Just a short post on this one – we’ve got a grading coming up this weekend, and I’ll be trying for mine. Since I had to start fresh with my current school back in 2007 it’s still early days, and this time I’ll be going for 7th kyu. I’m hoping that if I train hard for the next six months, I’ll possibly be able to squeeze in another grading by the end of the year, which will bring me to 6th kyu, which is the grade I worked myself to in my previous style of karate.
Not that I mind about starting afresh or the time frames, but I’m keen to work hard this year and push myself to progress through the formative stages of the syllabus with solid gradings and quality karate; if I can use my goal of 6-monthly gradings at this early stage in the style to push myself in this direction, I’m confident I can continue to work hard through future grades regardless of how long it takes to progress, including where the going gets considerably tougher the further down you go towards Shodan, and from there to progress to Dan rankings (or at least a Dan ranking of some sort!!!).
Mind, we’re talking long term stuff here – I’m not putting a set goal for when I want to achieve something as lofty as my shodan, I’m just saying that in the grand scheme of things, my goal is to one day achieve at least shodan, and from there continue to train as hard and progress as far as my body allows and see where I go. I have no idea how many years it will take to get there, but I think to do so would be to loose sight of the journey that you go through when moving through the kyu ranks, as it would be foolish to ignore the importance of what you learn in your kyu grades and expect to automatically exude awesomeness once you reach Shodan — as one of the black belts I trained with at the seminar I attended recently pointed out, a black belt is simply an advanced white belt, and it’s by no means the end of your learning as a martial artist. I just like imagining at how much I’ll have improved by that point in the hopes that I can start to truly grasp and become proficient at my style of karate.
So, to move away from my crazy ramblings off the immediate challenge, grading is happening this weekend, and I intend to go in there and work as hard as I can to try and progress to my next ranking. We’ll see how I go!
BTW, if you’re curious what I mean when I talk about kyu grades, dan grades or what shodan is, Wikipedia have some handy articles on kyu rankings, dan rankings and one specifically on the shodan ranking.