Sorry I haven’t been blogging for a while. It’s partly because we have had some illness in the family, partly because of college commitments and partly because I haven’t had anything interesting to blog about recently – with over 200 posts under my belt it’s getting harder to find new things to talk about!
However, I finally have something to tell you – I've passed my Nidan grading! It took place on Saturday 30th November, an all-day affair over at the SKK Judo centre near Manchester. It was a bit hit or miss whether I would actually take the grading because of the family illness problems, my husband (and grading partner) had an operation on his ear only 5 weeks before the grading date but fortunately was sufficiently fit to still partner me, so it was all systems go on Saturday.
It was a tough grading! I had decided that I was only going to attempt it once so it was a bit of a ‘do or die’ situation. I definitely pushed myself harder than I did for shodan and the grading panel pushed me really hard – I think they really wanted to see if I had the strength and stamina to keep going when I was clearly exhausted. This is when you realise that it’s your mental strength that is being tested and not just your technical ability. I was the only candidate (out of 10) grading for nidan so I had to do several sections on my own which the grading officers decided to put back to back, so I was on the mats continuously for 4 pretty rigorous sections of the syllabus.
I made a few small mistakes. A wobble in one of my kata, a small mistake in one of my bunkai, a complete transposition of technique in 2 of my ippon kumite i.e. I started with my first technique and finished with my second and then had to do the same with my second ippon (start with the second and finish with the first) so that I didn’t repeat myself. I don’t think they noticed that mistake! I also felt that one of my kicking combinations wasn’t great either. Apart from that I did my bloody best and if I didn’t pass then there was no way I would ever be capable of doing so.
I would have been relieved to have just scraped a pass. I would have been happy to have equalled my score for shodan. So I was ecstatically happy to have scored several marks higher than I did for shodan!
The grading panel were right to have advised me not to grade last June. I wasn’t ready. This last 6 months have allowed me to correct all the problems I had following the last pre-dan and improve quite a lot. So I am now glad that I waited.
I’m so glad that it’s all over now and I can just get back to ordinary training and not be so syllabus focused. We have a lot of new and interesting changes coming up next year on our curriculum and so next year should be an exciting time in our club…
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