This weekend, I will be tested for my Shodan. I began studying Karate almost eight years ago. I have taken short breaks in training. Usually the time was for a new baby being born or one of the two knee surgeries and rehab. Although, both years I had knee surgery, I still advanced one rank. I didn’t really stop training then.
I long ago abandoned any focus on the color of my obi. That external rating of my skill, my talent , my dedication and my spirit stays external. I use a fair amount of energy to not subscribe myself to the opinions or criticism of others, even my senior karate-ka. I appreciate praise but I try not to attach to it. I appreciate advice but I try to bounce that off my own inner wall for guidance. I greatly appreciate the recognition of a black belt but this is not why I train and this is not what i am after.
I train Karate to be a better human; to understand more fully this experience; to strengthen my spirit and improve my life. I hope my improvement and my efforts improves the quality of existence for other beings as well.
I will achieve a Shodan come this Saturday. Thank You Sensei McLain, Sensei Mike Awad. Thank You Mr Ezra Scott, Mr. Richard Garrett, Mr. Jason Tillman, Mr. Andy Moore, Mr. Nate England, Mr Hamman. I am humbled and gracious of this recognition and celebration. I am thankful for my forebears and respectful for the honor to carry these teachings while this generation holds the time. But, things only begin here. In many ways I am closer to the beginner than ever before. And I hope I never lose that.