Satisfyingly, it didn’t scream out or break.
Weight loss. It’s working.
Pleasingly, despite my reduced commitment to my Karate training regime, I was allowed to grade the Saturday before last, grading for Brown Kyu 2, in other words Brown two stripes (where I was currently Brown three stripes).
The grading took place on the Saturday morning at the quaint Mondeor Eco-School in Somerset West (just next to Monkey Town on the N2), the same location where I had previously graded for my Purple belt. As per usual time estimates were a fair bit off, but I was in truth pretty thankful for the extended delay before we got to my group, as it gave me a chance to run through my syllabus a few more times, just to make 100% sure that I knew what I was doing!
This was the first grading since my very first grading to Yellow that I was actually nervous of standing and performing my karate on my own in front of Sensei Birgitt and the panel of all the black belts, not feeling confident in terms of what would be required of me – and this was all based squarely on my now rather spotty training schedule that I’m going to have to live with for the next couple of years!
Anyway, by the time my group was finally called up, I was pretty warmed up and had a firm grasp of my syllabus, meaning that the nerves were now calm and it was just a matter of getting on with it. As per usual, I gave it my all, full power and nice and vocal, and despite making a few silly mistakes of which I’m not so happy with myself for making, the grading went pretty okay, meaning that I could proudly accept my new certificate at the end of the ceremony.
So now one more level of Brown to go, before that year long slog to Funakoshi Karate Black – which is after all, my ultimate goal now isn’t it? ;)
Eish, I didn’t realise that my next grading is literally lurking around the corner. This time around I’ll be pushing for my blue belt under the Funakoshi style and by the sounds of it, the amount of people grading out of my class appears to be pretty small – so I’m quite motivated to do as well as possible come the big day.
One teensy hassle though. The new expanded syllabus under Edwin Ward means a new expanded grading, and according to the list handed out by sensei Birgitt at training, this means that on the night I have to solo tackle four way kicking (mae-geri keage/yoko-geri keage), grading form F4A (yoko-geri keage), grading form F4B (ren-geri), kata 4, kamae kata 1, kamae kata 2 and finally kihon sanbon zuki which is bascially three step moving basics focussing on uchi-uke/gyaku zuki and soto-uke/gyaku zuki.
Phew, talk about a truck load of solo work I need to know and perform on the night, all on my lonesome and with no one to crib off should my mind do its usual wandering off trick! As it stands, I’m not entirely sure that I am in fact ready on about half of the things needed to grade on, so I’m pretty much going to have to roll up my sleeves and put in some extra practice whenever I can in these last upcoming days.
One thing is for sure though, I really, really want to move up to the next step – still got a long way to go before I finally reach a more respectable belt colour! :P
So, come Friday evening, 4th of June 2010, you know where you’ll find me – sweating in the middle of the practice hall, showing off my skills and hoping to crack the nod from the black belt instructors.
Can’t wait! :)