At this level, gradings get tough. During the kata our senior Sensei came over and kicked my legs to make sure my stance was strong enough, and for the sparring at the end I was partnered with a black belt who swept my feet from under me and sent me to the floor with a crash that made everyone else in the hall look over to see what was going on.
But I passed, which made it all - including the ongoing leg pain and associated funny walk - worth it.
It felt long overdue, with over two years having passed since my last grading. I'm pleased to have closed the blue belt chapter of my life - and red is a much nicer colour, wouldn't you agree?