I graded for 1st kyu-ho yesterday (black tip on brown belt). Far and away the worse grading experience of my karate journey so far. I'd had a very broken nights sleep the night before (if you cobbled together all the snippets of actual shut eye I'd manage it might total about 4 hours) with my little boy who is poorly with an ear infection. Coupled with other issues I've had with my back this week (a recurrance of sciatica) it was the first time I have felt so completely unprepared (both mentally and physically) at the start of a grading.
Beginning the session with already wavering confidence my performance was definitely affected. I was faced with questions I wasn't expecting (despite knowing to expect the unexpected on grading day) and by the end of the 2 hour session I was so tired that I couldn't even muster the brain power to implement the number 1 rule of defense......get out of the goddamn way!!
I will blog more about the gory details when I've had more time to think about the experience and assess what was good and what went wrong, and perhaps more importantly how I dealt with what went wrong. Not my finest karate hour.
If I had to sum up how I'm feeling about the whole experience right now I'd have to go with "irrationally over-emotional" to the point where thinking about parts of it has almost reduced me to tears even today.
I suspect I need more sleep (another broken night last night has not aided the catch up) and a little more time to be able to think about the experience more rationally and less emotionally. Thankfully, for my senior instructor it was very much a case of a fact finding mission to assess where I am up to in terms of where to begin with preparation for 1st Kyu and ultimately Shodan. That at least means that there will be tangible and constructive outcomes from the process allowing me to work on my weak areas.
When I've had more time to process 2 hours of hell I'll try to get into more sensible analysis.
In the meantime. TTFN.