At the very end of class Reed was going over the criteria for the upcoming celebration (testing of under black belts). Mostly fixed routines and then techniques for the various levels.
Mark's new Blackbelt places him in our formal line a little bit differently. When we address the shomen (the front of the room, usually with a small alter, but not us since we are just renting the room as it were) we stand facing various directions. The bulk of the students face the Sensei and front of the room in order of rank. The Blackbelts stand to the right or left of the Sensei facing one another, completing the sides of the box.
Mark now stands beside me and Ivana on the left side facing MaryAnn. I guess when you get up to 3rd degree you move to the other side. I'll have to ask sometime.
For class we practiced a lot of basics and then worked on kata for the rest of the time. The note for the evening was that when we are doing Chatan Yata (a staff routine) and have to change grips on the staff - a problem area for me - I was shown where specifically to do the exchange. I have to switch a lot earlier essentially.
When we lined up to bow out, Sensei mentioned in passing that he now had a plan for me. My ears perked up, but I didn't think anything about it and he didn't go into detail after class.
Later in the evening he gave me a call and said that he had a conversation with his Sensei in Yakima. Basically he said, "I've got a blackbelt from another school that's been here for a year, what do I do with him?" Since the brown belt just passed his test there is now an inducement for me to move up even though I don't have an official rank within Shudokan. So Reed got the approval to move me into a testing track!!
He gave me a bunch of details, but after we hung up I couldn't remember a damn thing. I think I'm going to be working with Mark (the new blackbelt) for his second degree and I'll be doing the same thing. I'll find out more on Wednesday when Reed said he'll give an expectation sheet.
I'm so thrilled!