Today was the first class I went to after last week's test. For some odd reason I was nervous to enter the dojo wearing a black belt. There is definitely a little "uncomfortableness" about this new path for me. The lower belts have a new respect and part of me is having a hard time with that. I think it's because I don't want to feel better than anyone else, don't want to, especially, look like I don't know what I'm doing. It's the old self-esteem issues coming to the surface. I talked about the self-sabotage a few posts back and this is very similar. Now that I've come this far do I deserve to lead others? It's so strange. There is absolutely no way I could ever get "shodanitis". My ego is not that big and I feel so humbled by this new addition around my waist. I want others in my dojo to know that I will never treat them like they do not know anything and I know everything. Our dojo, as Charles James Sensei puts it, is a gendai budo dojo. We train for the path, for the betterment of ourselves. There is no competition in our school in any form and Sensei does not condone it at all. The sparring you saw me do in the videos is not something we do very often, at least not with all the gear. We do more slow-flow Ju Kumite, not the full-on Kumite. I'm very happy with that. I don't have the need to go at someone with flying fists and feet. I'd much rather harness the control that would benefit me in a self-defense situation. Our dojo is serious and light-hearted at the same time. We joke around, but not when it's inappropriate. We have much respect for Sensei and his teachings and teach that to the new student who walk through our doors. There have been quite a few recently, and all of them women. I like to see women start in the martial arts, and I hope they stick with it.
So back to the weirdness of shodan. I have to grow into this like anything else. Sensei said to me the day after shiai that he would like me to test for nidan in a year. Is that enough time? I feel there is so much for me to accomplish in my training right now. I want to focus on the internal strength, the internal compression, or as Sensei Morallo puts it, "the twisting of the meat." He was doing Chen Tai Chi before the shiai last Wednesday. It was absolutely beautiful. Apparently this is the parent form of all the other tai chi forms, and he mentioned that it's a very difficult style to study. That is what I want to do. Hmm, yes, in all my free time... I've found that in my training I struggle with the internal applications of our style. I want to perfect them (as much as they can be perfected).
So, this marks the beginning of a new beginning! I will be interested to see where this blog goes now that I have attained shodan. I'm so excited!!!
Oh, I've been "promote three memed". I'll take care of that next post...