Private lesson 4

"This is what Teacher Slim looks for....", "This is what Teacher Slim looks for...."

The third time I heard this I started getting mildly panicky. Teacher keeps referring to what Teacher Slim is going to be looking for - as in my Brown Belt Test. I can't believe I'm experiencing panic over this. I know the source - the fine tuning we are going through is bringing up all kinds of things I feel I should have had down pat by now. The angle of a foot in a kick, the placement of the leg in chamber, the accuracy of a punch, the creativity of a counter-attack, balance in a particularly difficult Kata, etc.

I have an additional concern. Sunday I started having some problem breathing. It felt like I couldn't get any air and passed in about 20 seconds, but it happened three or four times. It was as though I had sprinted up steps and needed an extra breath to get a little more air. This agitated my wife so she called the doctor. The next day I got for every damn test in the world. Needless to say after all that they find out I have a virus of some sort. Since we are on the end of the world the results won't get here for two weeks at the most. Great. In the mean time it lethargy and occasional shortness of breath - which sounds like me anyway!

For whatever macho reason I couldn't bring myself to tell Teacher. I feel like I've given him so many reasons for poor performance that this would adding insult to injury. So I huffed and puffed during our lesson and looked generally out of breath most of the time. Thankfully his back is bothering him so we didn't get to far into throws or take downs. I was rusty!

My poor knee groaned through one take down. I've been nursing this damn thing for three weeks now and the one time I have to do a quick drop it shrieks like tore it open. No pain today so I count that as a blessing. I was worried that I would be paying a price this morning.

I starting to fear the test - not for it's difficulty, but that I won't do my best.


uchi deshi said…
Same thing happened to me before every test. Just as I thought I knew the technique, Ryan would tell me something new about what Sensei was going to be looking for - just days before test!! No wonder I have high blood pressure!
Bob Patterson said…
I did the same thing. I continued to go to practice with cracked ribs. Later I told Sabum 1 at a belt test. He was part proud and part mad at me.

I think for me it's the old guy age thing. Then I was 38 and still trying to prove a point to myself. It's even harder when you are in class with a bunch of 20-year-olds.

Anyhow, if you think the injury is bad enough you need to tell. After being dumped on my head Monday night I had to ask Sabum 2 for light duty.


Good luck and stay well!

[Mat] said…
"I starting to fear the test - not for it's difficulty, but that I won't do my best."

I know the feeling. Because of my bad performance on my test because of my knee, I felt I cheated myself to a blue belt.

You're probably already ready right now. This is why teachers send us to tests. because we're ready. But the fact is that it's also a test for the teacher. If you perform poorly, it's considered his responsability.

Some people get to black belt with poor performances because the teacher wasn't good enough. They have to work extra-hard to get to ni-dan and eventually quit.

Do your best with what you have. The problem is with the test itself. Not with the testee.

heal. and take that pineapple juice I told you about. With the iboprofen.


Potatoe Fist said…
Thanks for your support. You guys definitely see to the heart of the matter and I feel a little stronger with your support. I'm really trying to take this one day at a time, but whenever I close my eyes to sleep I'm there working - if you know what I mean.

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