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Hawkmoon
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 891
Location: MK in the UK
Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:06 am    Post subject: Kyokushin Shodan grading! Reply with quote

Some of you might have noticed I've been missing from the boards this year ... I hope the title offers a suitable reason for my absence!

******************************************************************************************************************

The grading was set and a plan created to follow to reach this mile stone in my life and MA career back in 2014!

(The result is known to me I will share, but wanted to report on my ... journey, maybe something I write will help others on there road ... maybe not ... you'll understand the latter comment as I try not to bore you to death!)

So towards the end of 2014 I was offered the opportunity to stand up and attempt the grading and be called 'sampai', to wear the rank Shodan here in 2015!

The year started like any other January 1st a day just like any other I guess, yet I walked into the dojo session one for 2015 and something was wrong, nothing felt right ...

January, February, March all rolled ever onwards, each session things just not working, some days were poor others worse! Stress is the reason my mind is not ordered enough I'm struggling with the concept shodan.

All I could see and feel was I was pushing, pushing so hard I was blowing valves and gaskets at every step, every movement, every breath, clearly being to hard on myself over thinking each and every movement to the 'nth degree'.
Sanchin stance ... I have never hated that stance so much until the first quarter of 2015, my feet were no better than pig trotters, left handed rear pig trotters!



I was stressed, clearly way to much, I was not coping at all so when I fell ill mid April, stomach bug that simply would not quit I felt it like falling out of a tree and landing flat! Most of April was spent at home resting and only going out to work, nothing else, I decided towards the end of the first week of being ill that I would take a few days extra when I felt better to put my head in order and get that 'wrong feeling' out into the cold and close that door!

Didn't get the chance to test that straight away, my father was taken ill, I found myself worrying about him, I feel guilty saying this but I found being focussed on him (as I should be) a welcome break from the worry of the now much closer grading!
Somehow this was wrong, yet my sane self, the family even the guys at the dojo supported my thinking ... when I turned up to train.
My father was released end of May, new meds and a new nebuliser and from May until July was re-admitted two mores times the second visit looking like a one way activity and the third uncovering the doctors instructions to staff being 'Do not resuscitate....'

That, that was a changing point, the world now had a different colour, all my senses that were so on edge so heightened now dull if they worked at all.
I am the eldest of three I know how much my father loves us all and how proud of us all he is, I am a father as well I love my family all equally and fiercely. Then my youngest came to me one evening and cuddled up to me simply saying I needed a hug!

My youngest is ten (sorry nearly eleven) ... in that moment he floored me, out cold nothing I could do to stand, I could not move this fight was over I wasn't loosing, I had lost I just didn't know it yet!

The only thought I had, the only thread I clung to was to be the strong man he believed I was, the person who had protected him in the past and would protect him tomorrow and the next day for all his life!
We talked about granddad, and I noticed he was worried he was scared and he was fighting a fight I had been fighting. I realized in that moment, he was trying to come to terms with death!
So we talked and sat silent and talked some more about stuff, putting things in order. He has no idea how much strength I gained from him, how much pride I felt in him for his strength, his power, his need to be held, he grew stronger in my arms as I held him as we sat watching something about Egypt on the TV.

July is coming to an end now, dad is home, my son is happier, he asked that his brothers come with him to see grandad, they all turned up and my boys went to see my dad. They all come back changed, happier closer then when they went out!

Ok, time to rescue myself from this mess, how could I have been some dumb to go on a self destruct mission in the beginning of the year, I've lost so much time madness!! utter madness!
I go to the dojo, game time, game face on, mind straight with one goal, one thing to do, one chance, time to step up and get it done!

August, weeks now separate me from the grading, Kata is now working, silly mistakes now no critical ones, no fundamental issues, just mad moments! Feels good, do these mistakes here not in the grading, yes feeling much better now, were good!

Kihon, ok doing well I have 3-5 techniques I mix up with each other, "Shuto Jodan Uchi uchi with Shuto Jodan Uchi Uki" they sound the same, they are however very different in execution look and feel, gotta nail these as well as the others!
Still feeling better than I have felt all year, I can do this, dare I let confidence say 'easy!'
Really feeling good now!


Two weeks before the grading, I have kihon sorted,no mistakes no mix ups, I can go from 10kyu to Shodan and back again happily, kata is performed by name or by kyu its associated with, yes this is going to work!
Ren-Raku (fighting combinations) I hate these always have, I have never been able to get these to 'stick' in my head ... nailed they are in order they are remembered, they are fluid, they work!

All I have to worry about is fitness, the year to now has not helped, but I am stubborn and out of time, all I can do is all that I have, I'm hoping its enough!

The week before the grading .... I loose a a long term friend in a motorcycle accident. He hit a trailer at speed, no chance to brake or swerve, he is killed instantly.
I can't believe how devastated I am, I was not expecting to be affected by his passing this much, his friends are all at work walking around like zombies, I go to the dojo, one night ... fall apart, melt down!

Someone, no idea who, says a few words, words my friend would say if some one was quitting, I do mean his words, as I hear them I see his face hear his voice say the words!
I remember my son and his needs, and his battle what he said tome, the hope in his face the fear in his eyes when he said I needed a hug, I feel shame, true shame!

The grading
... starts on day one nice and early,
kata fist!
taikyoku sono ichi
taikyoku sono ni
taikyoku sono san
all done in various stances!

