Uechi-Ryu.com

Discussion Area
It is currently Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:24 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 1998 11:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 22
Location: Sacramento, CA ,USA
In a little over two weeks I am going to be tested for Shodan. In preparing for this terrifying event Image I have become a bit reflective as to what it all means. When asked by friends in the past "Are you going to get your black belt soon?" I have always tried to be humble and respond " Well I will get it when my teacher feels i'm ready" I then usually go on saying that the black belt has always been explained to me as recogniseing when a person truely becomes a "student." What does it mean to you? Thanks in advance to those who comment.

David Shorey


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 1998 3:05 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 92
Location: Washington DC
David,
Congratualations on your upcoming Shodan test. There is a good article on Alan Moulton's page written by Jay Salhanick (under the "weekly lessons") link. Sensei Salhanick does a nice job of describing the real attributes of being "A BLACK BELT".

[This message has been edited by Drew Doolin (edited 10-24-98).]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 1998 7:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 18, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 343
Location: Los Angeles, CA
David,

It really doesn't much matter what any of us think of your earning your shodan. What matters is what it means to you. Ultimately, the experience is personal for each dan candidate.

To the outside world a black belt has a mystique of specialized fighting skills. IMHO, to the board a Shodan test is a vehicle for maintaining and transmitting the standards of the system. To each individual a shodan test is a means demonstrating the knowledge and skills that one has gained over the past few years. But it may also represent a very personal victory (over fear of physical danger, over lack of self control, etc.),

Just like any other significant life event, you will carry the memory of your shodan test to your grave. In relation to the world's population you are one of the few individuals who has the resources, will, discipline, and stamina to make this attempt Embrace the experience, hold it close, perform your best and whether you pass or fail, celebrate with joy afterwards.

Let us know how it goes.

Mike


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 1998 1:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30470
David,

It will be one life's "finest moments" for you as you cross over the threshold into a life time of Uechi-Ryu wonder and self discovery ! My thoughts will be with you during your test ....embrace the challenge !

Van


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 1998 4:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 22
Location: Sacramento, CA ,USA
Thank you for your comments.

[This message has been edited by David in Sacramento (edited 10-23-98).]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 1998 8:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 157
Location: Evansville, IN, USA
Okay, I just can't help myself.

Black: Without light or not able to reflect
it. Colorless. The opposite of white.

Belt: a strip of fabric, leather, etc, worn
around the waist to support clothes or to do
draw them in.

But seriously, what others have said is quite
right. Shodan has a personal meaning to all
of us, and for each perhaps it is different.
For me, I think it means having a solid
foundation. Time to learn about the martial
arts through exploration, experimentation
and truly seeking to perfect what we have
learned. I believe that a black belt should
mean that one trains harder and with greater
intensity then before. A true black belt
desires to learn more, even more than when
they weren't a black belt.

Martial study is like a pot of boiling water
(not a box of chocolates, Sorry Mr. Gump).
If you bring a pot of water to a boil and
stop applying heat, it will soon no longer
boil. You must continously apply heat to
keep it at the boiling point.

Best of luck on your test. Train hard, and
be proud. Years of work are about to become
more years of work.

Osu!
Jason


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 1998 6:39 am 
Many very good points so far.

I throw this out for comment. I heard a "story" about a person being handed a black belt in BJJ by one of the Gracie brothers. The student expressed surprise as he had not tested for the rank. The Gracie responded, that was not necessary because he knew the student could defend it.

A story is a story ... it maters little as to the truth of it, but it raises a very good question -- should you be able to defend your black belt?

Rick


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 1998 7:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17196
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
David

Get a copy of George Mattson's Black Belt Test Guide. The forward in that book is by me, written about a dozen years ago. I still feel the same way.

Each person has their own set of feelings and experiences. In my case I was a lonely non-belt holding an abandoned karate clube together. My shodan required that I make long pilgrimages on my motorcycle up the east coast to study and prepare with the few "experts" back then. So what did my dan mean to me?

My first reaction was one of 'Good, I got that out of the way.' I needed it to get the recognition necessary to operate a dojo (by the seat of my pants).

