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The Way of the Badger - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
The Way of the Badger
I passed my karate grading on Saturday, so I'm now a green belt (the order of grades is: white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, brown, black). And not only did I pass, but the examiner told me afterwards that I'd done extremely well. Not sure who was more pleased by that, me or Sensei!

I was surprised to have done so well though, as I'd been very nervous about it beforehand -- not only is it apparently a difficult grade to pass (it's the point where you move from kohigh to dohigh status, i.e. you're regarded as a more advanced student; there's an awful lot of syllabus to learn for it) but also we were in a different location from usual (Walthamstow rather than Winchcombe -- no complaints about that!), with a much smaller group of people (only the people from the London and Cambridge dojos, rather than people from all over the country as usual), so I didn't quite know what to expect in some ways. It always makes me more worried about things when I can't visualise them in advance.

The afternoon was exhausting: four hours of training/grading, and they made it clear that the training session (which takes place in parallel with the grading) was just as much part of the grading -- so no slacking at any point! I'd already been training for over an hour and a half when I was called for the actual grading. Fortunately they didn't actually ask to see one of the techniques I was really worried about; though they did ask for 40 press-ups (a set number of press-ups is a grading requirement, but they don't often ask for them). To be honest I didn't even know I could do them until I had to.

When the grading was over I wasn't even sure I'd passed (did "you may go now" mean that I'd done it, or just that they couldn't bear to see any more?) -- I just had to go and carry on with the training. By the end of the afternoon I ached in places I didn't even know it was possible to ache, and I'd been shouting so much (they're very keen on kiai) that my throat felt like it'd been scrubbed with a brillo pad.

After the grading we had time to chill out for a while before the Christmas meal (held at The Grove, a pub in Walthamstow). It was good to have a chance to talk to the people from the London dojo, and for that matter to talk to the people from Cambridge -- I don't often get a chance to do much more than bow to them and say hello briefly between lessons. The food was great, though the pub itself was less so -- fortunately we had the upstairs room booked privately for the actual meal, but afterwards we adjourned to the main bar, which was smoky, loud, quite unable to serve a decent pint of Greene King IPA (the only 'real' beer available), and full of some girl's 21st birthday party (complete with cheesy 80s disco). Eurgh.

And finally, a LJ quiz which is actually relevant for a change!
Duty and Loyalty: You serve your purpose and do
what you must do. People would consider you
someone to rely on, and one who keeps his/her
word when he/she gives it.

Which Characteristic From the Samurai Code Matches You Best? (You may find out your best trait)
brought to you by Quizilla

I know it's only a silly quiz, but I was still rather pleased to get this one, as it's one of the three cardinal virtues of our martial arts school.
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sion_a From: sion_a Date: December 16th, 2003 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Complete sincerity: You believe in being
straightforward with others, and you expect the
same from them. People would consider you a
good listener, and one who is calm and mostly
karen2205 From: karen2205 Date: December 16th, 2003 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)
/me is stupid.

What/who are 'Sensei' and 'dojo'?
simonb From: simonb Date: December 16th, 2003 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Roughly, sensei -> senior teacher, dojo -> training place. As per usual with Japanese, its way more complex than that tho :)
karen2205 From: karen2205 Date: December 16th, 2003 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahha - I don't know anything at all about Japanese. One day (.....when I'm retired probably) I'd like to learn it - the alphabet (if that's the right term?)in itself fascinates me.
simonb From: simonb Date: December 16th, 2003 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, alphabets as they have three... although one is pictagram based in a similar way that Chinese is.

For a humerous look at learning the Japanese language see here
j4 From: j4 Date: December 16th, 2003 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
simonb has already answered, so there's no need for me to repeat that, but you're not "stupid" -- there's no reason why you should know martial arts terminology, particularly when it's in Japanese! I guess I should have explained and/or just said it in plain English in the first place...
simonb From: simonb Date: December 16th, 2003 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I passed my karate grading on Saturday

Yay! Well done :)
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: December 16th, 2003 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)

shi kyu (yon kyu?)

Hooray! Many congratulations. Another thing you do extremely well; I hope you can take great confidence from this.

Very much enjoyed the description of the grading procedure. I'm not sure how similar the martial arts that you and huskyteer study are, but I can remember similarities from the last time she posted about her (orange belt?) grading.
huskyteer From: huskyteer Date: December 16th, 2003 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Well done! I'm extremely jealous; it'll be months before I'm ready to go green. Thank God our school doesn't make you do press-ups in order to pass, though, or I'd still be white.
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: December 16th, 2003 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Cartwheels? How bizarre. Why do they do that?
martling From: martling Date: December 17th, 2003 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Well done. I've mostly given up on being any good at karate but still go for the exercise.
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