All my nerves all my veins are on fire, I'm sweating like I've done a four hour session, it's funny to me, I have done three out of twenty or so katas ... I've the rest of the day and two more days to get through!

Hanshi Steve Arneil calls out this is the warm up, now we do kata!



First part of the morning comes to an end all kata done, Pinan sono yon is done a couple of times, seems some one down the line is being looked at real close!

Kihon now, now things get (for me) weird, I recall Hanshi calling out 10, 9, 8 and maybe 7th kyu kihon, my next memory is shodan kihon being called out!
The morning is now over, time for lunch!

The afternoon session starts with Ren-raku, all good done and dusted!
Exercise now, .. time to show I am fit enough!
Sit ups, squats, kicks ALL of them done over 100 times each!
I struggle with push ups but I get through I push .. hard real hard ... I said i was stubborn!
Fights now, Hanshi calls for skilled fights not knock-down they are on day three!
Day 1 over!

Day 2
starts at 6am and finishes at 9pm!
Day 3 starts at 6 and finishes at 5pm!

Across these two days people grading are separated out and taken to one side to prove stamina power, endurance
kicks again, over 100 each for mae, mawashi and Hiza geri! Chudan and Gedan!
Punches are added to the routine, to add some flavor!

Afternoon.
Can the students looking to take shodan or higher teach, get a lower grade to do learn new skills!
More stamina

Day 3, Morning
Bag work, power strikes can you? do you? are they?

Afternoon
Fights
20 fights!
Yes kyokushin fights!

People grading DO NOT rest, you seek out a new opponent and stand ready to start, each fight is counted to make sure get your all your fights....

Hanshi Steve Arneil calls "YAME!"

Were done its over, now we wait to be called out or not ....
I'm standing in the line aware of the others all looking and feeling as I do, tired, exhausted, standing tall standing strong, none of us showing the pain the shakes in the knees or hands, no weakness!

We enter the main hall and told to sit relaxed, no need to kneel today you have earned the right to sit and calm your mind and bodies down!

Hanshi calls out people who have come to grade to 2kyu, happy faces now break out as the new kyu grades collects there updated licenses.
1st kys now, more happy faces collect newly updated documents.

Hanshi now tuns and is handed a certificate and license - shodans now!
All my nerves, veins are burning ....

He calls me!
Hanshi Steve Arneil calls my name out and calls me Shodan!

My sons my dear friend I thank you for being there when I needed you, thank you!
I will never forget my shodan grading, it has more meaning for me because of you than you realize or understand, this belt I wear is a club belt, 'my' belt is being made and I hope to wear it soon with you all in my mind body and my soul!
That gold bar is as much yours as it is mine!
Osu!



Now anyone got a good joke or two to share?
_________________
A human life gains luster and strength only when it is polished and tempered.
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama (1923 - 1994) Founder of Kyokushin Karate.


Last edited by Hawkmoon on Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16104
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an amazing post; SOLID!! Congrats, Hawkmoon, and well deserved!! Shodan...feels good, huh??



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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2691
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations!
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Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage (RIP), Jeff Allred (RIP)
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker (RIP)
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker (RIP), Ramon Rivera (RIP), Adrian Rivera
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2337
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations Hawkmoon! Well deserved and we did miss you from the boards
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Hawkmoon
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 891
Location: MK in the UK
Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I had to write it up for my own peace of mind, I had to get it off my chest as the saying goes!

Putting the belt on has changed me, the world and how others see me that is for sure.
Walking into the dojo, people look at me, they smile and bow, but more than that the look in there eyes, says so so much more than saying 'Osu!'

I am no longer a brown belt to any of them, I'm no longer the happy funny guy who smiles all the time!
I'm a black belt a shodan, calling me over to have a word or ask a question isn't just calling:
Osu! can I have a word please?
or
Osu! is this right?

Its:

Osu! Sampai can I ask a question please?
or
Osu! Sampai I need your help please?

It is ... still taking time to sink in!

Osu!
_________________
A human life gains luster and strength only when it is polished and tempered.
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama (1923 - 1994) Founder of Kyokushin Karate.
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28536
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing this, Hawkmoon. I did notice that you had been away. What a challenging year you have had. Glad your Dad is doing better!

Congratulations on the new rank.

Patrick
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16104
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick wrote:
Thank you for sharing this, Hawkmoon. I did notice that you had been away. What a challenging year you have had. Glad your Dad is doing better!

Congratulations on the new rank.

Patrick

Above all things, I too am very glad to hear that your Dad's doing better!!



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mazzybear
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 675
Location: Scotland.
Styles: Wado Kai

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A massive congratulations to you!!! I have to say I choked up a bit reading about all you've had to endure this year. But you over came it and walked out the other side with your Shodan, for that, massive respect to you



Mo.
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jaypo
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 520

Styles: Shotokan, Shorin Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hawkmoon, I can relate very much so to your situation. My father fell ill as well, and it was my brother (22 years younger than I) that had the bonding experience at that point (he was 5, and I was 27). And I also lost my closest friend to a motorcycle accident (June 5, 2008). Got the phone call at 4:00 AM on a Thursday. The rest of that week was numb for me. But I did as you did. I decided that I would use those things to gain strength from. Once I got my head in order, I picked myself up and continued pursuing my goals in life- one of which was to earn my Shodan ranking.

So congratulations for all of the hard wok and determination you've put in. Your story is inspiring!
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Bulltahr
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 727
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post Hawkmoon, Congratulations!!
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