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I strive to attend class on my regular days (Tues, Weds, Thurs & Sat) as often as possible. Well, this past weekend, I was pulled away due to the nature of my job. While I was away, my teacher decided to drop a bomb. To some, this "bomb" may be more like a celebratory thing… like fireworks, but to me, this "bomb" might as well have annihilated the entire dojo. He announced that four people will be testing for fourth kyu on December 9th. I guess I really shouldn't be that surprised. He has said tests were coming for the past six months, but now that the date is set, the finality of it all has me taken aback
As I sit and look over the fourth kyu techniques, some I feel quite comfortable with, yet there are others I can't recall at all. No matter how much I imagine someone grabbing me, I can't for the life of me recall how to do them. Some of them require a variation (like jodan), which also leaves me with more questions. I mean, I know one is low, one is middle and one is high, but some of the finer details are lost to me at the moment. On top of it all, I only have less then two weeks to remedy this situation.
I think this test will be slightly different then my last one (techniques aside). I know I will be hit with anxiety when I step on the mat, but failure is not on the list this time. Or at least… failure won't be on my mind until he is about to tell us if we pass or fail. With this test, the actual quality of the test is what is weighing on my mind. When it is time for me to test, I want to have a resounding sense of….. confidence. I don't expect my techniques to be perfect, but I would love for them to look as expected or better then which they should for someone of my rank.
I don't want to stand out there and ponder what it is I am being asked to do. I want to hear the name being called and then just let the magic happen. ::sigh:: Is that too much to ask? Maybe it is. I'm hoping that some of these techniques will be covered in the classes leading up to the test, but I also have a dvd with Chiba sensei demonstrating the test techniques that I will begin to watch when I have the time. I guess in the meantime, I will just relax and try to enjoy the time I have leading up to the test.
The other thing that is weighing heavily on my mind is my still injured foot. It has been about five or six weeks since it was injured in class and it is still bugging me. It isn't as bad as it was, but doing shikko and a lot of suwariwaza is still out for the most part. The test has a few suwariwaza techniques and some of them require a decent amount of movement. Because I have to move slowly in order to prevent pain, I fear that it will further hurt my already ‘a bit late' timing. Depending on whom my uke is, this problem will either be exacerbated or minimized. I may just have to bite the bullet and deal with a bit of pain. On the other hand, my adrenaline may cause me to feel no pain at all during the test. I guess we will just have to wait and see. Things could change in another week and a half.
In other news, we have had an influx of new students joining the dojo. They all have unique personalities. One is timid and shy, but has a great personality. One is a bit stiff and is difficult to work with because they either try to stronghold you or trick you. The other of the three is nice and quiet and is the type that asks a lot of questions. Just last night while working with them, they asked me "Why don't I just let go." I then went on to tell them that they could, but I would hit them. HAH! Of course, I wouldn't have hit him; I'm not a meanie!
Last week I found myself in a class with nothing but yudansha! I used to be intimidated by situations like this, but not so much anymore. I know that the intensity level is usually a bit higher in a class like this, but I have learned to love being so out of my element. For the most part, I can sort of navigate what it is I'm being asked to do. I may not look pretty doing it, but I enjoy even trying. At the end of the class, I thanked them all for having patience and told them that I enjoyed the treat of just having yudansha to work with.
Saturday's class was fun. We went back and forth between using weapons and doing body art. The weapon work was supposed to give us a better feeling of the technique and how it is practically the same when you do the same technique empty handed. I'm afraid that it wasn't so easy for me doing some things empty handed. Other techniques seemed easier empty handed. At the end of class, sensei once again announced the upcoming test and said he would appreciate it if the yudansha would come and take ukemi. I asked sensei if we could go out for pizza and beer after the test like we did last time. Caley asked "What, are you not going to show up if we don't?" I responded that "It would be an incentive for me to show up to the test and without pizza or beer, I couldn't make any promises."
Saturday afternoon I watched part of the dvd with the testing requirements, but I fear that my weariness took over and I conked out somewhere around the hanmi handachi shihonage technique. Ooops….. Well, I guess I will try again in the next day or so to watch them again. I'm hoping that my hubby and I can watch it together and then practice the techniques as we go along.