This Sunday is my assistant instructor Chris's Shodan grading. He is fine right now, but I know that the night before the test he'll be very nervous, but he has his own ritual for dealing with nerves. He eats a healthy, high-carb meal, takes a hot bath or shower to loosen up muscle tension, then he watches one of his favourite Kung fu movies.
I too will be a little nervous. This is the first time I've ever gotten a student up to Shodan before. I can't take full credit for it though because he had years of prior experience having trained in Shorinji Kan Jiu-jitsu. Still, he is being judged on his calibre of skill in my particular style, Can-ryu, and as a result, I too am being judged.
For those of you who aren't in the know, I'll be the one running the grading, but the heir apparent to our style, Steve Hiscoe Shihan will be there to witness the test. So even though I'm running it, if Shihan watches the test and is dissatisfied with what he says, he has the last word. Not that I'm worried that Chris won't pass. I just want him to do his best and show off the skills I know he has. If he does that, he'll definitely succeed.
Either way, Chris's test is a milestone for me and I'm looking forward to running it. He's the first Shodan candidate I've had in the 7 years of I've run my own dojos. Has any of you out there reached this particular milestone? How did it feel for you?