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The future's bright... - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
The future's bright...
I passed my karate grading, and am now an orange belt.

Fortunately the weather in Winchcombe was much cooler than it seems to have been in Cambridge -- we even had rain and thunder, and an impressive (if brief) powercut while we were watching the sword gradings (all the swordspeople carried on silently performing their cuts, blades glinting in the near-dark). But it was still warm, and the dojo was boiling. By the end of the grading/training session there were little pools of sweat all over the floor. Niiiiice.

The way the gradings are done, lots of people grade at once in small groups (about 4 people), with one or two instructors to each group. The instructors seemed to spend most of their time just shouting at us to kick higher, punch harder, generally work harder and be better, and I felt like I'd been bellowed at for hours (I've no idea how long it really was) when they finally told me, to my surprise, that I'd passed. Basically though I decided that I wasn't going to let a bunch of hollering goons in glorified pyjamas intimidate me, and I was just going to bellow right back at them -- with some pretty fierce kiai which have left my throat feeling a bit raw. Seemed to do the trick though.

The grading seemed to be much more like a particularly fierce lesson this time, though, rather than an exam; that is, the instructors didn't just yell, but also frequently told us (well, shouted at us) what we were doing wrong in a given exercise, and then told us to do it again. Not actually reminding us of moves, etc., but things like "wider stances", and "turn that foot round", and so on, followed by the inevitable "Do it again!" Which made it feel more useful in a way.

It's, um... interesting trying to do aikido wrist-locks when both your hands and your training-partner's hands are dripping with sweat, though. Ick. Fortunately they didn't spend long on those; and they didn't even ask for the judo throws that we had to know for the grading, for which I was profoundly grateful -- I wasn't exactly looking forward to having to try to heave some sweat-sodden bloke over my hip.

Having said that, though, I think the worst bit of the whole thing wasn't actually part of the grading at all, but the drive there and back (not that I was driving, thank god) -- three hours each way, nervous on the way there and exhausted on the way back; with Sensei and one other student, neither of whom are the easiest people to talk to (just because I don't have much in common with them, really). The best bit, though, was being told by Sensei after the grading that apparently I'd been the best student in my grading group. Okay, that's only best out of four, but still -- colour me well chuffed. :-)

Current Mood: sweaty!
Now playing: Dido: No Angel

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Comments
ewx From: ewx Date: August 10th, 2003 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)

orange belt

Congratulations!
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: August 10th, 2003 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Wow!

Well done! Go you! :)
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: August 10th, 2003 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Hooray! Well done for sticking with it and achieving so much. You're good at this, you know. Are you going to carry on with it and go for... green next, is it?

Slightly surprised you didn't use your orange icon for this one. :-)
j4 From: j4 Date: August 11th, 2003 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Slightly surprised you didn't use your orange icon for this one.

I was torn between the kanji and the orange!
(Deleted comment)
acronym From: acronym Date: August 10th, 2003 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
This calls for a drink!

And the thirty-degree heat doesn't? :-)

- A, about one and a half litres into a two-litre bottle of mineral water...
(Deleted comment)
acronym From: acronym Date: August 10th, 2003 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)
That depends, I suppose, on whether you drink alcohol or not. :-)

(Mineral water is unexciting, but it does the job of stopping me getting dehydrated. I'm willing to settle for that right now...)
From: ex_lark_asc Date: August 10th, 2003 10:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Where's orange in the grading scale? THe only one I ever knew was for judo, and that was a worm's-eye view at best :)
j4 From: j4 Date: August 11th, 2003 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
White is what you start on, yellow is the first belt you actually grade for, orange is the second. So it's about as low as a worm's eye on the scale. :-}
imc From: imc Date: August 11th, 2003 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I tried looking for this info on the web, but found it moderately hard to get a decent reference. The one I found first has purple between yellow and orange, but now I've found two other pages it seems that no one can agree on where the purple goes!

The lists do agree on the order of the other colours, except that one of them has red in what I might consider to be the wrong place.

(So where does the purple fit in in your system?)
imc From: imc Date: August 11th, 2003 09:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Should've used my rainbow icon for that post, of course. :-)
j4 From: j4 Date: August 11th, 2003 09:51 am (UTC) (Link)
They're all different, because they're all made up. The rationale behind ours is that the original Samurai had belts which just got dirtier and more blood-stained the longer they were worn, and our system is just a stylised version of that; but I'm pretty sure that's just an entertaining myth.

I think the order for ours goes: white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, black. (I'm sure about it up to green, less sure after that.) We don't have a red belt.
crazyscot From: crazyscot Date: August 10th, 2003 11:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Well done!
From: ex_monkeyhan688 Date: August 10th, 2003 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Well done!

I knew you could do it. Woman and warrior, mooo.
huskyteer From: huskyteer Date: August 10th, 2003 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well done! Your grading sounds different from mine: anything up to about 50 students grade, going through the basics together and then the katas, with the white belts sitting down after the 1st Kata, yellows after the 2nd etc.

Both times I've done the exam I've felt like I was going to pass out afterwards, so you did fantastically well to keep going through the heat.
j4 From: j4 Date: August 11th, 2003 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
anything up to about 50 students grade, going through the basics together and then the katas, with the white belts sitting down after the 1st Kata, yellows after the 2nd etc.

How many instructors are watching?

We probably have about 50 students grading at once, but split up into groups. I mean, all in the same dojo (and with a training session going on at the other end of the dojo, which makes it even harder to hear the instructions they're giving us) but split up into groups within that.

Both times I've done the exam I've felt like I was going to pass out afterwards, so you did fantastically well to keep going through the heat.

If it had been as hot there as it was in Cambridge, I would have passed out. As it was my head was pounding and my whole body felt like it was on fire by the end of it. Next time I do a grading I'm going to try to do it in the winter, dammit!
simonb From: simonb Date: August 10th, 2003 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congrats!
julietk From: julietk Date: August 11th, 2003 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Well done!
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