Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Brown Belt Blues

When I was an under belt, under green with stripe (3rd kyu), a new belt rank meant a new kata or two and  a slight increase in fitness. Yea, we did fight training every week. But belt tests focused on kihon and katas and as long as you sparred just once, you passed.

At 3rd kyu however, it seemed like there was a lot more on my shoulders on my journey to 2nd kyu, brown belt. The katas I had to learn, three of them, were all similar, were confusing me. As an upper belt the things I thought I was doing correctly, were now getting nit-picked. Okay nit-picked is a bad word, maybe tweaked is a better word, but it sure did feel like nit-picked. Seemed like all the pinan katas were running together and would often start a san kata and finish with a yon somewhere in the middle. Also trying to train for a fight so I could be eligible for the Japan fights next year. The worst thing was when testing for my brown belt, for the end of the kihon and katas, I was in front of everyone doing them by myself.

Things are even harder for me as a brown belt. Sensei tells me that this is the level that they lose people at. This is where it really gets tough. I agree. I feel the frustration. I am being corrected, but instead of just saying what I am doing wrong, I am told that I should know better at my rank. I am told that I am now a leader as a brown belt. People are looking up to me to show them how to do things correctly. No pressure or anything.

Shihan is already asked me about the next belt test and weather or not Ill be ready for it. Brings my anxiety level up but if I am not working towards something, I am simply existing. I don't want to just exist so somehow I have to push through this. I have to pull it together and get the new katas learned, perfect my stances, use proper fighting techniques and be able to teach.