My second reaction was a strong let-down. It was such a short experience and such a small demonstration of what I had learned. Only later on did I realize that this was the exact reaction that I SHOULD feel. If the process is right, the outcome is a forgone conclusion. No test or ceremony could do justice to my journey. I'll always remember the path to that day much more than I will the destination.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 1998 2:24 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 92
Location: Washington DC
Glasheen Sensei brings up a good point - THE LETDOWN. I have seen a few "New Dans" fall off the screen following their tests. You are so pumped up going into the test, and building to this event,... then, the next week you're back in class getting corrections on all of your kata (as before) doing hojo undo (as before) etc. In some ways you wonder "what all the fuss was about". But, as was stated, if you have prepared for the test properly, it shouldn't be a totally foriegn experience. If your goal is to master the art, not the belt, you can eleviate some of the letdown. On the other hand, letdowns are part of the natural progression of things. Often times, our expectations of events far exceed the reality of living them.
D2


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 1998 3:51 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
David-san,

On the other side, I didn't experience the "letdown" spoken of here. My shodan test was an incredible high - I was at a physical peak - and I was tested long and hard - I tested with someone from my dojo who I had been working with for the last couple years and we "came up through the ranks" together - it is a bond we will share for life - even though I haven't seen him in over a year!

I was not even wanting to test - I was working out for love of martial arts and honestly never was seeking the grail of a black belt - no aspirations to teach or run a dojo to encourage that goal either - I was just working out to work out. My sensei told me I was testing so I went. Maybe that had something to do with it...not wanting it so bad. I don't know. But the experience itself was excellent. The board and organization of the test probably had something to do with it also - I was pushed to my limits and survived -- it was an incredible feeling. I wish you the same! Try not to build up the expectations too high - let it happen as it will. It will be your experience after all - and none other's. You will be the determinant factor. Enjoy. Regardless of the outcome, you will never forget it.

Peace,
Lori

PS - get the book Glasheen sensei writes of - it helped me feel more comfortable with the format and courtesies.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 1998 10:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17196
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
To all

Your experiences and comments about them bring back such a rush of feelings.

To Anthony

Triumph Bonneville? Interesting. My very first motorcycle (purchased used in 1974) was a 1968 BSA Royal Star. That 500 cc twin piece of &*%$ spent more time on the repair block than it did on the road. It was very telling when I would have offers from those in the know (BSAs were quite the exotic machine to have) to sell me a "parts" bike. Hmmmm.

In 1976 I purchased a 1977 Suzuki GS750, a 4 cylinder screamer. That's the bike that I rode up and down the coast, and to work every day for several years. As my former Japanese karate instructor once said about his exotic car experiences, "Back then I was one with speed." It gave me tens of thousands of miles of reliable transportation, and only one speeding ticket (probably the only guy who got close enough for me to see the blue lights in the rear view mirror).

These days it's a minivan. The times they are a-changin'.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 1998 1:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 18, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 619
Dear David in Sacramento,

I don't know whether you've had your test, yet, but I'd like to offer you these thoughts:

Regarding testing for your shodan ... I read somewhere that the literal meaning of the kanji “dan” is to carve steps up a hill. That explains a student’s progress from the kyu to dan rank. When you first innoncently started out, everything was confusing ... you felt awkward, uncoordinated and probably even your eyes “glazed over” after your first class. As you began to learn under the guidance of your Sensei and advanced dans, little milestones appeared in the form of your kyu ranks as your techniques began to have form.

As you now reach what may be perceived as the top of the hill, you have an opportunity to look back over your journey, to see what steps you’ve carved. However, as you get ready to “jump into the abyss” of the shodan test, realize that afterwards you will be confronted by another hill in which you must carve steps again.

Good luck in your journey ... Jackie


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 1998 6:06 pm 
David,

How can we, using the internet, help you plow through your next dan test?

Allen


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 1998 6:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 157
Location: Evansville, IN, USA
This is going to sound very strange but in
a sense you should be proud of your failure.

Okay ... questions marks over your head?

Having an instructor who in the age of
"Corporate Karate" is willing to fail a
student going for his coveted black belt is
truly remarkable. Your instructor must care
about you, and the arts to say ... "nope,
not quite yet". When you get your shodan
you will have the satisfaction of
knowing that it is the real thing!

The first test I failed was for 5th Kyu.
And it was wonderful because it meant my
instructor was watching and cared.

Osu!
Jason


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 1998 5:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 22
Location: Sacramento, CA ,USA
Well my test was this last Friday and I did not pass. Details aside, I will be practicing my Seisan Bankai twice as often. Image

What does interest me is the fact that after the test while tired, I really wasn't dissapointed. I knew that I had done the best I could that night and would continue to improve on my skills.

Thanks again for those who gave comments of support and to those who gave their views on what a black belt meant to them.

David in Sacramento


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group