Saturday, November 6, 2010


I never know quite what to expect when we come to a class where I know we are going to be grading. I feel a bit nervous and a bit concerned that I will not be able to perform as I would like to. I know the class is going to be very physical. But that in no way puts me off. If anything, the idea of an extreme workout actually excites me, being a bit of a workout junkie.

I also know that there will be knowledge questions. This is one thing that does always make me a bit nervous. I don't really understand this part. I have done some fairly extensive research into the origins of the Martial Arts. I find it quite a fascinating topic, yet when it comes down to being asked dates and names when in the middle of a workout, I either go stupid or just go blank.

I think I know part of the reason for this. I tend to pour so much into the physical part of the class that my mind refuses to engage past the need to drive my muscles. But this is what karate is. Body and mind. I think this is telling me that maybe I need to dial back a bit in order to keep my mind engaged as well as my body. I can do that.

I am a person who believes that you learn from your mistakes. If you are not making mistakes in life, I would suggest you get up off of the couch and do something. Mistakes are going to happen in everyday life. We need to recognize this and make use of it. In my kata, I know I make mistakes. I look forward to getting corrections so I can learn, move forward and improve what I am doing.

One of the things I have a problem with is being too stiff or robot-like during my kata. Sensei suggested that this is because I may be trying too hard to apply power all the way through every movement. I am sure she is right. Trying to picture myself going through my kata, I feel the pressure I am putting into everything. I am a fairly big and strong guy for my age. I feel driven to embody this in my kata. I do need to work on this, and I have a plan.

I watched Derek, our newest member to the adult class, earn his stripe last night. (Great job, Derek!) This is a young man who has been with us for just a few weeks and it’s easy to see that he cares very much about what he is doing in every aspect when he is at the dojo. It’s great to see people come in and work hard at it. I have no doubt that Derek has been practicing quite a bit.

We were at the dojo early enough to see some of the grading from the junior class as well. I enjoy watching our members grade. It’s like a rite of passage and it is a privilege to be there to watch members be successful and move forward. I have taken some pictures of the gradings and I will have them posted on my Flickr page very shortly. Check them out at


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