Re: Changing perspective
as I have a grading in the next couple of weeks this thread is very relevant to me at the moment. I noticed a big change between my 4th Kyu and 3rd Kyu gradings. I had to perform 3 variations of the 10 principles as well as the Shodan Kata (sitting, half standing and standing) for my 4th Kyu. For my 3rd Kyu it was 5 variations and the Shodan Kata, a total of 71 techniques. What I noticed between gradings was the variations came much more naturally to me - I had a slight mental block during my 4th Kyu grading but the variations came far more naturally to me by my 3rd Kyu. So I could sense the progress I had made even while grading. This was reassuring to me.
However, the biggest change in my perspective since then as I am now going for my 2nd Kyu is the importance of the Kata and 'feeling' for the posture before executing the technique. My Kata still has a long way to go but I don't believe it is as mechanical now as it once was. I am beginning to understand the deeper principles about posture and controlling the posture by locking up the arm/shoulder and being able to manipulate their centre of balance. Applying my own bodyweight to the waza is proving slightly more difficult as I still find it very hard to 'centre' myself or as my instructors like to say 'thinking from your abdomen'.
For my 2nd Kyu grading I will have to perform 25 knife-defence techniques as well as the 71 previous techniques so there is a lot to remember. My instructors will be looking for an improvement in the execution of the 71 techniques I've performed prior to this grading as well as safe and realistic knife-defence techniques. Although I have been practising my knife-defence techniques fairly regularly over the past couple of months the dynamic of being attacked with a weapon is very different to empty-handed techniques and ingraining the techniques into my muscle memory has proven challenging. I still get mental blocks occassionally. Nevertheless, having experienced similar frustrations with my 4th Kyu grading I know that I will overcome this current mental barrier as well and so am just trying to relax and enjoy my training as much as possible. I am thankful for the benefit of my experience now as I approach my 2nd Kyu grading; I am not as worried as I used to be and know that the most important thing is to carry on training diligently.