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Sensei was talking to me today about upcoming tests: one this year, me the following, another 6 months after me (or so) and a lot of lower ranks moving up in the world.
I don't know why, but the thought of becoming a black belt has always been a heavy burden and daunting task to me. "With power comes great responsibility." There is something to that, despite it being a line from a cartoon character film.
Becoming a black belt, to me... at this time, means many different things:
1) Having to teach. This involves time to pass on what knowledge I have and making sure I'm teaching it correctly.
2) Pressure. I'm still trying to learn AIKIDO! Sure, in class I'll give tips and make observations, but I don't consider that teaching. And sure enough, I'll ask Sensei about it and he'll point out something I hadn't even thought of yet... on top of what I did. "Oh yeah! Oops! Yeah, do that too!" /blush
3) Legacy. I don't want to get out there for a test, screw up and make myself and my instructor look bad! Granted I'm still at least a year away, but I never did like tests, written or otherwise. When I get tested, I am a student of my instructor... a representation of what he has been trying to communicate through his own aikido. I don't want to make either of us look bad. And on top of that... what I teach will be forever thought of as something that was taught to me, whether I'm actually teaching it right or not!
I guess I'm feeling the pressure and it's scary. I'm still a year off and already I'm intimidated by it. Need to work on that I guess...