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Karen Wolek
12-19-2008, 04:48 PM
Tomorrow I will be taking my shodan test at the NYA Cmas seminar. Any good thoughts sent my way will be MUCH appreciated!!! I'm excited and nervous and antsy!!! :D

12-19-2008, 05:19 PM
all the best!! :)

12-19-2008, 06:49 PM
Have fun! Smile a little! Show what you think is the core of the techniques. Even when there's just one uke, show that you're aware of everything around you. Think of throwing uke around as making friends (it'll give you something to smile about). Someone already thinks you're ready for the test - you're just there to show them what you know. I'm sure you'll be great!

Aiki Teacher
12-19-2008, 08:41 PM
Relax, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe!

Don't let the Uke control your actions, you control the pace and the Uke. Most test committees would rather see control than raw speed.

Lastly, Have Fun!!! you will never take this test again!

12-19-2008, 09:07 PM
Good luck!!!

I'm a deshi under Waite sensei and was supposed to attend the seminar but flew home early for the holidays because of a family situation, (I'm from California).

Stay relaxed is the best reply. Seems cliche but it is very true. Don't forget to breathe. Realize the moment; you are finally taking the "big test", have fun....

Own the mat. Show them what you got!

All the best.

12-19-2008, 10:16 PM

You're either ready for it or not, so just treat it like another training session... and have fun.

12-19-2008, 10:54 PM
Hi Karen,

I hope that your test goes well and that you come out of it with wonderful memories! I hope you'll share your experiences with us afterwards.


-- Jun

12-20-2008, 01:00 AM
Good luck to you!

12-20-2008, 05:29 AM
Good Luck!

C. David Henderson
12-20-2008, 08:30 AM

If you're taking your test as I write this, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. Best of luck.


Karen Wolek
12-20-2008, 10:57 PM
Thanks, everyone! I passed my test! :)

12-21-2008, 01:27 AM
cooool! congratulations!!!

12-21-2008, 03:05 AM
Sweeeeeet! Good for you.

Hopefully I'll run into you on a Sunday or Monday when Waite sensei teaches at the NYA and you can show off your new hakama!

Happy holidays.

12-21-2008, 05:37 AM

Karen Wolek
12-21-2008, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the congrats!

C. David Henderson
12-22-2008, 11:04 AM



Ron Tisdale
12-22-2008, 12:09 PM

Randy Sexton
12-22-2008, 02:36 PM
Karen, congratulations!!
I always love your comments on the web and have not seen many lately. I'm very thrilled for you!!
I am looking forward to the day I take my Black Belt test. Thank God I still have plenty of time to get ready.
I'll bet your family is very proud of you.
Give us some details of the experience.


Karen Wolek
12-23-2008, 08:57 PM
Thanks for the congrats. Here's a little summary from my blog on Sunday:

Yep, I tested and I passed. And I am really happy with my test. I don't
remember much of it, but I got to watch it on a video camera screen last
night on the train. Once the test started, it was just me and my (awesome)
uke and I wasn't aware of the hundreds of people watching. I was in some
sort of zone I hadn't been in before, LOL!

After the test, I realized that I had no idea who my ukes were for randori!
After I watched the video, I said, "Oh man, I forgot to look to see who my
ukes were!" Ha!

The waiting was the hardest part, Tom Petty was right about that, LOL. We
got down to the dojo neighborhood around 11:30, got a bite to eat at a cafe
across the steeet, then went up to NYA. The next two hours were dan only
classes, and shodan candidates weren't allowed on the mat due to the crowd.
So we just had to sit around for hours waiting to even train! Once I got on
the mat, I calmed down a lot. LOL, I was training with a sandan friend from
WS and I said that I was really calm. He said, "THIS is calm????" I said,
"Hey, it's calm for me, dude." And he said, "OK, you said 'dude' so you
must be calm." <grin>

I took Sugano Sensei's class (but got off toward the end to eat a bagel a
friend graciously brought for me, I was starving since I hadn't eaten much),
and I took Harvey's class. They were both fun, but honestly I don't
remember very much.

Then we had a break before tests. My sensei came over, reassured me, told
me to breathe, etc... I was pretty nervous now, but really, not too bad. I
was in a group of three when I tested. Right next to me was my dojomate, but I didn't even realize it. LOL! I was in the front by the kamiza
and the testing panel, which consisted of Sugano Sensei and Yamada Sensei.

After that, it's all kind of a blur, but slowly coming back to me. Or maybe
it's just because I watched the video! <grin>

After the tests were over (there were 43 tests), we went out to dinner at a
yummy Thai place. Then we went back to the dojo to the party for a little
while. I got a lot of congrats and hugs and a lot of people said I had an
excellent test. Oh, after the tests, Yamada Sensei said he was especially
impressed by the ladies' tests. Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess I will actually receive my black belt tomorrow at my dojo (I did). And get
to wear my fancy pants. :)

I really feel good about my test. I was ready.

Back to training tomorrow night! (Had two nights of classes so far this week)

Mary Eastland
12-24-2008, 10:43 AM
Good for you, Karen. You rock!!!!

12-24-2008, 04:38 PM
Congratulation Karen :) .

Karen Wolek
12-25-2008, 09:08 PM
Thank you! :)

Neal Earhart
12-29-2008, 10:21 AM
Congratulations !!

Karen Wolek
12-29-2008, 10:37 AM
Thank you, Neal! Were you there for the tests?

Demetrio Cereijo
12-29-2008, 11:58 AM
Congrats Karen.

BTW, here (http://es.youtube.com/user/GuyJaxon) are a lot of clips of the tests at NYA. Maybe you are in one of these.

Karen Wolek
12-29-2008, 01:37 PM
Thanks, Demetrio! Yes, I was in the 5th group of shodan tests.

Neal Earhart
12-30-2008, 08:01 AM
Thank you, Neal! Were you there for the tests?

Yes, I was. I took the two Dan classes and then watched the tests. It was a good day for testing. Bob had you guys well prepared.

Karen Wolek
12-30-2008, 10:43 AM
Yes, he sure did. He is an awesome sensei. :)

01-06-2009, 08:37 PM
congratulations karen!! nice job

now you can come out to the yudansha seminar in april w/yamada sensei and demko sensei!!!! :P

yamada sensei will also be here this weekend for kagami biraki

07-21-2009, 08:46 PM
Congrats, and I did see your test. You were awesome..!!! Very Impressed... Good Work Karen...

Larry Cuvin
07-22-2009, 09:33 AM
Congrats and LOUD WOOOT! for you.