orange karate beltSo, moving up to the next grade was successfully achieved last night with a completion of my second ever Funakoshi grading, held once again at the Gordon’s Bay Primary School.

The weather outside was pretty miserable and the rain on the roof made it quite difficult to sometimes hear the instructions from the panel in front, but once again the parents and friends of the Boland Funakoshi karateka showed up in force to support their loved ones, so there was a nice warm atmosphere around the rather empty hall floor.

This time the routine that we as yellow belts needed to complete was just that bit longer and more complex than what we had to do for our previous grading some time ago, but thankfully we’ve been undergoing quite a bit of intense training and focus on our katas and grading forms over the last couple of weeks and by now most of it is pretty much old hat – plus having had taken part in the tournament at the start of the month seemed to have helped quite a lot in burning the routine into memory as well.

Unfortunately for me though, yesterday was pretty hectic in terms of work, and in fact I had to down my tools half way through the emergency job in order to come and take part in the grading in the first place, meaning that my mind really wasn’t focussed on karate by the time that I arrived at the school hall. Thankfully though the low level that I’m still find myself at means that I didn’t have to wait all that long before our belt division were called in to run through our grading, meaning at least I didn’t have enough time to completely let my mind stew on work-related tasks alone!

For a change, I found myself being part of the early batch of yellow belts to be called up to perform, meaning that the whole anticipation time was completely cut down to an insignificant chunk and when I did finally take the floor, I found myself pretty calm and actually breathing for a change, completely unlike last time when I nearly exploded at the end of my grading form due to my self-inflicted lack of breath! :)

Like I mentioned though, my mind wasn’t completely at the job at hand and I must admit that I stumbled through the 2A Mai-Geri grading form and my Kata Ichi just a bit, annoying myself internally to great extent but thankfully not looking bad enough to the outside world, and Shihan Sanette in particular, meaning that I got a pretty decent enough rating on my final scorecard.

And that’s that, meaning that starting from tonight I’ll be training with a little orange belt tied around my waist for a change. Nifty.

(Oh, and as an added bonus, all my yellow belt training buddies managed to pass through as well, meaning that our little group remains intact and we can continue to bumble our way through the new upcoming katas together – which always turns out to be a load of fun and games! :P)