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Apparently I'm grading on sunday. "You'll be turning up for your grading." Then in the car on the way home I got the further diktat, "No drinking until after the grading."
Disaster. Weekend ruined. End. Of. The. Universe.
So I've made do with a (dry) theatre trip to see Anna Karenina and am now watching The Karate Kid Part Three.
I'd like to quote from Dave Lowry at this point, "When his master Ittosai was off on one of his many journeys in search of worthwhile opponents (or dallying with a variety of the mistresses he kept, in search of something perhaps even more worthwhile), Kofujita practiced under the school's seniormost student, Ono Tadaaki."
How do I honestly feel about my 5th attempt at 1st kyu? Not happy. Pass or fail, not happy. There is a certain young lady I was hoping to be out drinking with on saturday night. I know this may come across as lack of dedication or wrong attitude to keiko or something. I disagree.
Going when you want to go is not dedication. Going when you don't want to go is dedication.
I've done zero prep for this grading. Sensei doesn't know what, if anything, is wrong. The feeling at the moment is that it's going to be the ukes that decide it. If I can get someone who can handle "young man's Aikido" then I'll be ok. Likely as not I wont. I've told everyone from my dojo that on no account are they even to get on the mat, never mind take ukemi for me. I want to see how seriously my grading's being taken i.e. if there's even a realisation that there is a 1st kyu grading.
My main concern is getting it over with so I can get round to Sarah's ASAP. If I have a look around and I don't think the ukemi provided is up to scratch I'll take advantage of that and withdraw from the grading.
I'm not going through the nonsense of "failing" a grading again because my Aikido wasn't fast, hard and brutal when my uke is twice my age and has knee, back, elbow, neck and stamnina issues.
I definately don't want Richard on the mat, the guy has athsma and heart problems and last time they wanted me to basically beat him up. And he was my only uke.
My secondary concern is avoiding the teachers course. It's meant for fukushidoin and shidoin, not random 2nd kyus who happen to be there. I don't want to go through the usual nonsense of having to take ukemi for all five people in my group and then teach a technique and then have to take a grading.
I bet my grading gets used as a teaching exercise.....again. Then everyone will rush to deny they had anything to do with it. Offically NO-ONE took the descision to fail me last time. Everyone denied they even had a say in it.
I think actually I'm just resentful that I have to take the grading. I have better things to do. I'm resentful that something is expected of me. On Sunday morning I have to be bright and full of pep, enthusiastic for the grading. I then have to perform far better than average because I'm young and I come from a "good dojo" not one of these "run of the mill dojos." Fifth time around, it feels false, I mean I actually have to pretend I care about the result.
I don't know. I do what I'm told. Sensei says grade, I grade.