View Full Version : D-Day of Sorts

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Rolf Granlund
02-13-2010, 03:10 AM
In approximately 5 hours I will be testing for my shodan. I figured that spending some time reading over previous posts about testing would help some. And I think it has, but there is still something gnawing at me.

I've been training in various systems for the past twenty years, bouncing from school to school, never sticking around long enough to reach shodan. I feel like I am ready but part of me is wishing I had more time. But what more time do I need? Never really thought I could make it to this level but here I stand on the edge of something new.

On the one hand, it's just another day, another test. But on the other hand to me it's the culmination of over twenty years of stop and go training, proof that I can stick with something. I feel that I'm about to step through the door of a new world so to speak.

There really is no advice that I am looking for. The best I've read so far is to "enjoy the test" and that is what I intend to do. Just trying to deal with the nervousness before the exam is the hard part.

I will post later today or tomorrow the results of the test. Oh... I did want to thank Karen Wolek for her many postings about her journey. It really helped me through some tough times in my training. I hope to meet you some day.

Pauliina Lievonen
02-13-2010, 05:27 AM
Good luck with the test (not that you need it, but one can always wish for the best possible circumstances, right?).

You're right about needing more time, that's always how it feels before tests, it's just the nerves talking!

So - good luck! Looking forward to reading about it afterwards.

kvaak :)

02-13-2010, 06:35 AM
Mr. Granlund,

Take a moment, relax and reflect.

You already know what you have to do...now go and do it well!

Test well,


Rolf Granlund
02-14-2010, 02:51 AM
Well, what can I say other than I passed!! I had talked to one of the black belts a couple of weeks ago regarding the format of the test and what shape it might take. Of course, my instructor saw fit to pretty much completely change what I had been told. Ah well.

The two spots that gave me the most trouble were kick defenses and the randori (4 person). I didn't really work on kick defenses and randori always gives me fits. But hey, I'm ready to learn now that I have my shodan.

I was blessed in that there were about seven people there at the dojo (spectators) to lend moral support. The best was my old kenpo instructor whom I still train with on occassion. I about cried when I saw him walk in the door.

There was one funny part with my randori. Towards the end as I was pretty much gassed and I had about three of the uke attached to my back in some way. They all whispered "Bow,bow!!" Which I did and mangaged to throw the lot. The cool thing was that the other black belts helped me through it. And now I have that responsibility to help my juniors. The tradition continues.

I do have one question......when do I get my special shodan powers?

02-14-2010, 07:59 AM
Congratulations! Now, get back to training.. :-)

Coincidentally, I have just finished reading Stephen Ambrose's "D-Day", which chronicles the events of 6 June 1944 in Normandy, France, based on the oral histories of the men and women who took part. I believe it is a tribute to the efforts of these people when we refer to our own towering personal challenges as our "D-Day".
Just to give perspective, please reflect on what the men of Charlie Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion, had to undergo when they waded ashore on Omaha beach..

Rob Watson
02-14-2010, 07:33 PM
I do have one question......when do I get my special shodan powers?

Well .. if you have to ask ... or when the check clears!

Nick P.
02-15-2010, 09:07 AM
Well done, and shows true humility when describing your reaction to your kenpo instructor arriving.

I do have one question......when do I get my special shodan powers?

@ San-dan :eek:...seriously.

Rolf Granlund
02-15-2010, 09:15 AM
My kenpo instructor has helped me a lot, even though my main area of study is aikido now. For me he is a good example of someone who never stops learning, wanting to try something new.

My thanks to those who have replied. This really has been a long time in coming. One big area of concern is how I would feel after the test, would I really want to continue? I can answer somewhat securely with a "Hell Yeah!!".

And as far as having to wait till sandan........man that really blows. Why wasn't I told about this before?

02-15-2010, 09:46 AM
Congratulations! You have come a long way and you should be proud of yourself! :) Glad to hear that you enjoyed your test.

Pauliina Lievonen
02-15-2010, 10:38 AM


02-20-2010, 10:57 AM
The thing that really got me about recieving shodan was the expectations placed upon that title by the juniors in the club and what the general public thought about a "black belt" in martial arts.

All of a sudden I felt the weight of responsibility of representing the club. Kyu grades were emulating my techniques and I had to make sure to show correct protocol in the club at all times. For me this meant trying to perform every technique well so that others looking on were gaining good instruction. Even when your are not teaching, you are teaching. Someone is always watching.

As for Joe Bloggs public. I try not to mention that I have a black belt unless specifically asked. It seems to bring up some strange ideas in people.

In saying all that, enjoy where you are and where you need to go next.


Linda Eskin
02-20-2010, 12:35 PM
"I'm ready to learn now that I have my shodan."

Congratulations. You are an inspiration to those of us following you on the path.