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Old 12-09-2009, 11:56 AM   #3
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,182
Re: I test on Saturday: Now, I'm feeling a bit nervous.

In western culture, we commonly praise excellence and give approval to people who express a desire to do very well, but that desire can be a double-edged sword. One of my sensei's common corrections is, "This is not your space" -- said while raising his hands far above his head or far out to the side. He's talking about the physical dimension, but I think it has a metaphorical meaning, too. As an aspiring fifth kyu, there's a degree of competence that should be "in your space". If you try to reach for what's beyond that, you risk not taking control of what should be in your space. That, I think, should be the focus when going into a test (I've got an upcoming test myself, btw, a week from Saturday, so this is something I'm reminding myself of a lot lately). The people who are judging your test all know what's appropriate to expect of a 5th kyu. That doesn't include mastery of any technique, even the simplest...just a demonstration that you're beginning to learn and to develop solid fundamentals. Trust your training and trust your fundamentals -- you're going to be just fine.

p.s. I think it's cruel and unusual to have a test in December. Worst. Month. EVAR.
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