This is so cool! I can see myself growing up in this picture! Starting as a little 5th grader and wearing the white belt for one year, the yellow for one year, and the green belt for one year. Then the blue for two years and the red belt for two more years after that! And now at age 18 I earned my black belt last night! The youngest person ever to receive a black belt at my Dojo and the first girl as well!
I’m bruised on both my knees, my wrists, the inside and outside of both my thighs, and my arms. This bruise is the worst of them all.
I passed my level 4 test this past sunday. Krav Maga isn’t very formal, we don’t use belts but it is still referred to as a green belt level test.
During the test, I was fine. I was tired, and in some pain, but the adrenaline rush pushes you through your limits. So it wasnt until i got home and showered that I noticed I was in pain. A lot of pain. I have never been in so much pain in my life. I hurt everywhere. I couldn’t move my neck to turn my head. Thankfully my girlfriend’s father is a doctor who was able to write me a prescription for a muscle relaxor. It helped a little but the pain was still there. I basically didn’t move for the rest of the day and just iced my neck.
The next day, Monday, I had to get up early and pack for an apartment hunting trip to New Orleans. The muscle relaxor wore off at about 2 am and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t get out of bed to get another. I was almost in tears, which says a lot. Physical pain has rarely ever brought me to tears. Anyway, I waited for Laura to wake up and she got me the pill and made a massage appointment. Both of these things helped a lot, but I was still unable to turn my head and I was sensitive to sudden movement. Like the bumps on the plane. Which didn’t help. My neck started to feel sore from all the rubbing and massaging I was doing to it.
Things finally started to go back to normal yesterday, Wednesday, when I noticed I was fine without the muscle relaxor.
This was by far the longest after test recovery that I have needed. I have always been over prepared physically. I wasn’t sore after my yellow or orange tests, and at phase certification I was just physically drained. Why do I do this? This is how crazy you have to be to succeed in the upper rankings of Krav Maga. It’s not for everyone. It’s a lifestyle, and I love every minute of it…even the painful ones.
I do karate for fun and for learning growth (extra curriculum) and have done it for three four years. I had started out with GKR for the first couple of years. With that association I had thought of it as fun to do it in the beginning, however, as time passes I began to find their teaching boring. I hadn’t found the instructor, also known as the sensei, to be productive or educational. She had occasional stop to chat to adult in the group and laughed at stuff which I had thought to be pointless. The lesson had only been an hour for once a week and I had found it to be not pushy enough. Pushy in the sense that I didn’t break a swear not did I stink. It’s not that I want to stink like hell and have people repulse me. Isn’t that what deodorant is use for, to get rid of the smell. It that when people sweat a lot they tend to stink if deodorant wasn’t used.
Just a couple of months back I had moved to another karate associational call JKA. I found this association more difficult and harder to catch up. JKA had a more traditional style of learning and expectation which made it more educational in my opinion. I found that the sensei there was really educational. Not only was his teaching more productive, he was also serious in our learning and he clearly explain each punch block etc.
A lot of the time the JKA sensei doesn’t just teach about karate, he also teach great philosophy of life. I found that I could relate these philosophy to what people like Jim Rohn have talked about.
Currently I am on my orange belt, or rather was. I had graded for the first time today with JKA for my green belt, which is the belt after the orange belt. Before going to my grading I had been so dead afraid that my legs were shaking. People say that a little bit of nerve was good but for me I was no nervous I really could not stop shaking. Anyone know the feeling. What I found to help slightly was to take deep breathe. It may sound simple and typical but try taking dramatic deep breathe like I did where my breathe was so audible to the people in front and behind me. Dramatic hand gesture also help. I made my hand rise up and tense up as I inhale and I realise the tension when exhale. Sure, I was still nervous even after that but it did make me feel slightly better.
Through out the grading we had started with basic block, punch and kicks, before proceeding to kumite, then kata. Note the adjective “basic"within phrase. When you’re up there in front of a crowd doing your grading and you’re slightly nervous and uneasy it makes this so much more difficult. It scared me even more how the sensei would say stuff like "I don’t care how good you were at training last week, if you suck today that’s it.” It was so true which was what made it so frightening. Sometimes the truth frighten people so much more than the lie. I know that that’s true for me.
I would say that the grading was a nerve wrecking improvement which at the end of the day did boost my confidence slightly. Anything was possible when we work hard for it. I did get to my green belt by slacking but by practising, however there is still so much more I must learn if I'm committed to get my black belt. Sure it may take year and a lot of hard work but for now I would like to think that it is possible and I would like to stay committed.