Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Tougher Trials Ahead

Back to business as usual after the guest post from Mr K.

Exciting things happened last weekend (exciting for me anyway). I was invited to the monthly grading to test for 3rd Kyu (purple belt). Super exciting for a couple of reason.

1) Purple is my absolute FAVE colour! LOL.

And, rather more seriously

2) 3rd kyu is venturing into high grade territory.

It’s a scary thought realising that.

Grading was pretty scary. Having to perform my grade required kata (Bassai Dai) at full focus on my own was pretty nerve wracking, and facing Shihan in kumite one on one is pretty scary (really shouldn’t kick him in the knee cap…. I’ve still got the bruise… knee caps are HARD! D’oh). It was worth the blood, sweat and tears though.

Obtaining my other belts was a great feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of getting there, of learning, of exploring, of understanding, of things clicking into place as elements of the syllabus built on previous knowledge. Getting my purple belt was a great feeling too, but it feels like it carries much more weight than my previous gradings. It means stepping further into a whole new world of karate learning. Taking those basic elements that I know and being able to apply them, in any situation. Being able to adapt them, as required. Being able to see possibilities and outcomes and thinking one step ahead.

I remember thinking at the start of this journey (way back when I thought I might last out a few weeks at karate class) that one day I’d love to make it to purple belt (not least of all because hey, purple…yey :) ). When I think about that I can hardly believe I’d made it this far. I’ve learnt so much this past 18 months. Every single class I’ve learnt something new. I’ve discovered a whole new interest (not just in karate but in all the philosophy and history surrounding it). Martial arts has very much become a part of me (I’d never have seen that coming!).

So. Moving forward (as one must do in life). There are tougher trials ahead.

For me, from here, that means of course a new kata to get to grips with. In this case our version of Seunchin, which at the moment is still making me break out in a cold sweat! I’m working on getting the pattern down, but I’m also much more conscious of the intricacies (head turns etc) than I’ve been previously – getting them in now will save me the pain of putting them in later, I’ve learnt.

New Taisabaki forms – intermediate 3 & 4 (the same strikes are listed here) which are avoid and counter (3) and free defence against a series of kicks (4).

New strikes. New pad work drills. New kicks.

It also means of course looking back too. Strengthening my kihon. Improving the kyu kata and taisabaki and pad drills that I already know. A constant revisiting of what I’ve learnt to assist with what I need to learn.

Onwards and upwards as they say.

Right, that’s it for now. There’s a 2nd kyu kata pattern with my name on it. Off to watch the video and read the walk through I’ve written out for the 100th time!



  1. Wow - 3rd kyu already - well done! I'm still working on Bassai dai and seienchin myself so you're doing well. I love your enthusiasm, I know what it feels like when that bug bites!

  2. Congratulations on making it to purple!

    I sympathize about kicking knees. Two months ago, I roundhouse kicked my instructor in the knee. I hit right on the knuckle of my big toe and the ligaments still haven't recovered from that day. Last night, I managed to front snap kick my other instructor in the elbow with the same toe. It stretched the toe back the opposite direction and is still smarting.