Year of a shodan-ho

Summer school is fast approaching, the nerves are building and a sense of excitement and change is in the air. Will I achieve my goal, will I survive. It is weird to think that no matter how high up you go or what grade that you are trying to achieve you still have the same doubts clouding you.

When I gained my 3rd kyu brown belt I didn’t think that I deserved it, that was largely because of me going through a depression for three months. I finally felt like I deserved it when I was training in China. Kind of the phoenix rising from the ashes scenario.

When I attained my probationary blackbelt or shodan-ho I felt like I earned the grade but not the belt, it’s like being in no-man’s land I’m not a kyu and I’m not a Dan grade (although my name is Dan) but something inbetween.
When I was a kyu I could talk to any kyu and make them feel welcome, but now I have one foot in both doors I feel more like an outcast in both worlds. Not that I don’t feel like I belong or that the club doesn’t like me, just that, at the moment I am my own island.

It is strange to see my closest friend bond easier with lower grades then me, I’m more of a people person then he is. Shodan-ho plays with your mind, I no longer feel uncomfortable wearing the blackbelt with no name. This year has been less about overcoming the physical realm but the mental, but as I draw closer and closer I feel more of my old self returning. Not the same but as something new.


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