Yesterday I passed the first part of my karate belt test. It was very hard at times; my body was getting tired and weak. The extra cardio and strength exercises pushed my body to its limit, causing me to dig deep, push myself, and keep going.
After a lot of workouts, at one point we were doing 100 leg scissors; it was tough! And while doing this, for the first time, my Sensei stepped on my abs and walked across me! And then we kept going.
At the end of 100 scissors, you just want to collapse your head and legs to the floor. But no! You gotta hold it…hold it…still and steady…feel the burn, the shaky muscles…and down!
Thankfully, they allowed us to catch our breath a few times. We even got a quick water break. I needed it; my mouth had become so dry from heavy breathing.
Once the boot-camp like fitness section ended, things got a little easier yet still challenging.
We had to practice all sorts of basic karate kicks, punches, blocks, and stances but in difficult combos. We were weakened and the basic practice was tiring, but I was able to keep up well enough for the rest of the test.
In fact, by this point, I was super warmed up, sweating a ton, but I felt pumped, almost like I got a second wind. I was ready for some more karate action, but we’d really had enough for one night.
Turns out there’s a Japanese name for this type of intense extra training: Shugyo. Basically, it’s found in all warrior types of training. Even military training is similar.
It’s not something you do on a regular basis. You train extra hard just beyond your limits once in a while. It’s good!
Even though it can be grueling, I’m super glad we did it. Facing such a challenge and then succeeding is so rewarding!
You train and work hard, investing much time and sweat, and then it pays off! You feel great and accomplished. Your confidence is boosted.
And since it’s holistic, challenging your mind and spirit as much as your body, you get a whole greater feeling of fulfillment from it.
I get one day of rest before the second part of the test where I’ll have to show my skills. I must perform all the fancy karate moves I’m supposed to know well by now. Kind of like Daniel-san showing Mr. Miyagi “wax on, wax off” and “sand the floor.”
I believe I will pass, Lord willing. And the thought of attaining my blue belt is exciting!
After passing the test, in a few weeks there is a Belt Ceremony. You get to do special karate stuff like breaking boards and practicing with weapons. Usually we spar (fight) also.
Well, I gotta rest and recover.