What will be the physical differences between who I am now and who I will be if I’m granted the rank of Shodan? Every single class I see how others who are better than I am do things. I am constantly challenged in very specific ways to improve what I do. I know I don’t look nearly as good now as I will years from now if I’m invited to test for Shodan. So I watch those who outrank me, I listen to them, I practice, and I have to trust the process that will get me there.
By the time I am invited to test for Shodan, I want to have reached the following goals:
1) Lose ten more pounds
2) Be able to do at least 30 pushups
3) Nice deep stances (if deep is called for)
4) Better endurance – particularly in highly “cardio” activities
I’d like to reach these goals sooner rather than later! Other physical things that should happen by the time I’m invited to test for Shodan include:
1) Great form
2) Optimal execution of all techniques
3) Gi-popping awesome speed (when speed is needed, of course)
4) Loose when and where I need to be loose, tight when and where I need to be tight
In a nutshell, I should be stronger, better, faster, have more endurance, and I should look pretty gosh darned awesome when I’m doing Karate.
How am I going to get there? Detailing everything would take me quite some time. Nutshell summary… I have to be flexible and clever about when and how I train. I have my “home” dojo, but one hour twice per week is not enough. I am very fortunate to be part of a larger organization that includes three other “sister” dojos within reasonable driving distance of my house. I also take advantage of my YMCA membership and do some supplemental exercise. Once I reach 3rd kyu, I will be expected to drive out of state for training once each month. This period will last a minimum of three years, and then maybe I might be invited to test for Shodan.
How long is this going to take me? The time-frame I’m looking at to reach Shodan is roughly seven years from now, give or take a year or two. The average in our organization is 8 to 10 years. Really, though, the exact number of years is not important – what’s more important is Bruce Lee’s maxim about being a little bit better today than I was yesterday.
And being a little bit better today than I was yesterday is something that must not stop at Shodan. In other words, I should always strive to be more betterer.
So that wraps up this series of posts. I get the idea there are things I’m completely clueless about and depths I haven’t even begun to sound. Those of you with more years under your belts, please feel free to burst any bubbles I might have.