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Karate

Took A Level In Badass

What with one thing and another it's been three years since my last karate grading, and I was getting impatient and frustrated. Of course, as soon as I was told to attend the next senior grading, I panicked that I wasn't ready.

Sunday lunchtime found me in a school gymnasium in Sidcup, longing to get started so I could stop feeling so nervous. The grading lasts four hours, which is a daunting prospect, but once you get going it passes quickly.

It was a good grading, I thought. Sometimes you feel as if you're being tested on how much pain you can endure rather than your skill level, but yesterday's, for once, seemd to be more about karate than sadism, and the times we were treated to fifty press-ups we had genuinely done something to deserve them. It was still hard enough work that not only my gi but my belt was soaked by the end, mind.

I looked forward to showing what I could do in the kata section, though I was dreading the bit at the end of my grade kata where you have to jump in the air, turn through 360° and land in an at least half-decent back leaning stance. (I got through it OK, ditto the bit where you stand on one leg and rotate slowly anticlockwise.)

Four or five rounds of sparring and a cooldown, then it was time for the most difficult part of all: waiting for your name to be called out, if you'd passed, or alternatively not called out. Midway through the First Kyus it was my turn to sprint round to the front, bow and shake hands with our senior sensei, and receive my certificate. Several of my class were grading - my sensei and two others to black belt - and we all passed. Grins and hugs all round, a group photograph, and a second strip of black tape wrapped around my brown belt. Next stop: black!

Afterwards I went to the 7 Diner with Howard, who had kindly come along to support me. I had a much-needed New York Chilli Dog and a peanut butter milkshake before dispatching him back to Dorset down the M25 and heading home myself to have a nice hot bath and climb into my onesie.
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Comments

Well done. Arkwright is a Tae Kwon Do black belt and I remember the nerve wracking ness of his gradings. Go you!
Thank you! I find the hardest part is balancing "don't want to exhaust myself too early" with "must constantly look like I'm making maximum effort".
congratulations!
Thank you!
Excellent!
I was listening to the Helsinki episode of Cabin Pressure last night - are you legally counted as a deadly weapon, yet?
Baader-Meinhof phenomenon!! Someone at work quoted the deadly weapon law, which I'd never heard before, then I listened to that ep on iPlayer an hour later!
Congratulations! That's wonderful!
Cheers!
Congrats!
Thank you!
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and delighted to get to do so! (...and wondering if my Tweets had completely the wrong tone by mistake...)

Just: yay, you!
Not at all - but have only just got home to reply to things.

I'd been growing increasingly frustrated as gradings came and went and students I considered no better than me were picked to go and try their luck, but I stuck with it and eventually got my go.
Well done.
Hello! Thank you!
Brilliant; well done! =:)
Thank you!