Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting Ready for My Orange Belt in Shorinji Kan

As most of you know, I've been training in another style of Jiu-jitsu on the side called Shorinji Kan. At the launch party it was made public knowledge that I wouldn't be testing for yellow belt at this April's grading, but that I would be testing for orange belt.

At first I was a bit nervous about being given a month's notice for an extra level of curriculum. Fortunately, I had a look at the curriculum and there is sufficient cross-over between our two styles that I'm okay with it.

You may think I am being a bit silly about being nervous at all considering that I have nearly 16 years of experience with Jiu-jitsu under my belt. But if anything, there is more pressure on me to be not just good enough to pass the grading, but to be exceptionally good. The expectation is greater, not just from the grading panel (presumably) but from myself. It doesn't matter that I'm already operating at a level that is beyond what is usually expected for someone of my level in Shorinji Kan. I don't want to be anything less than what I'm capable of. Otherwise I will have failed the grading in my own eyes, no matter what belt I'm awarded.

In my mind, a person's progress in a martial art isn't based on how much better they are than other people, but on how much better they are than themselves. It's about constantly developing your skills in pursuit of an unattainable mastery. It's this mentality toward training that makes martial arts training so great.


Elias said...

Best of luck for your grading; I'm sure you'll pass, and hopefully you won't fail in your own eyes.

Cliff Rempel, Goshin Martial Arts Calgary said...

Asanidan in Can-Ryu and an orange belt in Shorinji Kan, I know exactly how you feel. Does the club you train with in Jitsu Canada know about your experience or are you a White Belt of Doom (WBOD)? Just go out and do everything you havebeen doing in class. Sensei Dobie is a great teacher and examiner. The pre-grading session was more stressful than the grading for me.

Lori O'Connell said...

Everyone knows my background. It'd be kinda hard to hide on a long term basis anyway. I was introduced to the club and style because my assistant instructor has his brown belt in Shorinji Kan. Recently his friend and former instructor from Ottawa moved here and is living and training with us. Also, the instructor of the Shorinji Kan dojo at which I train is training at my dojo once a week to get additional training to prepare for his shodan grading this April. Long story short: There is a LOT of cross-fertilization going on between our two styles here. :)

Anonymous said...

All about one and so it is infinite