Stumbling block or stepping stone?

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Stumbling block or stepping stone?

Postby chef » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:08 am

I have had two major things that happened during my karate training that could have either stopped me or spurred me on in my karate training.

The first one was my fear of failure and the insuing fear of letting down my sensei and in not doing well on a test.

My first stumbling block was to fail a brown belt test for my second stripe on my brown belt. Bill actually told the class that this was not a failed test but an opportunity for me to go through a test and see where I needed to be 'tweaked'. To me, I failed my test. I went home and had my pity party and tears and considered quitting.

and I almost threw in the towel and almost allowed myself to be defeated due to my pride, my embarassement, and the comparison of myself to others - one of the worse things a karate student can do.

I mulled it over quite a bit and asked myself "how badly do I want this anyway"....after thinking about it that following week, I went back to class and listened to Bill tell me where I need improvement...and went on.

I did go on to get my Shodan later...and Nidan a couple of years after that.

Then I recently faced my second potential stumbling block. I had been working out with Bill for the last four years getting ready for my Sandan test, through a dislocated knee cap, torn meniscus, stress fractured foot, and many personal set backs with job situations and family loss. He was going to fly to Florida for my Sandan test as my uke.

We had been spending the last four months of some much needed one-on-one time and then...the last minute shock of finding out that he could not be there due to personal things and problems with his job. I was a basket case. I was going to have to test with someone that I had never worked with. To make matters worse, I did not sleep much the night before due to a cuckoo type of clock in the room, had very little time to practice with my test partner, and had to test after a full day seminar.

Well, being stretch ain't no fun but is great for growth. My partner was very understanding, my test board very gracious, and the test went on regardless.

I discovered that your worst sometimes has to be your best, an anxiom my first instructor used to say, and now I had first hand experience. Great preparation for life! You are not going to be able to ask your attacker to come back at a better time when you are more prepared.

Will your obstacles be stumbling blocks or stepping stone?
Last edited by chef on Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Cry in the dojo, laugh in the battlefield"
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Postby chef » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:17 am

...and, yes, I did pass my Sandan, better than I thought. I needed that lesson and not having to physically rely on someone else to get me through.

What life lessons have you learned along the way of your karate journey you can share?

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Postby Shana Moore » Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:00 pm

First, thanks for sharing your personal story Vicki. I am so glad you are such a great example for new students like me to learn from!

During my pregnancy, I learned that doing something is better than doing nothing. With your help and Sue's I continued to train into my 8th month...with changes due to safety, etc. I felt so much better for it, even if I could only do some slow kata and hojo undo. I had few back aches and no swelling until I stopped working out in my last month. WOW! what a difference!

Now, that I'm starting back, I realize that I should have kept up the slow kata work, etc. as I recovered from pregnancy. Doing something, even just a little, would have made my current recovery sooooo much easier (and limited some of my whining now!) :lol:

Now, I just have to focus and continue to learn. One step at a time and just keep pushing forward!
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