Oh no - not another grading!
Updated: Jun 19, 2019
So, another day another grading, or so it feels like sometimes.
This Saturday March 16th 2019 we held a grading and seminar at the NMAJutsu club in Tottenhill. Additionally, all students hoping to Dan grade in September were expected to attend as well. All this under the wachful and experienced eye of our grading examiner and head of our association, The European Bushin Kenpo Martial Arts Academy - David Wilson Hanshi 10th Dan.
Sounds fairly normal but on this occasion however I was grading as well!
Training in two martial arts at the same time is complicated, not least in the build up to a Dan grading where one needs complete focus on the discipline you are grading in. For me this was complicated in the last month by a foot injury that took me out of training for two weeks and in the three days build up to the day a virus that effected me all over, add to the fact I am getting old it raises the question, why bother?
Many students view a grading with dread; however actually they are a reward. Your Instructor will have accessed you before putting you forward for the 'ranking' and this is a recognition of all the hard work and effort that you will have put into your training.
Expect the day to be hard, it should be, both physically and mentally. But the examiners are not looking for superhuman abilities, if your training has been focused correctly you will be prepared for all that is thrown at you. Expect to make mistakes, everyone does - even those high ranking examiners make them, this is understood. It is how you deal with them that is important. Martial Arts are as much about attitude as it is about technical skill; being prepared to pick yourself up and to push yourself when you feel you have little left or thing have gone wrong is more important than all the high jumping and spinning kicks you see in demonstrations. These are the skills you can use in all aspects of your life.
Failure is a possibility - if it wasn't then the value of the grading is lost. It would be a knock back but not the end of the world, your life will go on - remember for the vast majority of us this is a hobby not life or death! And another chance will be only a few month off.
As an Instructor my attitude has always been, if you ask your students to work hard and take the risks of a grading then you should as well. For me it is certainly an added worry that I may have to face my students having failed, but it would be worse if I didn't lead by example.
Anyway - its the day after, I ache all over both from the grading and the virus. The grading is over, everyone passed and the others who attended had a great time. Tomorrow it will be just another day back at training and teaching in Tae Kwon Do and Karate Jutsu. From a personal view I can now get back to just enjoying it all, with still two more years to go till my next one (5th dan TKD).
Big thanks to David Wilson Hanshi a martial artist who I admire a great deal and my best buddy Sensei Kevin for all the hard work in organising it all but mostly to the students and parents who put so much so much into it.
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