Friday, March 18, 2011


After years and years of training, it all comes down to this. Thirty pairs of black belt eyes will be upon us. The moment of truth. Will I crumble under the pressure, or shine like gold? D-day has arrived. Or should I call it "BB-Day"?? Black Belt final testing day is here, though my partner and I have been through several pre-tests in the last two weeks. So we are somewhat inoculated against the stress, I hope.

One thing that surprised me about this whole process is just how much fun it's been. I think most of that is due to my partner. Training with Toni has been such a blessing, I think we bring out the best in each other. Your partner for the black belt test has to be someone you can trust. After all, they are going to do things like grab your arm and throw an elbow towards the center of your nose, choke off your carotid artery, or wrist-lock you in a move that would snap tendons and bones if done at full force. Just a few millimeters wrong or a few too many pounds of pressure and you're in serious trouble. Choosing a good partner and training with them for months ensures that you each know each other well enough to fully trust them. But Toni and I have laughed together and just had a great time, as well as getting serious when we need to.

As extra insurance, I got us each a stuffed brain cell, made by the GIANT Microbes company, just in case our original 44 year old grey matter isn't quite up to the task. We've propped them on the benches in the dojo while we're practicing, though here you can see them tucked into our belts.
I've used every tool in my mental toolbox to get myself ready. The physical training is not something I've worried too much about. I know what my body is capable of. I know I can push it very hard. I know pain doesn't bother me much. I know it will do what I demand of it. But my brain, oh my poor brain. That's what I worry will desert me in my hour of need.

There's not much more we can do at this moment to prepare. Everything that's stored in our brain cells and bodies is there. Anything that isn't won't get there in the next few hours. We'll meet in the morning to just go over stuff, and by 8:30 tonight it will all be over. If you hear me Hooraying over there on the East coast, you'll know I got my black belt.


Zane said...
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cherelli said...

Oooo, can't wait to find out how it went! pretty sure your grey matter will come through with the goods :) How many years has it taken you to get to your black belt?

Robin said...

I've been training about five years at this dojo in this style (Shudokan). I had trained in karate before and Judo before that, but had to quit due to injuries. This time I knew I wanted to go through all the way!