would make for better viewing, fluidity and execution *duly noted*. He also made the suggestion of possibily postponing my grading until March 14, just so I can perfect these small habits I have picked up but said it would ultimately be my descision to make.
After reflecting on last nights assessment, I take onboard Sensei’s constructive comments, and fully respect his suggestion to maybe postpone my grading for another six months BUT (if you know me personally you knew that was coming LOL) I wholeheartedly believe that I can go to Birmingham this Sunday and ace my 1st Dan Grading so will be making that trip up to Brum with the Mr over the weekend.
Some might be discouraged by the feedback given so close to the exam day but such is my mental state right now nothing is going to stop me going after my goal as I honestly believe I Got This! I have never been more mentally prepared and ready for an exam in my 28years and am 100% focused and committed to the task in hand to see it through.
I vow to give it everything I possibly can give during this four hour grading and should the end result not end the way I hope for, I can be proud that I did my absolute best and retry again in March 14*I have nothing to loose*
No more tech sets / intense training for me this week for I know what I need to do to get the job done. I am just going to relax, chill with the Mr, make a start on some new inspirational books, draft up a timetable so I can utilise my time better going forward and finally get up-to-speed with Homeland lol.
That said Roll on Sunday! 🙂
It’s been great sharing this personal journey of mine with you and in a few weeks time please god I will know the outcome of my 1st dan exam.
I’d like to take the time out to personally thank my loved ones, friends, my sensei, my team and kb collegues, facebook / twitter and insta buddies as well as readers of my blog for your continued support in the lead up to this important day *it really is appreciated*.
Picture courtesy of @hazpics