Post Confirmation - Shūdokan 140

I'm trying to reflect on the whole year and compress it into one post.  The simple fact is that I'm still processing what happened during the confirmation test and basking in the fact that that piece is done.  

Me and four others went to Yakima Washington to the main school there.  They have a rigid schedule of testing every four months.  We were unsure of the numbers of people testing, so it was some surprise that we found out it was Mark, me and a 12 year old boy doing the confirmation.  The confirmation is done one year after a blackbelt has been awarded, but the certificate has not been written up.  This is a measure to "weed out" folks that can't fully commit to what the belt means.  I gather about one third of the folks that passed the belt test are only the only ones that make it through confirmation.

The test only lasts about an hour, but like clock work we got through all the basics and then messed up during the big application series.  Somewhere on the second run through we got turned around and ended up completing the whole series as if I attacked again.  I was so embarrassed.  

The thing is that the confirmation doesn't come with any penalty connected to it.  So no matter how bad we messed things up we were going to get our certificate.  The point is to show commitment for a year be a good person.  I just felt chagrined that I didn't do the test as well as I could of, but I also feel chagrined that I put so much emotional stake that I felt embarrassed.  Mark was so relaxed about it.  He totally didn't care; he was just glad to be done.  

We spent the rest of the time judging other tests and reviewing the politics of the dojos and what new leadership meant.  Our Shihan is retiring and a leader from a nearby school is taking over.  There really isn't any wrinkles, but the minute details took hours of talking to sort out.  I surprised myself in taking an interest and hoping to participate a bit more in the workings of the dojo.  

I thought I would be more emotional at the ceremony, but I was too overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do and where to go to feel properly grounded in the moment.  I can say that it's better, because open weeping might have been too much.

Tater is second to the right


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